Fishless Baja Tacos

Fishless Baja Tacos

These fishy fakeout tacos are guaranteed to instantly transport you seaside.


Savor the flavor of seafood, without compromising your vegan ethics, with these tangy fisheless tacos from Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner. Crunchy vegetables and homemade mango salsa take this recipe over the edge.

What you need:

For the mango salsa:
2 mangos, pitted, peeled, and diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ cup diced red onion
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons diced jalapeño
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
For the chickpea fillets:
1 cup chickpea flour
½ teaspoon kelp granules
½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dried dill
Several dashes of black pepper
2 cups water
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup non-dairy milk
¾ cup arrowroot powder
1 cup gluten-free brown rice breadcrumbs (see tip)
Olive oil spray
For the tacos:
6 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 to 3 radishes, thinly sliced, optional
Vegan tartar sauce, optional


What you do:

1. Into a large bowl, mix mango salsa ingredients. Chill until ready to use.

2. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

3. Into a small bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, kelp granules, Old Bay, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, dill, and pepper.

4. Bring water to a boil, then whisk in chickpea flour mixture and reduce heat to medium-high. Continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, until mixture thickens considerably. Whisk in oil and remove from heat. Pour into prepared loaf pan and use a rubber spatula to spread evenly. Refrigerate at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.

5. When mixture has chilled and hardened, remove from refrigerator. Use the parchment paper to lift the block out of the pan. Slice block widthwise into 6 fillets.

6. Pour non-dairy milk into one shallow bowl, arrowroot powder into another, and breadcrumbs into another. Using one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry, dredge one chickpea fillet in milk and then in the arrowroot powder. Tap off excess arrowroot powder, then dredge in milk again, and finally in breadcrumbs. When fully coated, set on a plate and repeat with remaining fillets.

7. Line a plate with paper towels. Heat a large frying pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Liberally spray the bottom of the pan with olive oil and heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Place the fillets in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown all over. Transfer the fillets to paper towels.

8. Respray the pan with olive oil, add 1 tortilla, and cook for 30 seconds on each side, until heated but still soft and pliable. Remove from pan, place on a plate, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

9. To assemble the tacos, sprinkle a couple pinches of shredded cabbage and radish slices (if using) into the middle of a heated tortilla. Top with a chickpea fillet and the mango salsa. Serve with vegan tartar sauce, if using.

Photo credit: The Experiment

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