It always makes me chuckle when someone asks me where I get my protein from when I tell them that I eat a primarily plant-based diet. It makes me giggle even harder when they ask if I feel deprived with my options. Oh honey, you have no idea the possibilities you can create for yourself once you go plant-based! I have never been more creative in the kitchen. Exhibit A: Vegan Fish Sticks made from hearts of palm.
Hearts of say whaaaaat? Palm. Hearts of palm. They are vegetables that are harvested from the inner core of certain palm trees. With a layered, softer middle protected by fibrous exterior, hearts of palm taste very similar to artichokes. Because of their mild flavor they make a great vegan meat substitute.
When you buy the hearts of palm from your local store, you should find them near the canned vegetables section. They typically come in 6 pieces per can. After you have drained the liquid out from the can, further drain on two layered paper towels to absorb as much liquid as you can.
Lightly pulse the hearts in your food processor (you want a shredded look as seen below) and then pour the seasoning, gluten-free breadcrumbs and vegan Worcestershire sauce and stir until well-combined.
Form into the “fish stick” shape by using a scant two tablespoons’ worth of the mix. I set mine aside to complete the entire batch before I dipped them into the breading.
Take the shaped sticks and coat them with your self-seasoned gluten-free panko crumbs until every inch is covered.
Once the oil in your skillet is hot enough, add the sticks to the pan and brown on each side. I recommend putting 2 Tbsp. oil (or enough to coat the entire bottom) into the pan first and then adding more if needed as you go.
Allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt if you choose. If you want to bake these instead of frying them, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Once you have breaded your hearts of palm sticks, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes (or longer) until each side is nicely browned.
Serve with a tarter sauce and lemon wedges.
- 1 (14 oz) can hearts of palm (usually comes with 6), drained on a layer of paper towels
- ¼ c. gluten-free breadcrumbs (I like gluten-free panko crumbs)
- 1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 c. gluten-free breadcrumbs (I like gluten-free panko crumbs)
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- Preheat a medium skillet with 2 Tbsp. oil to 350 degrees. Make sure your oil is hot prior to placing your breaded sticks into the skillet.
- With a food processor, pulse the hearts of palm just until it is shredded. Pour into a bowl and stir in the gf breadcrumbs, seasonings, and Worcestershire sauce.
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the breading ingredients.
- Using a scant two tablespoons amount, shape the hearts of palm mix into a "fish stick" shape. Gently dip into the breading and coat completely.
- Add to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned (not burnt). Place on a paper towel-lined plate and season to preference.
- Repeat until each stick has been cooked. You might need to add more oil if needed.
Serve with store-bought tarter sauce or to make homemade: Per ¼ c. vegan mayo, add 1 tablespoon relish.
Holy vegan fish sticks!