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Vegan Salmon! Pan-Seared Fillets • It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken

Show of hands: Who wants to try my newest creation? It’s a delicious, pan-seared fish-inspired fillet that has the most amazing crispy skin and tender, flaky inside. The flavour is mild but full-bodied umami with hints of butter, nuts, and the ocean.  It pairs beautifully with a squeeze of lemon and melts in your mouth with every bite.  Have you guessed it? Are your hands still up? If so, I present to you: Vegan Salmon! Oh, yeah.

Vegan Salmon! Pan-Seared Fillets! My newest creation, this Vegan Salmon recipe is a delicious, pan-seared fish-inspired fillet that has the most amazing crispy skin and tender, flaky inside. The flavour is a mild but full-bodied umami with hints of butter, nuts, lemon zest, and the ocean.  It pairs beautifully with dill and melts in your mouth with every bite. #itdoesnttastelikechicken #vegansalmon #veganseafood

OK, so I’m really getting into adding to my growing list of vegan seafood recipes (see: Vegan Lobster, Vegan Crab Cakes, Vegan Scallops, the list goes on!) Admittedly, Vegan Salmon took a few attempts before I felt like I really nailed it.  The biggest challenge was getting the flavour balance juuuust right and, after multiple attempts, I can say that red marinades look very strange and not always very appetizing.. especially when you have 3-4 going simultaneously and your kitchen counter is a bunch of bowls filled with red liquid and tofu fillets floating in them!

Vegan Salmon! Pan-Seared Fillets! My newest creation, this Vegan Salmon recipe is a delicious, pan-seared fish-inspired fillet that has the most amazing crispy skin and tender, flaky inside. The flavour is a mild but full-bodied umami with hints of butter, nuts, lemon zest, and the ocean.  It pairs beautifully with dill and melts in your mouth with every bite. #itdoesnttastelikechicken #vegansalmon #veganseafood

But hey, that’s recipe writing for you! It’s not always easy and glamourous and can get pretty weird and messy while you take a few kicks at the can. But when the end result is this delicious, you put up with what can (at times) feel like a chaotic kitchen!  I hope everyone enjoys these Vegan Salmon fillets!

How to make vegan salmon:

Pressing the tofu to make Tofish Fillets

To prep the tofu: Prepare the tofu fillets by draining it, and then pressing it for 15 to 30 minutes. I love using my Tofuture tofu press, but you can also follow these instructions for a DIY tofu pressing method. Pressing the tofu squeezes excess water out so that the tofu can suck up more of the marinade and become more flavourful.
Add slices to make the vegan salmon fillets flaky

Cut the tofu in half lengthwise, and then in half lengthwise again making 4 long skinny strips of tofu. Take one piece of tofu and place a chopstick on either side of the tofu to stop you from cutting all the way through, so the slices remain intact. Slice the tofu partway through repeatedly about ⅛” apart to give the tofu a flaky texture. Repeat with the other tofu slices. Be careful handling them as they will be fragile.

Tip: I like to cut the slices on a slight angle to be more similar to how fish flakes. 🙂

Make a fishy tasting marinade

For the marinade: Add all of the marinade ingredients together in a blender. Blend until smooth as possible.

Place the tofu fillets in the fishy marinade

Place the tofu in a resealable bag or dish and cover it with the marinade. Let marinate in for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.

remove tofish fillets from fishy marinade and cover in cornstarch

To cook the vegan salmon: Put the cornstarch into a wide bowl or baking dish. If using the nori, cut the nori into strips roughly the same size as the tofu pieces. Gently remove a tofu piece from the marinade (be careful as it will be fragile). Dunk a strip of the nori into the marinade, then stick it to the back of the tofu. (Covering the nori in the marinade will help it stick to the tofu). Dredge the tofu with the nori attached in the cornstarch, covering all sides of the tofu. Repeat with all the tofu pieces.

Pan-sear tofish fillets to make vegan salmon

Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the cornstarch covered tofu. Fry 2 – 4 minutes per side until lightly golden all over. Remove from the pan and serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

Vegan Salmon! Pan-Seared Fillets! My newest creation, this Vegan Salmon recipe is a delicious, pan-seared fish-inspired fillet that has the most amazing crispy skin and tender, flaky inside. The flavour is a mild but full-bodied umami with hints of butter, nuts, lemon zest, and the ocean.  It pairs beautifully with dill and melts in your mouth with every bite. #itdoesnttastelikechicken #vegansalmon #veganseafood

Serve this vegan salmon with a side of rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, and some veg sug as a salad or garlic green beans. Yum!

Bon Appetegan!

Sam Turnbull.

Print Recipe

Vegan Salmon! Pan-seared Fillets

This Vegan Salmon recipe is a delicious, pan-seared fish-inspired fillet that has the most amazing crispy skin and tender, flaky inside. The flavour is mild but full-bodied umami with hints of butter, nuts, and the ocean.  It pairs beautifully with a squeeze of lemon and melts in your mouth with every bite. Recipe adapted from Bosh vegan salmon video.

Prep Time1 hr

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time1 hr 10 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 4

Calories: 281kcal

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 1 block (350g/ 12.3oz) extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and sliced (see step 1)

For the marinade:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 sheet nori, torn into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small raw beet (20g/ 0.7oz) (about the size of a walnut)
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

To cook the vegan salmon:

  • 1 sheet nori, (to make a skin, optional)
  • ½ cup cornstarch (more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons light oil for frying, (such as canola or vegetable), plus more if needed
  • lemon wedges for garnish (optional)

Instructions

To cook the vegan salmon:

  • Put the cornstarch into a wide bowl or baking dish. If using the nori, cut the nori into strips roughly the same size as the tofu pieces. Gently remove a tofu piece from the marinade (be careful as it will be fragile). Dunk a strip of the nori into the marinade, then stick it to the back of the tofu. (Covering the nori in the marinade will help it stick to the tofu). Dredge the tofu with the nori attached in the cornstarch, covering all sides of the tofu. Repeat with all the tofu pieces.

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the cornstarch covered tofu. Fry 2 – 4 minutes per side until lightly golden all over. Remove from the pan and serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

Notes

Baking: I love the pan-fried version of this recipe as it makes for beautiful crispy skin, but if you prefer to bake it, follow these steps. Omit the cornstarch dredge, and then bake the vegan salmon in a baking dish at 400F (200C) for about 10 minutes until heated through.
Air-fryer: I love the pan-fried version of this recipe as it makes for beautiful crispy skin, but if you prefer to bake it, follow these steps. Omit the cornstarch dredge, and then air-fry the vegan salmon in a preheated air-fryer at 360F (182C) for about 8 minutes until heated through.
Oil-free: to make this recipe oil-free, skip the pan-frying and follow either the baking or air-fryer instructions above.
Nori: this is the same seaweed that is used to make sushi rolls. It should be easy to find in your local grocery store, or you can order it online. Nori will give the vegan salmon a fishy flavour, so if you prefer less fish flavour, then reduce or omit it in the marinade. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (recipe makes 4 servings) | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1145mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg

 


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