Fermented foods are excellent for the digestive system. They are filled with beneficial bacteria which can help to balance the good bacteria in our guts and aid in digestion. Plus, fermented foods can be delicious. Kristen and Christopher Shockey continue to explore fermentation in their latest book Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments (I’m giving away a copy, so be sure to see the end of this post!) which includes this recipe for Tempeh “Fish” Tacos.
I love fermenting, and two of my favorite fermented foods are miso and tempeh. I have made tempeh in the past and have to say that it’s a project that goes quickly. It’s worth doing if you really like tempeh as you can make it out of many beans and grains. I haven’t made miso due to my impatience, but I use miso often, and I like it (and I say that one day, I will make it myself).
Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments will take you on a fermentation journey with these three ferments and more. The collective wisdom of Kirsten and Christopher Shockey (some of the nicest people you will ever meet) comes through clearly. Not all the recipes are plant-based, but there is so much useful information here, that it’s worth reading and sifting through (just avoiding any recipes that contain ingredients that are not of interest to you).
Even if you decide that you would rather not try your hand at making any of these fermented foods and prefer to purchase them, you will still come away with some fantastic recipes to make such as this one for Tempeh “Fish” Tacos.
Tempeh “Fish” Tacos
YIELD: 2–4 SERVINGS
These “fish” sticks are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Fish tacos are a go-to family favorite in our house, so the fact that these tempeh alternatives satisfy everyone is saying something.
The batter below is gluten-free and vegan but we have found that for extra fishy umami you can add a teaspoon of fermented fish sauce. You could also serve these “fish” sticks with fries for a tempeh “fish-and-chips.”
The accompanying slaw is quick and easy. Depending on the season, we make it with fresh or dried tomatoes. While the two versions are a little different, both are absolutely tasty.
8 ounces Basic Soybean Tempeh (page 157), make it or buy it or tempeh of your choice
High-heat oil for frying, such as coconut or peanut
4–6 corn tortillas
½ cup chickpea/garbanzo flour
¼ cup potato starch
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay
1 teaspoon dulse flakes or kelp powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup seltzer water
1 green cabbage (1.–2 pounds), finely chopped
1 large fresh tomato or 6–7 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, finely diced
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
½ –1 cup almond-based mayonnaise or regular, preferably homemade (pages 308 and 309)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. To make the slaw, combine the cabbage, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the mayonnaise, using however much you like in your slaw. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss until evenly coated, then taste and adjust seasonings.
2. Slice the tempeh into strips.
3. To make the batter, combine the flour, potato starch, seafood seasoning, dulse flakes, and baking soda in a bowl and mix well. Add the vinegar and seltzer, and stir until just mixed. The batter will have the consistency of a fluffy pancake batter.
4. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a pan. Dip the tempeh pieces into the batter to coat. Fry the tempeh in the pan, turning once, until crispy and golden, about 3 to 5 minutes per side (see note).
5. While the tempeh is cooking, warm the tortillas in a skillet over medium heat to soften. Stuff the tortillas with the tempeh and slaw and serve hot with all the usual taco fixings.
Note: The pieces may soak up a lot of oil. If the pan dries out, add a little more oil when you turn the tempeh.
Excerpted from Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments by © Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. Photography by © Dina Avila. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
My Notes: I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but my gut (which is what fermenting is all about) tells me that you can likely air fry these on parchment in an air fryer or with the new Mealthy CrispLid and your electric multicooker. (Check out my recent post about the Mealthy CrispLid to learn more!)
To celebrate the recent release of Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments I am giving away a copy! One of my lucky readers will receive one copy of this book. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only. The winner will be selected by random drawing. Entries close July 15, 2019, at 9 pm Pacific Standard Time.
TO ENTER – Please visit our Instagram page where you will find all of the instructions to enter this giveaway for this fabulous book! If you are not on Instagram, just leave a comment below about your favorite fermented food. Entries close on July 15th at 9 pm Pacific Standard Time. Winner will be chosen by random number drawing. Good luck!