Vegan fish and chips was something that we tried during our 30 days of vegan experiment. Baker’s Man is a huge fan of fish and chips, but having grown up in the United States, he doesn’t need mushy peas with his fish and chips. He is, however, a bit of a snob about his fish. While eating vegan for a month, I knew that he would miss his meat, so I was determined to give vegan fish and chips a try. I hoped I could keep him happy. Were vegan fish and chips good enough to achieve this goal?
Before we go any further, I need to let you know something. This post doesn’t contain a recipe because I didn’t create a recipe for vegan fish and chips. Instead, I am going to review two different recipes that we used to make vegan “fish,” and share what we liked, or disliked, about each of them. I’ll also let you know what we honestly thought. I’ll also let you know which one we thought was the best.
Which recipes for vegan fish and chips did we use?
The first recipe is from Avant-Garde Vegan, and is created by the brilliant vegan chef, Gaz Oakley. If you’re a vegan and have never visited his site, you need to check it out. He’s a genius, and makes amazing vegan foods. He also has a YouTube channel where you can watch him make vegan fish and chips, and some other amazing recipes. His recipe uses firm tofu that’s been sliced and pressed to remove the excess liquid before being paired with a sheet of nori, to impart the flavor of the sea, and dipped into beer batter for frying.
The second recipe for vegan fish and chips came from the Edgy Veg, Candice Hutchings. Candice is another genius when it comes to creating delicious vegan recipes. She also has a YouTube channel where you can watch and learn the process for making vegan fish and chips and some other delectable recipes. This recipe is similar to the first. The biggest difference is that slices of eggplant are used as the “fish.” In Candice’s recipe, the eggplant is marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, vegetable broth, garlic powder, and kelp granules to impart flavor. Then, the egg plant slices are dipped into a beer batter, that’s also been infused with some kelp granules, before being fried.
What did we think?
First, I think that it’s insane to make two different versions of vegan fish and chips on a week night after working a full day. I was tired, and I was cranky, and I didn’t enjoy the process of making these. I don’t really enjoy frying food, so I wouldn’t have enjoyed frying real fish, either. Having disclosed that, let’s talk about what we thought of the actual food.
Gaz’s “Fish and Chips” was amazing. It was tender, the nori added a bit of a “fishy” flavor to the tofu, and the texture was spot on. If I hadn’t made it myself, I would have been convinced that I was eating a real piece of white fish. It was that good.
The Vegan Beer Battered Fish and Chips was delicious, too. The egg plant was a bit softer than a piece of fish would have been, but the flavor was perfect. Marinating in the kelp infused marinade prior to being dipped into the beer batter which also contained kelp powder added just the right amount of the taste of the ocean to convince your palate that you were eating fish.
Which one was our favorite?
There are five people in our family, and we each voted for the one that we felt was the best. Here are our votes.
Patti Cake: “Gaz’s “Fish and Chips” because the texture of the tofu seemed more like a piece of fish than the “fish” made from eggplant.”
Baker’s Man: “Vegan Beer Battered Fish and Chips because it’s similar to other fried vegetables that we’ve eaten before. The other one is good, but this is my favorite.”
Sue Chef: “They were both good.”
Food Critic: “I liked them both. You can make both of them again.”
Bus Boy: Refused to try either because he doesn’t like fish, but he ate lots of “chips”/”fries.”
What was our final verdict?
First, we definitely need to say that vegan fish and chips, are not only good, they’re delicious. As for the two recipes we tested, we can’t really choose a favorite. Basically, it’s a tie. We loved both of these recipes, and while Baker’s Man and I had different favorites, we will probably be making both of these recipes again at some time in the future. Just probably not both of them on the same night after working a full day.
It always amazes me how, through the process of cooking, and seasoning, something can be transformed to taste like something completely different. I would never expect tofu or eggplant to taste like fish, but it did, and it was amazing. I also appreciated that both of these recipes used “normal” ingredients that were easy to find.
Have you ever tried vegan fish and chips? Let us know by leaving a comment below. If you haven’t, I suggest that you visit either the Edgy Veg or the Avant-Garde Vegan, and give their recipes a try. You’ll be glad you did. Even if you’re not vegan, the cost of these recipes is less to prepare than making “real” fish and chips, and they’re delicious.
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.
This post was completed in collarboration with my friend, Angie, from Kitchen Southern Hospitality. Check out her post entitled “Best spice blend you need in your pantry – 20 Recipes with Six Seasonings” where she reviews Six Seasonings Spice Blend and shares recipes that make use of it.