Saturday, March 19, 2016

Vegan Fish Substitute


As you may recall, I was wwoofing on a farm while completing a permaculture design. This meant that I had ample opportunity to enjoy many fruits. Just before Christmas day, I leapt at the opportunity to finally try something I'd always wanted to.
Some years before, some Rastafarians (whose lifestyle is vegan) had told me of this fish substitute. I have only just had my first opportunity to try it and am amazed. Despite the fact that I did not know how to season fish, it looks, even smells and tastes like fish. In fact, the neighbor’s cat even ate 2 pieces.
Vegan fish substitute by Naturopathic Control

I had only a quarter of a crunchy green soursop fruit.
Using a sharp knife, I removed the heart and skin and then cut the soursop into quarter inch slices.


I removed the seeds and then washed the slices.



The only instructions I got from this point was to soak and prepare the slices as I would fish. Of course, I am not sure how fish is done. So this is what I did. I soaked the slices in sea salt water for about 10 minutes.

I put aside 3 bowls with

1.     egg substitute (ie flaxseed)

2.     herbs and spices (dried rosemary, black pepper, curry powder, finely chopped up garlic and clove powder) ....  and onion (I almost forgot it) and
3.     oatmeal with baking powder. I tend to use oatmeal as a wheat flour substitute. So, if you are comfortable with gluten, use flour.


When the egg substitute was mucilagenous, I combined it with the herbs and spices. I then added some finely chopped onion (not the oats). I liked it that the holes the seeds had left made great pouche into which chopped onion and garlic can become permanently lodged.

I submerged and massaged the slices of soursop into the batter before covering them with oatmeal.


 


I fried the slices in coconut oil in a heavy cast iron frying pan. Coconut oil is suitable for frying since, unlike other oils, it does not degrade with heat. Furthermore, it imparts a lovely flavor to food. 
I flipped the slices to fry both sides.

After removing the slices from the heat, I allowed the excess oil to become absorbed into a paper towel on a plate.
As soon as the slices were cool enough to be handled, I tasted them. What a pleasant surprise! Green soursop fruit is a good fish substitute. How did the Rastafarians know? By chance I'd imagine. I got this green soursop from a farmer who said that, when he was in his fields, far from home, he started to munch on a green soursop one day when he got hungry. To my surprise, the green fruit did not taste badly and did not have that sticky milk characteristic of many unripened fruits. It was pleasant but not half as delightful as the ripened fruit.


After frying the first small set, I experimented with lightly stewing the green soursop fish substitute. As I said, I am uncertain of how to cook fish. I combined the slices with all the wet ingredients.
I then fried the fish substitute without dipping the slices into the oat mix (my flour substitute).

 

 
 

In the end, it was similarly pleasant to eat.


Below, the neighbor's cat ate the pieces without protest. This was the greatest test of this fish substitute. Unperturbed by the first piece, this picky kitten even ate a second piece.