After a few days in the country side relaxing and soaking up some sunshine I return to bring you a special recipe I have developed. "Fish are friends not food." Finding Nemo certainly got it right there, our oceans are incredibly at risk due to pollution and overfishing, and I hope these fishless tacos prove you don't need to eat fish. In just 55 years, humans have managed to reduce the population of the ocean’s top predators by 90%. These are animals like sharks, bluefin tuna, swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel. We cannot continue to eat fish at the rate we do, yet these valuable creatures often don't make the cut from people's diet because they are seen as form of lesser animals.I love Mexican inspired dishes. The fish taco originated in Baja California, Mexico, and are traditionally served with red cabbage and a white sauce such as mayonnaise or sour cream. I stuck to a similar formula and paired the fishless taco filling (what the hell do I call the filling stuff, fishless fish/ fishless fingers/ taco filling? I don't know) with chipotle yoghurt and corn slaw.
The actual fishless taco filling was adapted from a recipe I saw demonstrated by Vegan Chef Day at Veggie World London. The main ingredient is jackfruit. The jackfruit is native to South and South East Asia and is widely used in cuisines local to those parts of the world. The fruits flesh has a flaky texture that makes it good for simulating fish or meat such as pulled pork. Jackfruit isn't sold in the main national supermarkets but it can be found in Chinese/Asian supermarkets. For this recipe I used young green jackfruit in brine. I was told to look for it in water by a few people when I was looking into getting my hands on some, but I couldn't find any and actually think as brine is salt water it probably added to the fishy taste.
Jackfruit is high in dietary fibre. It is also a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and is rich in B-complex vitamins. It contains outstanding amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Much of the fishy flavour in this dish actually comes from seaweed. I used toasted, crumbled sheets of nori to add that flavour de ocean.
I served my tacos on soft tacos but you could use hard shells, or just large lettuce leaves to serve yours. I also topped mine with heirloom tomatoes and avocado.
For the fishless taco filling
2 sheets of nori
1 tin of young green jackfruit in brine
1 tin of chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon of dried chipolte chilli
For the corn slaw
1/2 red cabbage
1/4 green chilli
1/4 red chilli
1 corn on the cob
juice of 1 lime
50g fresh coriander
For the chipotle yoghurt
3 tablespoons coconut/plain yogHurt (I used this one)
1 teaspoon chipotle paste
gluten free tacos
1) In a dry frying pan, on a high heat toast the sheets of nori on each side for around 2 minutes, or until the nori has darkened and is crumbly.
2) Place the nori and the drained jackfruit in a food processor and blitz until flaky. (See photo above) Place in a large bowl.
3) Place the drained chickpeas and the leek in the blender and blend. Add to the jackfruit and nori. Add the spices and the lemon juice and mix well. Place the bowl in the fridge.
4) Place the corn on the cob in a dry pan and fry. Turning occasionally until the corn has browned.
5) Thinly slice the cabbage, green and red chill and coriander. Grate the carrot and place everything in a bowl. Remove the corn from the heat and slice down the corn. Removing the yellow corns from the husk. Add to the bowl and squeeze lime over everything.
6) In another bowl combine the yoghurt and chipotle paste.
7) Heat a frying pan with a small amount of oil. Remove the taco filling bowl from the fridge and roll into small sausage type shapes. Place into the frying pan and fry until a dark brown colour.
8) Assemble tacos and you're ready to eat!