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Opinion 27 plant-based ‘seafood’ recipes that are 100% ocean-friendly

Kitchen Tips
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Author: Liv Published: October 6, 2023

Innovative plant-based ‘seafood’ recipes and products are making waves in the culinary scene! By using versatile veg ingredients and clever cooking techniques, they make it possible to replicate all kinds of ocean-inspired dishes at home – with none of the fishy business.

As awareness of the link between our food choices and the environment continues to rise, more and more people are setting sail towards more sustainable plant-based eating … and the seafood scene is no exception. 

Add a splash of the sea to your home cooking with these mouth-watering (and ocean-friendly!) vegan recipes:  

1. Banana Blossom ‘Fish’ and Chips

Overhead image of battered 'fish' and chips with tartare sauce.

The flaky, melt-in-your-mouth texture of banana blossom makes it a great alternative to fish in meat-free dishes – especially when dressed up with a seaweed-infused marinade and crispy batter!

2. Vegan Fish Fillets

These faux-fish fillets made from tofu, jackfruit, and seitan are super simple and versatile – delicious pan-fried but also ideal for use in seafood-inspired tacos, soups, and stews.

3. Beer-battered Tofu with Tartare Sauce

Tofu is nearly unrecognisable in this beachside cafe-inspired recipe. The kelp-infused marinade and crunchy layer of beer batter lend it that authentic fried-fish flavour. 

4. Vegan Filet of ‘Fish’ Burger

Delicious looking burger with crumbed vegan 'fish', cheese, tartare sauce, and lettuce, served with a wedge of lemon.

Made with marinated, battered, and fried tofu fillets, and slathered with a creamy homemade tartare sauce, these vegan fish burgers are perfect for an easy yet indulgent lunch.

5. Thai Tofu Cakes with Sweet & Spicy Sauce

A scrumptious plant-based version of the classic Thai fishcake, these golden, spice-laden patties are amazing either by themselves or as part of a Thai-inspired spread. 

6. Crabless Cakes with Tartare Sauce

A serving plate of pan-fried vegan crab cakes on a bed of spinach served with lemon wedges.

These plant-based crab cakes are so similar in taste, look, and texture to the real thing that you’ll have a hard time convincing people they’re made of 100% plant-based ingredients!

7. One-Pot Creamy Fettucine with Peas & King Oyster Mushroom ‘Scallops’

Full of lemony, garlicky flavour and the tender bite of king oyster mushroom scallops, this creamy fettuccine recipe is a must-have addition to your plant-based repertoire.

8. King Oyster Mushroom ‘Scallops’

An overhead image of a pasta dish topped with king oyster mushroom scallops.

Another recipe in which king oyster mushrooms shine as scallops, this time marinated in vegan-friendly dashi, garlic, and white miso for that salty, sea-inspired effect.

9. Salt & Pepper Mushroom ‘Calamari’

King trumpet mushrooms are transformed in this plant-based take on a familiar seafood classic – and they’re so ‘meaty’ that you truly would not know the difference!

10. Vegan Prawns

Ready to chuck these panko-coated prawns on the barbie (or in your oven, air fryer, or deep fryer)? They’re made primarily from vegan sausages and are just as yum as they look.

11. Sushi with Teriyaki Tofu & Black Rice

Teriyaki tofu is a delicious go-to for a variety of dishes, including this fantastic fishless sushi recipe – customisable with just about whatever veg you have at home.

12. Sushi Bowl with Seaweed Sesame Tofu

Is this not one of the prettiest bowls you’ve ever seen? Seaweed and sesame marinated tofu stars alongside fresh accompaniments like radishes, carrot, kale, and avocado. 

13. Watermelon Poke Bowl

Who knew watermelon could make a convincing alternative to fish? The key is to marinate it, bake it, and let it continue to marinate for a day. Trust us, it’s worth the prep time and patience!

14. Sesame Smashed Cucumber, Avocado & Nori Salad

This light and refreshing salad features sesame smashed cucumber for crunch, avocado for creaminess, and nori for that pleasant seaweed taste that ties it all together.

15. Vegan Fish Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Corn Slaw

Buttery, flaky heart of palm stands in for fish in these addictive, spicy tacos. The subtle, ocean-like flavour comes from kelp granules and is balanced by a bright and zesty slaw. 

16. Vegan Ceviche Tacos with Guacamole

Heart of palm is also a fabulous alternative to ceviche. This taco recipe uses dulse flakes (a type of red seaweed) to impart a slight brininess, and white miso paste for that umami depth. 

17. Vegan Caviar

Anything is possible with a little creativity – even vegan caviar! These shiny, jet-black pearls are rich and fishy, guaranteed to impress with their authentic look and surprisingly complex taste. 

18. Kelp-infused Pasta with Broccoli Sauce

Kelp Pasta Broccoli dish on a plate.

Broccoli, garlic, and lemon zest is already a winning combination for a pasta dish, but using kelp-infused pasta adds a subtle, seafood-reminiscent quality that somehow makes it even better.

19. Vegan Fish Pie

Fish pie – a classic British dish – is comforting, herby, hearty, and now, 100% plant-based. The dreamy filling is made from butter beans and leeks, topped with a layer of mashed potato. 

20. Tomato Lox & Schmear Bagels

With a bit of culinary magic, marinated tomatoes can closely replicate the flavour and texture of smoked salmon – making for a divine vegan version of a lox and schmear!

21. Vegan Clam Chowder

This creamy plant-based clam chowder tastes pretty darn close to the original, with white button mushrooms in place of clams, and a wholesome blend of veggies and herbs.

22. Tangy Chickpea Tuna-Less Sandwich

It has to be tasted to be believed, but chickpeas – mashed up to the right texture with mayo, mustard, lemon juice, and additional seasonings like capers, dill, nori, and chives – miraculously taste just like tuna.

23. Jackfruit Tuna Melt Sandwich

You can also make tuna from jackfruit! It has exactly the right texture and soaks up any flavours you cook it with. Pair it with a melty vegan cheese and sourdough bread for a decadent toastie.

24. Vegan Lobster Rolls

These vegan lobster rolls not only look glorious, they also taste like pure summer and are ridiculously easy to throw together. You can also enjoy the ‘lobster’ separately as a salad.

25. Vegan Tartar Sauce 4 Ways

The taste of this dairy-free and vegan tartar sauce is spot-on. It goes well with anything you’d usually put tartar sauce on – seafood-style recipes, burgers, pastas, and even potato salad!

26. Vegan Fish Curry

This vegan twist on fish curry is, honestly, mind-blowing. The banana blossom ‘fish’ is delicately crispy on the outside, soft and flaky on the inside, and drenched in a delectable curry sauce.

27. Plant-based ‘Fish’ Sticks

A plate piled high with vegan 'fish sticks' served on a bed of lettuce, with several condiments to the side.

These crispy, tempeh-based fish sticks taste like pure childhood nostalgia. Serve them with mayo or ketchup, or whip up the avocado wasabi sauce from the recipe to add a gourmet touch.

Plant-based seafood products

To make cooking ocean-friendly meals even more convenient, there are also heaps of plant-based ‘seafood’ products available at supermarkets, health food stores, Asian grocers, and online. 

Think everything from shrimp, scallops, and calamari to oven-ready fish fillets and crab cakes, all made from plants!

You can check out the VegKit shopping guide for a taste of what’s on offer, and order a wide selection of products for delivery from online stores like Vegan Perfection, La Vida Vegan, and Kind to Earth.

But be sure to check out your local stores too, as this is just a drop in the ocean in terms of what’s out there! There has been a tidal wave of new products recently, so you never know what tasty treasures you might find on the shelves.

Happy cooking! 

Whether you’re making a dish yourself, purchasing a product, or ordering off a menu, every time you choose plant-based seafood over traditional seafood, you’re helping to protect our vulnerable ocean ecosystems and the remarkable animals who call them home. 

So dive in and enjoy the ocean-friendly feasts that plants can bring to our plates – knowing that every delicious bite is helping turn the tide towards a kinder and more sustainable future!

Liv's author bio image

Meet Liv!

Having grown up in a “meat and 3 veg” kind of household, Liv’s embarrassed to admit that she was a bit of a one-note chef until she began exploring the world of plant-based food. Vegan cooking has given her a whole new appreciation for the symphonies of flavours that simple, nourishing wholefood ingredients can create. (Even eggplant, once her greatest nemesis, is now — in a delicious, miso-glazed redemption arc — her all-time favourite veg.)

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