I hope that, wherever you are, you are enjoying good health as well as a blend of excitement and contentment that is just right for you.
Alex has asked, ‘What plant-based food can I use to replace fish? I want to make one or two recipes that are old favourites, but they call for fish in the recipe.’
I love this! Converting favourite recipes so they are plant-based is very satisfying and creative. It can take one or two attempts before the dish turns out just the way you like it, but then you can enjoy the look and flavours of a familiar dish knowing it is now vegan.
Looking for new ingredients to fill the role of out-dated, animal-based ingredients can be great fun. I have called it Swap Shopping and it’s something I have done a great deal of, over the years. Here are a few possible substitutes for fish:
Seitan is made from a protein in wheat called gluten. It is available in many meat-analogue products because it is easily shaped and flavoured. You can make seitan at home (check out YouTube for videos that demonstrate the process) or buy it canned. Simply shape, chop or slice it then saute, roast or marinate it. Note that some people are allergic to gluten.
Yuba is a thin layer of protein that comes to the surface when making soya milk in a large pan. It is skimmed off the surface and then dried, frozen or stored in the fridge for a day or two until it is cooked. You can make yuba yourself but the process is lengthy; you might prefer to buy it at first. Some products use yuba, but label it simply as soya or tofu. Buy it online, from a health food shop or from a Japanese or Southeast Asian grocer.
Yuba can be used as a wrap for spring rolls or dumplings; or sliced into soups, pasta or casseroles. Folded and layered it makes cakes or cutlets used as a high-protein meat substitute. Marigold Foods sell a canned product called Braised Tofu, which appears to be layered yuba in a light sauce. This product resembles canned tuna and has a texture that can be ‘flaked’ with a fork.
Jackfruit has become popular in recent years as a ‘vegetable meat’ or ‘vegan cod’ because it has a dense, meat-like texture. Some people mix it with tofu and herbs to make a battered ‘fish’ in the classic fish and chips mode. You can create a variety of textures from jackfruit, which is sold fresh, frozen or in cans. Fully ripe, it is sweet. For savoury dishes, the unripe fruit is best.