Fresh yet filling, these delicious Vegan Fish Tacos are a crazy fun 30 minute meal. Loaded with fresh goodies like creamy avocado, tangy red cabbage, and a spicy chipotle aioli, these vegan tacos are like a flavor explosion in your mouth.
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Hey Internet, here and there, I’m trying to refresh old recipes with new photos, a how-to video, a little bit more explanation (oops) and, of course, substitution ideas.
I was really happy when I stumbled upon these vegan fish tacos, because I remembered how good they were and I thought, “yay, an excuse to make these again!”
If that sounds silly, let me explain it by saying that every single thing I eat nowadays is either a recipe test, a photoshoot, or a video shoot. I don’t get to make a whole bunch of my old recipes because I’m trying to come up with new ones!
Although, I have been making my vegan stew with dumplings on repeat… but hey, it’s cold outside!
So, it’s still winter here in the midwest US, and I need to feel like I’m somewhere tropical. Seems like a perfect time to make vegan fish taco
How in the heck do ya do that?
Hearts of palm is the *heart* of the vegan fish … nugget, for lack of a better word. But we’ll talk more about that in the next section.
In this recipe, hearts of palm are breaded and baked (you can also air fry or pan fry if you prefer) until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Then you can load up your tacos with whatever you like: I marinated some red/purple cabbage and added that plus avocado, chipotle aioli, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime in a warmed white corn tortilla. Delicious!
As I mentioned before, this is a fun, 30 minute meal that’s perfect for Taco Tuesday or whenever. I’m planning a little Island Day (in my apartment… in Chicago… in February…) and these will be the perfect festive food.
These vegan fish tacos would go awesome with some margaritas, or if alcohol isn't your thing try these with lime slushies!
Let’s get started!
What You’ll Need
First up, you’ll need some hearts of palm. I like to buy mine online from Native Forest, because they’re sustainably grown and harvested there and certified organic.
I also use hearts of palm in my vegan crab rangoon and they are often used in salads or other mock seafood like vegan ceviche (coming soon)!
Trying to find them in a grocery store? You can usually find them in the canned vegetable or bean section, or occasionally near the pickles and olives. Sometimes they are jarred, but I usually see them canned.
Now, the batter. I recommend a somewhat thick batter and I LOVE the flavor that garbanzo (chickpea) flour gives any batter, plus it gives an extra boost of protein! You can also just use regular all purpose flour or cornflour, though.
I mix that flour with an unsweetened unflavored non-dairy milk and there’s my wet batter.
For the dry batter, I like to use medium grind cornmeal as a base. You could also use breadcrumbs or panko.
I like to flavor the dry batter with garlic powder, onion powder, a little sea salt and some dulse flakes.
Dulse is a type of seaweed that is commonly sold as granules or flakes. It is one of the least ocean-y tasting seaweeds I've tried (and there's so little of it in this recipe you won't have to worry about it tasting like seaweed).
Sea vegetables are actually very good for you. Dulse in particular is high in potassium and calcium. It's also very low in sodium but does give a nice salty flavor to whatever you're eating.
Kelp granules would be a good substitute if you can’t find dulse flakes.
Or you can also just omit the seaweed.
Other Taco Ingredients
The other ingredients in these tacos are just optional add-ons that I’ll tell you how to make.
The marinated cabbage is literally just shredded cabbage that’s been tossed well with a little sea salt and some apple cider vinegar (any vinegar or fresh citrus will also work). Let that sit while your vegan fish nuggets are baking and it will get a bit more tender and less bitter.
The chipotle aioli is made by mixing vegan mayo (homemade or store bought) with chipotle powder and some fresh lemon juice (or lime, or vinegar).
I decided at the last minute it wasn’t spicy enough and added more chipotle powder and some sriracha after the video was done being filmed. Oops.
Finally, other add-ons include creamy avocado, fresh cilantro if you like it (I do, hubby doesn’t… more for me!) and fresh lime.
Tips for Making Vegan Fish Tacos
These are so easy, I barely need to write out instructions! You’ll love how quickly this recipe comes together.
- Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (or 218 degrees Celsius) and line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Alternatively, you can air fry (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 205 degrees Celsius for 7-10 minutes, check partway through).
- Drain the cans of hearts of palm (don’t rinse), and cut in 1” pieces. If any of the layers fall off, just put it back together and set them aside for now--we’ll use them!
- Prep your batter station. In a wide medium bowl, whisk together the garbanzo bean flour and non-dairy milk. In a second wide medium bowl, whisk together the medium grind cornmeal, spices, and dulse flakes. On the far side (right if you’re right handed, left if you’re left handed), place one of the lined baking sheets. Alternatively you can place your air fryer basket there if you are air frying these (but note you should cook them in a single layer with a little space in between each one).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius).
- Take a piece of hearts of palm, dip it in the wet mixture and let the excess drip off for a few seconds, then place it in the dry batter. Use your clean hand to sprinkle some of the dry mixture over the piece and then roll it to get it well covered. Then using the dry mix hand, carefully place it on the baking sheet. Repeat till all pieces are dredged and battered. For those pieces that want to come apart, carefully wet them in the wet batter and use a spoon to help you cover them in the dry batter, then place one end on the sheet so it’s standing up, so it can’t come undone. Use a second tray if needed.
- Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the tray(s) half way through.
- While the vegan fish is baking, make the cabbage by adding the vinegar and the sea salt to the cabbage, mixing well and setting it aside to soften a bit.
- Also while the fish is baking, you can make the chipotle aioli. Take your vegan mayo and mix it with the chipotle powder and lemon juice. Taste and adjust accordingly. I added some sriracha for depth of flavor and more heat.
- Start heating your tortillas. I do this over the gas stove and use grill tongs to flip and move my tortillas. Keep them warm in a clean kitchen towel or cloth napkin while you heat the other tortillas.
- When everything is done, it’s time to assemble your vegan fish tacos! Add some cabbage to your taco, a few nuggets of the hearts of palm, a little more cabbage if you like, a few pieces of avocado, a generous drizzle of aioli, some cilantro if you like it, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftover taco components in separate containers to maintain freshness. The cabbage will last 3-4 days while the nuggets should last up to 5. Refrigerate the chipotle aioli in a jar or a container with a tight lid for up to 5 days as well. Reheat those nuggets in the air fryer, oven, or toaster oven for crispness. You can freeze the nuggets in an airtight freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
More Quick Vegan Dinners
I am super pressed for time some nights but still want to get a healthy and delicious dinner on the table. Here’s some of my favorite quick recipes:
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Mr. Zardyplants loves it too. Luna just loves all food, which is why she’s trying to get his food in that picture.
These vegan fish tacos are:
- And perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner, but impressive enough to serve guests!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!
These tacos were so good my dog kept trying to get one. Luna, sit!