I’ll warn you up front: this recipe will annoy most of the vegans among you. It’d annoy me a little bit if I came across it in a vegan blog. That’s because it calls for two ingredients most people probably can’t find. It may also annoy the non-vegans among you as well, because I’ve found that many non-vegans are annoyed by things that pretend to be meat. I’m going to post it anyway because I do sometimes find myself in possession of some realistic fake meat that I have no idea what to do with and it turned out really well. In fact, it turned out so well that I might try to replicate it with tofu – making it much more accessible – in the future. If you try it with something easier to find, like tofu, let me know the results!
Vegan Spicy Stewed Fish
8 oz vegan “fish” slices
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1″ piece ginger, grated
1/4 cup vegan “fish” sauce (you can try 2 Tbsp soy sauce + 2 Tbsp water if you can’t find this)
1/4 large red onion, or 2-3 shallots, small dice
1/2 tsp coarse red salt
1/2 tsp coriander, ground or crushed
7 oz diced tomatoes (half a can)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Zest and juice the lime and add the results to a large, shallow dish along with the garlic, ginger, and “fish” sauce. Whisk.
Marinate the “fish” slices in this mixture for anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple of hours, turning occasionally.
Slice the jalepeno …
… and dice the onion or shallots in a small dice.
Chop the cilantro:
Heat a small skillet over medium heat with a little oil. Add the onion and saute a few minutes.
Add the jalepeno and continue sauteing …
… until both are soft.
Smear a thin layer of the tomatoes into a baking dish.
Add the “fish” slices, sprinkle with salt and coriander, and then evenly pour the marinade over the slices.
Add the sauted onions and jalepenos in a layer.
Add the rest of the tomatoes in a layer then sprinkle with the coriander and press the leaves down into the sauce so they don’t burn.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. While the “fish” was baking, I sauteed up some more of those French beans I made the other night, this time tossing with garlic, shallot salt, and half of the rest of the tomatoes.
I also made some couscous, using broth instead of water and stirring in the remaining quarter can of tomatoes as well as some more of the shallot salt, with which I seem to be pretty heavy-handed lately.
Remove “fish” from oven.
This was really good! I asked Mark what he thought and he said, “I pretended it wasn’t fish and found that I really liked it!” (I don’t think that pretending it wasn’t fish required a large stretch of the imagination considering it wasn’t fish.) He also really liked the couscous and he ate more than a half a skillet of the beans, so for someone who claimed he wasn’t hungry, I’d say this meal turned out pretty well.
Here’s the whole meal:
I liked the texture of the “fish”, which I think will be hard to replicate without commercial products, but I do think tofu would adapt easily to this combination of flavors, so I think I’ll definitely try it again with tofu. Oooh, and I just realized that jackfruit would work really well here too! I think I’ll try that next now that I think of it!