I’ve never had a fish-based fish taco, but I get the concept: fill a warmed tortilla with crispy battered filets with a flaky interior, add some fresh chopped cabbage for texture, cilantro for color and a clean element and maybe some creamy or spicy sauce to finish. It’s pretty easy to replicate this idea with a completely vegan fish analogue like Gardein fishless filets at home or out at Veggie Grill, which uses Match meat as the fish base.
But if you eat vegan fish tacos as often as we do, it’s good to have options, and this one is fantastic! All you need is a can of hearts of palm and a willingness to fry. To replicate a fish filet, you simply smush a piece of hearts of palm to slightly flatten it, coat in rice flour, dip in an egg replacement like Ener-G, then coat in seasoned flour and cornstarch before gently plopping it into hot oil for a few minutes. The result is a super crispy and flaky “fish” filet that perfect for tucking to a warmed tortilla with crisp vegetables and something spicy like sriracha or fresh jalepenos and vegan sour cream to cool it down.
TO MAKE THE HEARTS OF PALM
- 14 ounces can of hearts of palm, drained then pressed flat with the palm of your hand (be gentle to keep them intact—but it’s okay if some break apart)
- 2 TB Ener-G, whisked with 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- plenty of canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- chopped cabbage
- handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
- vegan sour cream, for serving
- fresh avocado slices
- fresh jalepeno, sliced
- chopped tomato
- lime wedges
- 4–6 tortillas, warmed
TO FRY THE HEARTS OF PALM
- Bring several inches of oil to 350 degrees. (I use a small cast iron pot, but you can use a small heavy stainless steel or dutch oven or a deep fryer.)
- While the oil is heating, set up 3 wide, shallow bowls in a row. In the first bowl, add the rice flour. In the second bowl, add the Ener-G mixture. In the third bowl, combine the cornstarch with the flour and onion and garlic powders.
- Once the oil is ready, place one of the hearts of palm into the rice flour and coat well. Tap off any extra, and toss it into the Ener-G mixture, then coat well in the cornstarch+flour mixture. You can fry 2-3 pieces of hearts of palm at a time.
- Fry for a few minutes, until slightly golden, then transfer to paper towels and immediately season with salt.
- Repeat with the remaining hearts of palm pieces.
- Serve immediately with the warmed tortillas and fillings as desired.