You may be asking why i bothered to make faux fish fingers at all? Well, I made these because when eating supper the other night i innocently ask Callum (innocently as in deviously) what one dish would he want me to veganise. His answer came out even before he could give it adequate thought- fish and chips!
In the spirit of extremity (i believe thats the term) i didn’t even consider just making these vegan, i went straight into raw mode. I had a rather large can of Jackfruit staring at me from the shelf thats just that wee bit too high for my mere 5’5(.5)” and it occurred to me that i haven’t yet shared this superhero with ya’ll yet.
Mr Jackfruit, introduced by a good friend of Green & Leithy (thanks Clare) is such a superb fruit. Though i’ve only been able to get hold of him tinned (and therefore cooked) i can’t comment on how it would be fresh but even so, its one hell of an ingredient. Available from many of the supermarkets around Leith, i would recommend opting for the kind thats in brine.
Once home, drain the fruit and rinse well. Use your hands to squeeze out the excess water- you’ll immediately notice that it flakes apart and looking uncannily like both fish and pulled pork- crazy similar! I’ve marinated this guy is raw BBQ sauce and served it to Callum, we both agreed it would totally fool any omnivore!
For our fish fingers i pretty much followed the recipe from the fabulous site Nouveau Raw but as i mentioned, the jackfruit i used is cooked- for a fully raw recipe go check out Amie. She has one of the most comprehensive, delicious and inspiring raw vegan sites.
These little guys packed a really decent flavour, certainly more “of the sea” than regular fish fingers- the jackfruit, seaweed and celery mingle in truly marvellous ways. Although these flavours are of note, they’re not overpowering in a “smells like the underside of an old boat” kind of way. Just a fragrant undertone that lifts the richness of seeds and nuts both within the fingers and in the “bread crumbs”.
The tartare sauce is pretty mind-blowing in its own right. I didn’t have access to horseradish of any form so i tweaked Amie’s recipe. I found that capers, pickled cucumber and a liberal pinch of freshly ground peppercorns did the trick just swell. Slightly tart, fresh and creamy all at once. Honestly, if i’d ever liked the stuff in the first place (save for the retro mini packets that adorn “gastro” pubs) i would chose this version every time.
Oh yes, and you can totally cook these in a regular oven, for about 15 minutes and i reckon they would be damn fine.
Faux Fish Fingers:
(Makes about 12, RAWish, Vegan, Gluten Free)
- 1 can Jackfruit (in brine, drained, rinsed well and squeezed dry)
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds, soaked overnight
- 2 stalks Celery
- 1/2 Red Onion
- juice and zest 1 Lime
- 1 1/2 tbsp Dried Seaweed
- 1 tsp Tamari
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp Dill
- 4 tbsp Water (depending on how wet your jackfruit is)
- 1/2 cup Cashews
- 1/8 cup ground Flax Seeds
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Peppercorns, ground
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Grind all the breadcrumb ingredients in a spice grinder/ blender/ pestle for a few seconds until fine
- Dump onto a chopping board/ surface and set aside
- Combine all the ingredients for the fish fingers except the water and half the jackfruit- pulse until pretty uniform (adding the water as/ should you need) or until the mixture starts sticking together
- Use your hands to pull apart the remaining jackfruit into “flakes” combine with the rest of the mixture, set aside and leave to rest for an hour
- Now spread the breadcrumbs out into a thin layer
- Tip the fish finger mixture out onto a chopping board, use a lightly oiled rolling pin to create a large, flat disk, about 1 1/2″ thick
- With a sharp knife, portion out your fingers
- Carefully lift each one onto the crumbs, pour and pack enough crumbs around each so that they are evenly coated
- Dehydrate for 4 hours
RAW Tartare Sauce:
- 1 cup Cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Pickle Juice (or more vinegar)
- 1 tbsp Peppercorns, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 4 Spring Onions, finely sliced
- 1 Pickled Cucumber, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp Capers
- Add the first 6 ingredients to a blender and blitz for a few minutes, until smooth
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in the last three ingredients