I know I recently posted a 'fishless' type of dish, but I am so proud of this recipe! Dare I say that? This was a first-time experiment after I bought some kelp powder and I wanted to do something with it. I was so impressed by the taste and texture of these vegan fish cakes that I kept jabbering about how brilliant they were as my son and I were eating them!
Thankfully, he was also mightly impressed. He is vegan now, but used to like fishcakes a lot. So his 'thumbs up' was a great sign for me. As the name suggests though - no fish have been harmed in the making of these cakes, and yet I know if I told someone these were 'fishcakes' (and they didn't know I was vegan), they would think they were fishcakes.
I have only used a couple of teaspoons of kelp powder in this recipe, so they are not overly 'fishy' flavoured - I prefer a more subtle flavour. There is just a hint of the sea in these. And the wheat gluten flour helps to keep them together, whilst also adding just a very slight bite (though I didn't add too much as I like a soft texture).
I imagine these vegan fishcakes would go down well with children as well. They are a far healthier alternative to commercial fishcakes (whether the vegan 'fishless' ones, or not), and they make a substantial meal served just with a veggie-packed salad, or even chips (that means fries, US readers!) and peas.
We had our 'Fishy Freedom Cakes' with some vegan mayonnaise and a big avocado, spinach, celery and carrot salad. You could also try serving them with my Vegan Tartate Sauce which would be a very suitable accompaniment.
One of the things I love about vegan cooking is how often I've managed to surprise myself about how easy it is to create the tastes of or 'veganise' foods that I used to eat - but managing to do it without causing any harm. I love conjuring up dishes that provide compassionate alternatives (although if I couldn't, I have to say I'd rather do without than continue contributing to cruelty).
But I don't need to do without - because for pretty much anything I used to eat, it seems I've come up with tasty and healthy vegan alternatives. And these delicious 'no fish' cakes are just one example. If you are not vegan, please give them a go and see what you think!
If you are vegan, please give them a go and see what you think! Hehe. I would love your comments, because I really love this recipe myself.
Fishy Freedom Cakes
Makes 6-8 patties (depending on the size you want them)
1 lb / 450g potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup / 150g cannellini beans
¼ cup wheat gluten flour
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 spring onions, finely chopped
¼ cup / 4 tablespoons fresh parsley
Juice of ½ lemon (approx 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons soya milk
2 teaspoons kelp powder
¾ teaspoon ground sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
Olive oil for frying
1. Cook the potatoes until soft, by bringing to the boil in a pan of salted water, and then gently boiling for around 10 minutes. When cooked, leave to drain and cool slightly.
2. In a food processor, blend the beans, spring onions, parsley, kelp powder, oil, sea salt, white pepper and lemon juice. You want the beans to be well blended.
3. Add the potatoes and milk, and blend further until well combined, then pulse in the wheat gluten flour. This will make the mixture drier and more malleable – like a very soft play dough.
4. Put the panko (or you may use standard white breadcrumbs, although I like how panko gets crispy) into a small dish. Form the fishcake mixture into patties, and press each side of patty into the panko, gently pressing the crumbs around the sides too.
5. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat some olive oil on medium. Fry a few fish(less) cakes at a time, for several minutes each side until each side is a lovely golden brown.
6. Serve them with vegan mayonnaise, a sprig of parsley and a wedge of lemon! Scrumptious!