Friday, July 10, 2009


Some time ago I enjoyed a fake 'fish' dish at Montreal's ChuChai vegetarian restaurant - well, several times, actually, along with fake prawns and fake chicken etc. etc. They did it very well, and all went brilliantly with the Thai flavours. Since then I have had soy and wheat meat substitutes of various kinds at Candle 79 in New York, at Toronto's Fressen, and in London, Ontario, including most notably at Veg-Out on Richmond Row. It was Veg-Out's renowned 'Fish' And Chips and (not to mention a delightful Daily Special of tempe Red 'Halibut' In Cashew Crumbs) that made me want to try to create my own version of faux fish. Just for the fun of it!


I had been hoping to find someone with a tried-and-true recipe for a fish-flavoured wheat meat (seitan) or soy meat on one of my groups, but it's a bad time of year to be asking people to be in their kitchens or even thinking of it. One kind person sent me a link to this page (thanks, John!):

I settled for the simple seitan formula in the above link and made half a recipe in the fillets of fish shape - although I made them a bit smaller than what is usual, I think. The photo above shows the fish, lightly pan-browned, before adding the sauce which I made with peanut, coconut, sambal oelek, mirin, and basil etc. Lovely. I'll put a photo of my plate, with sauce added, below.

As you may be able to see, we had it with small potatoes, steamed kohlrabi and new peas - eschewing traditional rice accompaniment for once.

A couple of days later we finished it off with a slightly different combination of vegetables - cut into smaller pieces and sort of stir-fried with mushrooms, onion, halved cherry tomatoes and cilantro (coriander leaves) and very lightly sauced with low-sodium tamari and mirin. The image is, I'm afraid, blurred - but the flavour was not.

I'm going to work on this recipe. When I've got it right or as close to being right as I can get, I'll post on it again :) I fancy some seitan salmon and seitan scallops and maybe even seitan smoked trout or whatever. Just for fun!


Erin said...

Ooh, I would love a good faux-fish seitan recipe! Hope it works out well for you.

Carrie™ said...

One of the things I really miss since going veg is salmon. I grew up on the East Coast and man, could my grandmother make a mean salmon! I tried faux salmon at Vegetarian Haven in TO and while it was tasty, it wasn't even close. I've done faux fish sticks with some success. Keep us up to date on your progress.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I have tired to find a faux fish recipe as well, but nothing every came out of it. Best I make is faux tuna with garbanzo beans. lol

'River' (aka Pat) said...

Gonna make this faux fish recipe again this week and then shall push on to some more exotic versions if it works. I want to perfect this one first, although it was very good as it was. Cheers, everyone!

Maija Haavisto said...

Hmm, interesting, I've never heard of mock fish made with seitan. Usually it's always tofu or tempeh, sometimes beans. It seems to me like it would be difficult to get the texture right (or even somewhere close) with seitan.

River said...

No, Maija, I hadn't heard of seitan fish either and was worried about trying it. I didn't get it quite as flaky as I would have liked, but it worked remarkably well. I was surprised. I haven't done that for some time, not sure why, but your comment has inspired me to try to perfect it. Thanks for visiting - love your blog!!! Hugs.