Before you turn up your nose or totally dismiss this recipe because there is no way you’re eating some vegan meal, give this a try! I promise it isn’t as bad as you’re imagining.
If you’re tapped into the vegan blog world or are a vegan yourself, you’ve probably heard of crab cakes/fish sticks made with hearts of palm. And if you’re like me, you were probably skeptical that a vegetable could transform into a fish dish. Unlike me you probably went about your day and that was the end of it. I on the other hand had to try it out myself and see if it actually worked.
Much to my surprise, it did work. I won’t say that it is exactly like fish and will fool fish eaters, but it does mimic the taste and texture of fish sticks. It was nice and flaky on the inside and crispy, crunchy on the outside. I like being able to make my own substitutes to regular food instead of buying the processed versions and this was really simple to put together.
But what really makes this recipe is the dipping sauce. I could (and sort of did) drink this stuff it’s so good. I used it in scrambled eggs, on top of my lentil loaf, mixed into stir fry, and dipped everything in my fridge into it. I promise I’m only slightly obsessed.
Vegan Fish Nuggets and Dipping Sauce
- 1 14 oz can hearts of palm (read ingredients to make sure you’re getting just hearts of palm in water)
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp soy sauce/liquid or coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 1/2 tsp dill weed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
- 1 tsp old bay seasoning
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
1. Drain and rinse hearts of palm and place in blender. Pulse a few times until it’s shredded. Make sure there aren’t any big chunks but don’t totally pulverize it. Place into a medium bowl.
2. Add in almond flour, soy sauce, celery seed, dill weed and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir with a spatula until combined. In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients until well combined.
3. Preheat oven to 375. Take about a 1 tbsp of the wet mix and roll into a ball. Roll this in the dry mix until coated and place on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Continue until all the wet mix is gone.
4. Spray the nuggets with a little olive oil and place into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and turn the nuggets, and bake for another 5 minutes. While the nuggets are cooking, make your sauce.
Dipping sauce– slightly adapted from this recipe
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
- 1/2-2/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (NOT bakers yeast)
- 1 tbsp roasted garlic
- 2 tsp soy sauce/liquid or coconut aminos
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
1. Drain and rinse nuts and place all the ingredients into a blender. Blend until you have a smooth sauce. Place it into the fridge to help it thicken just a little.
I know that many of you will shy away from a vegan recipe, but I think this is a good one to try because it doesn’t really use any weird ingredients. Hearts of Palm are a lot like canned artichokes (that’s where you’ll find them in the store) and they are really tasty. It’s always good to try new things and broaden your eating horizons. And if that still doesn’t convince you try this, at least make the sauce because I promise you will want to put it on everything!
Have a great weekend everyone!