Note: When I originally posted this recipe I left out an important ingredient – the white flour. The recipe is now corrected!
I know the summer is over, but we can squeeze in a few more summery treats before we suffer the winter. Last weekend I went to the Cape and the weather was really nice. As my non-veg friend and I took photographs at the dock down the street, someone caught a huge fish. I was not interested in watching the poor thing writhe around in pain, but my friend took pictures of the whole scene. Afterward, he came over to me and said “If I ever were to argue in favor of vegetarianism, this experience of watching that poor thing jumping around with a hook in its mouth made me lose the desire to eat fish.” I had been entertaining the idea of coming up with a vegan “fish” cake and this inspired me even more.
I believe many of the non-vegetarian foods we grew up with can be transformed into vegetarian or vegan dishes. It would be great to one day see a vegan “seafood” restaurant on the Cape! In the meantime, we’ll have to come up with our own recipes.
In this recipe I use the old go-to for the “fish” flavor — dried seaweed. You can use any kind you like. I happened to have Nori on hand so I ground it into flakes in my spice mill. For the tartar sauce I bought some fresh horseradish to give it a little kick. I suggest putting the sauce together first to let the flavors meld before you begin putting together the “fish” cakes.
3 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
1 tablespoon apple cide vinegar
1/2 cup relish
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1/4 cup Vegenaise
Mix the grated horseradish with the vinegar and then add in all the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together, cover in plastic wrap and put in the fridge.
Cape Cod “Fish” Cakes
Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl:
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl:
1 cup extra firm tofu crumbled
1 cup cabbage shredded small
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered dried seaweed
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup cold water
After you have mixed the ingredients together in each bowl, combine the contents of both bowls to form a somewhat stiff mixture.
Put some cornmeal on a small plate for coating the patties. Then heat a frying pan on low heat. When it is hot cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer of oil
Form the mixture into patties and dip both sides into the cornmeal to coat them.
Carefully add them to the frying pan and fry on low heat.
Fry them for a few minutes and then flip them over. Continue frying for a few more minutes, adding more oil if necessary.
The longer you fry them the crispier they will be on the outside. Just be careful not to cook them too dark. They should be a rich golden amber. Keep them warm in the oven on a very low temperature as you cook the next batch. Serve them with the tartar sauce on the side, it can be spooned on top as they are eaten. The sooner you serve them, the better!