Archive for the ‘Faux Seafood’ Category


Making faux tuna using garbanzo beans isn’t an idea original to me;  I simply modified the idea to mimic how I used to make the real deal.   It’s quick, easy and can be made nearly on the fly.  It also happens to be delicious and full of healthy and filling fiber.  Plus,  the vitamin C-rich red bell pepper helps your body absorb the iron found within the garbanzo beans more readily.  It’s an all ’round rock star of a sandwich filler.


Faux Tuna Salad


2 cups garbanzo beans

¼ cup celery, small dice

¼ cup red bell pepper, small dice

¼ cup apple, small dice

¼ cup dill pickle, small dice

¼ cup fresh dill, minced

¼ – ⅓ cup  plain non-dairy yogurt [So Delicious Plain is my choice] or Vegenaise  [The amount depends upon how wet you like your salad]

freshly-cracked black pepper

sea salt


Using a potato masher, mash the garbanzo beans in a large bowl.  You could use a food processor for this, just be careful not to over-process the beans.  You do not want a purée, but rather a coarse mash with texture.

Add the remaining ingredients to the mashed beans and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Kombu Bay Red Chowder


grilled Tofish [Could substitute regular grilled tofu.]

4 cups kombu/arame broth [2 dried kombu / 1½ T arame per quart of water.  Soak for 30 minutes and then bring to just under a boil and turn off heat.  Let sit an additional 30 minutes and then strain out the seaweeds.]

2 cups No Chicken broth

1 onion, sliced

1 leek, thinly sliced

2 carrots, cut into oblong coins

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1½  lb potatoes, diced into bite-sized chunks

1 28 oz can plum tomatoes, broken up into bite-sized pieces

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T dried thyme

1 T dried oregano

5 dried Turkish bay leaves [Not the fresh ones that taste like eucalyptus.]

5 fresh thyme sprigs tied into a bundle [This makes it much easier to remove later.]

½ cup white wine

olive oil

½  tsp liquid smoke [I would start by adding half the amount and tasting.  If you want the rest then add it.  Some people prefer a lighter smoke flavor.]

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

fresh basil [This adds a great flavor and beautiful color as a garnish.]


Drizzle a bit of olive oil into a soup pot and place on medium heat.  Sauté the onion and leek until they have softened.  Add in the bell pepper, carrots and potatoes and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes.  Add the white wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.  Add in the bay leaves, fresh and dried thyme, oregano and tomatoes.  Mix well and then add in the broths and liquid smoke.  Cook until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove bay leaves and thyme bundle.

Serve with a toasted piece of some crusty bread that’s been rubbed with fresh garlic and garnish with some fresh basil.

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Tofish ‘n’ Chips

I grew up beside the ocean in Southern California, and because of that it will forever be a part of me.  I love the scent of the kelp, the sand, and the water and am one of those odd ducks that actually approaches a beached kelp pile in order to breathe its scent in deeply and investigate which critter hitched a ride to shore with its torn holdfast.  Yet, since we no longer consume sea creatures, a bit of creativity with botanical foods was called for in order to mimic the flavors of seafood.  Also, since this tofu variant was deep fried, I felt the need to compensate by roasting the chips rather than frying them.  They taste better roasted and are a heck of a lot better for you.



2 cups dried organic soy beans, soaked overnight

3 kombu dried fronds

¼ cup arame kelp

10 dried turkish bay leaves

roasted nori super-fine strips, cut into tiny pieces

lemon pepper

Braggs Sea Kelp Delight seasoning

cheesecloth x 2

candy thermometer

calcium sulfate [3 T suspended in 3 cups 180° water]

tofu mold

Please read the procedure for making tofu prior to attempting this variation to familiarize yourself with the overall process.

To a large stockpot add 5 quarts water and the kelp.  Soak for 30 minutes.  Add heat to the stockpot and bring to just under a boil.  Strain through a cheesecloth to remove kelp.  Return to the stove.

Add half the soaked soybeans to a blender and cover by an inch with the kelp broth.  Blend until liquefied.  Decant into the stockpot.  Repeat the process with the remaining soy beans. Add the bay leaves and bring the soybean slurry to 180°.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Strain through cheesecloth into a clean container.

Return the kelp and bay-flavored soy milk to the stove and bring back up to 180°.  Add 3/4 of the calcium sulfate slurry and let sit for 10 minutes to allow large curds to form.   Ladle the curds into a colander lined with cheesecloth to drain the majority of the whey off.  Transfer about an inch-thick layer of these curds into the cheesecloth-lined tofu mold.  Sprinkle some finely chopped nori, lemon pepper and Braggs Sea Kelp Delight seasoning over the layer then cover with a new layer of the partially-drained tofu curds.  Repeat until you have 3 layers and end with a layer of tofu curd.  Press for 30 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl of iced water and soak for an hour.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Oven-baked Potato Wedges


Russet Potatoes

olive oil

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper


Cut Russet potatoes into wedges and spray lightly with olive oil or for an interesting flavor use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a 400° oven until golden brown.  This should take 45 minutes to an hour.

Mushy Peas


one bag frozen peas

12 fresh mint leaves [Or more if you favor a strong mint flavor.]

Earth Balance vegan margarine

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper


Put a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Add peas and cook until the peas are hot.  Drain and transfer peas to a food processor.  Add a pat of Earth Balance margarine and a dozen mint leaves.  Pulse until incorporated but not so much so that you have a smooth paste; you want texture.  Season with salt and pepper.

Frying the Tofish:

8 oz AP flour

a bottle of vegan beer

1 cup brown rice flour

Old Bay seasoning

canola oil


Heat canola oil to 350°.

Make the batter by whisking the beer into the AP flour and add a tablespoon of Old Bay seasoning.

Place a cup of brown rice flour on a plate and mix in a couple of teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning.

Pat the tofu dry and cut into slices.  Dredge in the seasoned brown rice flour.  Dip into the beer batter and deep fry at 350° until brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil.  Salt while hot and serve with oven-baked potato wedges and mushy peas.

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H and I were up in Seattle late last week and ventured into the vegan shop, Sidecar for Pigs Peace.  They stock an amazing selection of vegan goodies including some faux shrimp that intrigued us.   I decided to throw together a nice sandwich filling for H’s lunch, yet equally fabulous in a lettuce wrap sans bread.

6 faux shrimp [Vegan King Prawn], sliced into bite-sized pieces

one celery stalk, diced

one tbsp fresh dill,  roughly chopped

1/4 apple, diced or sliced, however you prefer

zest of a lemon

few dashes of lemon pepper

1 tbsp Veganaise


Mix sliced prawns, dill, apple, lemon zest and celery with the Veganaise.  Add lemon pepper to taste.

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