Vegan fish tacos in a cast iron pan with limes, tomato, and avocado
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Vegan Fish Tacos - Baja Style

These crispy, creamy, yet tender vegan fish tacos will conquer any tofu skeptic. The tofu is fried in batter then served on warm tortillas.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Alex Cardenas

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. Extra firm or high protein tofu
  • 2-3 Nori sheets

Tofu marinade:

  • 3 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Neutral oil - I used grape seed (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. Kelp/dulse granules or crumbled / powdered nori
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Batter:

  • 1 cup Organic all purpose flour or all purpose gf flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 cup Sparkling water or beer
  • Pinch Mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder for color ( optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. Smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt or to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Neutral Oil for frying, like refined coconut or sunflower seed oil

Pico de gallo:

  • 1 Medium/large tomato, chopped
  • 1 Medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Scallion or green onion, chopped
  • 1 Serrano or jalapeño pepper, finely minced(optional)
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mayo sauce:

  • 3 tbsp. Vegan mayo
  • 3 tbsp. Cashew or almond crema or vegan sour cream or more vegan mayo
  • Lemon juice as needed to thin out the sauce

Garnishes:

  • 6-8 Corn Tortillas or your favorite tortilla
  • Lemons or limes
  • 1 cup Chopped Peeld Persian cucumber
  • 1/2 Green cabbage finely diced
  • Hot sauce optional

Instructions

Batter

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the sparkling water or beer and slowly mix with a ballon whisk or egg beater until everything is incorporated without overmixing. 
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour.

Tofu Phish

  • Mix all the marinade ingredients in a shallow container or baking dish and set aside.
  • Press the tofu for about 20 minutes to remove the excess water, then cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slabs or fillets. 
  • Place in the dish and marinade for at least 20 minutes. Flip them half way to make sure all sides are coated and the tofu soaks up all the flavor.  
  • While the tofu marinates, prepare the pico de gallo and mayo sauce. 

Pico de Gallo

  • In a small bowl combine all the pico de gallo ingredients then add the lemon and salt and pepper. 
  • Taste and add more seasonings or lemon if desired. If you like your pico de gallo spicy, add a finely chopped serrano or jalapeño chile. 

Mayo Sauce

  • Mix the both the mayo and the cashew crema with a wire whisk or fork until all is incorporated. Add lemon juice to taste and until desired consistency.
  • Season with salt. Store both the pico de gallo and sauce in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Assembly

  • To recreate the taste of the sea, measure and cut the nori sheets to cover one side of the tofu fillets, placing the rough side of the nori on top of the tofu (shiny side up). 
  • Using your fingers, gently apply some of the marinade to help it stick to the tofu or squeeze some more lemon juice on top.
  • Using a heavy bottom saucepan or deep fryer, bring the oil to medium heat. The oil is ready when you add a drop of batter to the oil and sizzles. 
  • Prepare your cooking stations before beginning to help you stay organized: dish with marinated tofu, batter bowl, saucepan and a large plate lined with paper towels.  
  • Using a fork and spoon, place the tofu in the batter and gently spoon the batter on top, this will ensure that the nori sheet stays on the tofu, you will need to do this in several batches.  
  • Drop the fillets in the oil giving enough space between them, about 2 to 3 since you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. 
  • Cook tofu fillets for 3-5 minutes or until the edges are browned. Remove from the oil and place on your plate with paper towels to cool down. Continue with the rest of the tofu until done.
  • Serve on warmed tortillas, with the pico de gallo, mayo sauce, chopped cucumber, cabbage, and extra lemon.

Notes

  • Use cut up nori sheets or dulce seaweed powder to give the tofu a fishy flavor.
  • The recipe calls for Persian cucumber, but any cucumber will do.
  • Serve these immediately after frying them or they can become soggy. 
  • If tofu isn't your thing you can use cauliflower instead.