Saturday, November 24, 2007

November 17, 2007: 'Fish' fingers

The weekend was shaping up to be a decadent one (if you think Friday night was big, wait 'til you see what we ate on Sunday!), and we desperately needed some fresh salad in the middle of it. The lineup of mixed greens, carrot and cucumber sticks and red capsicum were flavoured with pickled ginger and a dressing like this one. The more filling feature, though, was a tray of oven-baked tofu 'fish' fingers developed by Jennifer of Vegan Lunch Box fame. She really works to perfect her inventions before releasing them to the salivating public, but it's always worth the wait. The fingers are golden and crunchy even though they're baked with just a spray of oil, and the spice mix is a revelation - I've never used garlic powder before but I can see it becoming a spice rack staple! If garlic-seasoned crumbs aren't enough to get your mouth watering, keep in mind that these also include corn and almond meal, paprika and pepper.

I made a few minor changes to the recipe for the sake of convenience - I bought dulse flakes because I couldn't find kelp, skipped the onion powder and used a bit of extra garlic, skipped the dill entirely, and used water instead of soy milk. The one shortcoming of my fish fingers was that they were a bit tough. I probably over-baked them, and I plan to experiment with other tofu textures in future. The brand I chose was a bit too firm and crumbly, I think.

Even with these minor glitches, our fish fingers proved to be rather addictive when dipped into vegan mayonnaise. Along with the above alterations, I'll have to grab some pickles and capers next time to upgrade my vegannaise to tartare sauce - then we'll have hit on the ultimate vegan 'fish' finger experience.

Want a shot at these? Head over to Schmooed Food for the recipe.


  1. I've never used garlic powder either, but it must be wonderful here. Love Vegan Lunchbox - always puts my step-sons lunches to shame...

    A very delectable photo, Cindy. The dulse must give it a 'sea' kind of flavour - I've a block of tofu and some ginger pickling right now. Will report back.

  2. Hello, I have a box of kelp sitting in the pantry you could have had!! I bought it at the health food shop, I once visited a health retreat and they used it in place of salt on the table so I bought some and.... what can I say... Garlic powder, my dad used it for his sausages and I often use it in my hamburgers, it's good if you don't want to add too much more moisture to your ingredients... Vida x

  3. I don't use garlic powder for many things, but it is definitely a favourite of mine for one particular thing, garlic bread. I would spread some bread with butter, sprinkle some garlic powder, sprinkle some dried parsley, pop into grill and voila, instand garlic bread.

  4. Lucy, I hope your version worked out! I am a new fan of pickled ginger in salads since discovering it at Hooked.

    Funny, Vida! I have actually been keeping an eye out for kelp in various health food shops for months but to no avail. Not sure if I would enjoy the flavour everywhere that I use salt, but it's worth a shot. The garlic powder promises to be more versatile...

    We are on the same wavelength, Thanh! I definitely had lazy garlic bread and grilled cheese sandwiches in mind for the garlic powder. :-D

  5. Note for future 'fish' fingers: Tonight Michael used silker tofu, which fell into small bite-size pieces, didn't grind the crumb mixture as finely, and increased the quantity of dulse flakes. The results were excellent - a softer texture inside, a distinct roasted almond flavour outside, and a real taste of the sea.