Baja-Style Vegan "Fish" Tacos!

I’ve got spring fever!

It’s only the third day of spring and its already 76 degrees in sunny southern California.

Its reminiscent of summertime!

Oh how I long for those summer weekends when my family gathers to grill and laugh the day away. The days when everyone smells of coconut suntan lotion and the nights that are filled with fire pits and roasted marshmallows.   

Ahh…it’s a thing of perfection.

It’s days like today that make me crave some “summer preview” food to go along with the weather. Something fresh, crisp and well…fishy!

THAT’S not so perfect now is it?

Or can it be?

Oh it be, my brothers and sisters. It be.

One of my favorite “pre-Vegan” meals was crispy fish tacos! Hello? I’m a Mexican girl from California. No one should be surprised there. This recipe was inevitable!

When I originally turned from my evil eating ways, I started to bake my fish tacos. Along with almost everything else. And I still do actually. But let me just tell you right now that I fried these in a little oil.

Hey! Just because I’m a healthy Vegan girl doesn’t mean I’m never gonna fry a lil somethin’ somethin’ ever again, OK? Where’s the fun in that?

Just humor me here and live a little. The stats are still pretty impressive for all you Weight Watchers and calorie counters.

I think the urge to fry fish goes way back to some of my most favorite memories as a child. I tear up as I type this so I know that it does. You see, my dear sweet Grandpa was a fisherman. Growing up he would catch fresh catfish from the local lake on the weekend. He’d then bring it home, fillet it, beer-batter it and fry it all by himself! He also made french fries and hush puppies. The man was amazing! We would all gather round, feast and enjoy these times together to no end. For years. Now that he’s gone I wish I had just ONE more of his “fish fry” days with him…

Yes, that’s why, today I chose to fry my “fish” tacos. A tribute to his amazing beer-battered fish.

I love you, Grandpa. I miss you. Everyday.

Baja-Style Vegan “Fish” Tacos

So the texture isn’t exactly like fish but you definitely get the FEEL that your having a fish taco. You can always bake these or simply try to pan-fry with non-stick cooking spray. I highly suggest you fry them though. There is nothing like beer-battered fish. They’re unbelievably good and using minimal oil that’s piping hot minimizes absorption of it INTO your food. Plus, it makes you feel like your indulging a bit and that’s nice! We loaded these with lettuce, tomato, avocado, cilantro, lime juice and the Vegan tangy tarter sauce. The PPV and protein grams reflect that. Adjust to your liking! BYOV (Be Your Own Vegan!)

Serves 6

PPV: 8 per two taco serving (Includes 1/8 avocado and 1 tablespoon sauce per taco)
Protein: 24 grams per serving

For the tempeh “fish”:

  • 8 oz Organic garden veggie Tempeh, sliced into 12 strips (You can use any Tempeh or Tofu you like)
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup light beer (or beer of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon Kelp granules (I really think this is what gives it it’s fish taste)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup canola oil for frying
  • 12 corn tortillas, heated on a gas burner until slightly charred
  • TOPPINGS: Lettuce, tomato, avocado, Vegan tangy tarter sauce (see below), cilantro, fresh cut limes and fat free salsa
For Vegan Tangy Tarter Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt (You can sub Greek yogurt or FF sour cream here)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • Dash of pepper
For sauce: Mix all ingredients together. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal. 
For tempeh tacos: Heat oil in a pan on medium high heat until hot. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Add beer and tempeh and mix until tempeh is well coated. It will be a bit thick and awkward but that’s OK. Just mix it around and cover it well.This is a very forgiving batter so no need to be perfect. Gently place tempeh in the oil (tongs work well here) and cook until golden and crispy on all sides. About 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble: Take two grilled corn tortillas and spread a thin layer of the Vegan tangy tarter sauce down the center of each. Top with one and a half pieces of tempeh “fish”, add lettuce, tomato, 1 avocado slice, cilantro, salsa and squeeze fresh lime on top. DEVOUR!!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very nicely stated! U are a Fountain of information..which is GooD!


  2. Renae says:

    This looks so yummy! I found your blog by accident. I just started a blog about my experiences with becoming vegan but I was doing some research online about vegan nutrition and gastric bypass because though I don't say so on my blog, I had gastric bypass about 7 years ago! Our blogs even look similar…LOL! Please, if you have any tips for a newbie like me, It would be MUCH appreciated. All the books you list in your blog are my favorites too!!! I've got to try your recipe for the Reuben… yum yum! My blog is here


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