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.Print
Vegan “Fish” (Hearts of Palm) Sticks
- Yield: 12 sticks 1x
These have a softer bite than the typical fish stick, but these vegan Hearts of Palm sticks are packed with flavor. Even your kids will love them!
Hearts of Palm filling:
- 1 (14 oz) can hearts of palm (usually comes with 6), drained on a layer of paper towels
- 1/4 c. gluten-free breadcrumbs (I like gluten-free panko crumbs)
- 1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Gluten Free Breading:
- 1 c. gluten-free breadcrumbs (I like gluten-free panko crumbs)
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 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.
To bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place breaded sticks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20+ minutes or until sides are nicely browned.
Serve with store-bought tarter sauce or to make homemade: Per 1/4 c. vegan mayo, add 1 tablespoon relish.
- Serving Size: 2 sticks
- Calories: 170
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 425mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 13g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Holy vegan fish sticks!
Hey Carla, would tinned jackfruit in brine do the job if I can’t get palm hearts in the UK?
That should work nicely!
This post had just changed my vegan life!!
Can’t wait to make all of these !
I am wondering if you could freeze these?
Cara, I am eating these now, and they are fantastic!! Brilliant use of hearts of palm, I get concerned about resorting to soy or nuts all the time. Like others, I added a bit of seaweed — in my case, 1/2 sheet of toasted nori, crumbled. I had a TON of panko breading left over, so I would only make 1/2 or even 1/3 of that part the next time. Commenting on your “clam” chowder next — SPOILER ALERT: loved it!!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you <3
I had these last night, had to adjust a bit the recipe because I didn't have gluten free bread crumbs or celery seed, but it turned out GREAT!
Hearts of palm ("palmitos" in Spanish) are very popular where I'm from (Uruguay) but it never occurred to me that I could create fish replacements with them –don't ask me why, I can't explain it, it seems obvious now.
I had two cans that were approaching their end of life, and this is an excellent way to eat them!
So again, THANK YOU! 🙂
Love hearing this Sofia! Thank you so much for the feedback, xo
I’m going to be making the fish sticks tonight. I was wondering can I make a larger sandwich size piece of fish or will it fall apart? Also how well do these reheat can I make a big batch?
Sorry for the delayed response! You probably already made these but yes, making them larger just might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or I should just say that they will probably fall apart 🙂 Not sure about reheating, never tried it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
I too have been missing my fish tacos. I cannot believe how delicious these are and how they satisfy the craving for crunchy fried fish taco-ness. I did not drain my hearts of palm well enough so they were a little too moist and started to fall apart in the frying pan but I know better for next time. Also, I couldn’t find the celery salt in my cabinet so I used some seafood seasoning instead and it was perfect. I made more of a crema instead of the tartar sauce since I had taco seasoning, lemon juice, and vegan mayo on hand but the tartar sauce would be great too. Thanks for posting an alternative to tofu!
I have an issue with using Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies. Will try soy sauce.
I dont remember the brand off the top of my head but there’s a vegan Worchestershire sauce. No anchovies in sight 🙂
Annie’s makes a vegan version.
I really appreciate you’re answers to my questions. But, can you clarify how much palm hearts are left from a 14 oz. can? I can’t find larger cans in the country where I live and it would be very helpful to know about how many ounces (drained) I need. I’m also not sure whether I can find celery seeds. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative.
Thank you so much.
I have a question. What is the weight of the can of palm hearts that you used? I just made these but only had four pieces in the can that weighed something like a little less than half a pound (drained). I also added 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, since I did not have any Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce. And, I only got 6 very small fish sticks. They are on the sour side (perhaps instead of lemon) but I guess that’s natural for palm hearts or is it the balsamic vinegar. Maybe a condiment will boost the taste up. Almost forgot – since I didn’t have celery seeds I used fresh celery that I pulsed in the processor before I pulsed the palm hearts, but they do not have any taste of celery.
What do you suggest if there isn’t any Worcestershire sauce around? I also have almost the whole amount of panko breading left (for the next time) so I guess my can was smaller than yours. Oh, yes. I don’t live in the U.S.
Hi Janet! I just added the weight–they are approx. 14 oz cans. Thank you so much for the comment! The reason yours tasted sour was because of the vinegar added. Next time, I say either use soy sauce in place of the Worcestershire or omit it. Also the celery seeds really do add a little oompf in flavor that you won’t get with fresh celery, sadly. Does this help at all? Let me know if you have any others questions!
Brooke (Crackers on the Couch)
Ladyfriend, I am all over this. I am always looking for a good fish substitute. I’ve been vegetarian for almost 20 years and the only thing I miss occasionally is fish. Keeping an eye out for the palm!
Will you please call me ladyfriend from now on??? hehe
Have you tried these with almond meal instead of bread crumbs? I have an endless supply of almonds that I usually ground into almond butter, almond milk, or other various treats, but I am curious as to how it would work in this recipe.
I haven’t tried almond meal Emma. The thing about the gf panko is that it gives a crunchier exterior. If you do just the meal it will be a little softer but should add a great flavor to the sticks. I always say experiment and try it 🙂 If you do, let me know how it goes! xo
Lisa | Je suis alimentageuse
What the what that looks amazing. I love palm hearts and these look so freaking good I need it in my bellyyyyy.
What the what is right! haha. You are too cute, Lisa! xo
these look amazing. i’m in awe of you.
You are seriously too sweet! Thank you Caitlin 🙂
These sound great! Have you tried using dulse or kelp granules instead of salt to give them a “seafood” taste?
I personally have not but that is just because I am not totally fond of that “seafood” taste, you know? BUT that is a fabulous suggestion for anyone reading this! Thank you Gina 🙂
Oh WOW! These look totally amaze-balls. I have been so curious about cooking with hearts of palm, I really appreciate your photo tutorial instructions!
I love being vegan but every now & then I do miss the taste of something fried & fishy dipped in tartar – definitely making these the next time I get that craving! 😉
Girl, you have to start stocking up on hearts of palm! Wait until the next couple of months–the things you can do with that food is incredible!!
Yess!!! Getting on it now!
Gabby @ the veggie nook
Wow this is amazing! Love that they are without the typical tofu! Genius 🙂
Hope you like them Gabby xo
woman. you are brilliant!
Coming from the true source of brilliance, I am honored to hear that from you 😉
Beautiful idea! I never thought about using palm hearts this way. Thanks for sharing. Anne-Catherine (Belgium-Europe)
You are so welcome, Anne-Catherine! Thank you for the comment, xo
You sound like Mom in this post! Haha. But you have me the idea for mozzarella cheese sticks. I know they aren’t dairy free but I might try this recipe using string cheese (key word is night, lol). Happy Easter, Sissy!!
Was it the “Oh honey” part??? haha
Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts
Cara, these are brilliant! I love heart of palm! These look sooo tasty. 🙂 No matter how one eats, these babies would make for some very delish eating. 😉
I’m am starting to love them as well! I think this dish was actually one of my first times ever cooking with it 🙂 Thank you for the comment, Shirley! xo