I remember when first made my transition into a vegan diet I was super bummed about not being able to eat seafood anymore. Like, it actually made me sad...and in my sadness was determination to find a way to make a substitute. That's when I came up with this recipe. I figured the texture would be sufficient and if I used all the classic seafood seasonings my wish would come true. Now almost a decade later I'm still making it and it still blows everyones mind when they try it. Even the most devout seafood lovers that I come across.
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Makes 7-10 pieces
The Dry Batter
1 large eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick strips
2 cups of cornmeal
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 Tsp of kelp flakes stores in the spice section or in the Asian isle
1 tsp of old bay seasoning
1 tsp of onion powder
3/4 tsp of sea salt
The Wet Batter
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of kelp seasoning
1 tsp of old bay seasoning
2 tsp of sriracha sauce (optional)
pinch of sea salt
1-1/3 cup of water
*Oil for cooking
The Caper Dill Tarter Sauce
1 cup of vegan mayo
1 tbs of capers chopped
1 tbs of fresh dll chopped
First mix together the ingredients for the tartar sauce and set aside.
Peel and slice your eggplant into strips about 1/4 an inch thick.
Now use a shallow bowl to mix the ingredients for the wet batter. It should resemble a thin pancake batter.
Use another shallow bowl or dish to mix together the dry batter ingredients and set aside.
Now add enough cooking oil to a large skillet about 1/2 an inch deep and place it over medium heat
Then batter the eggplant by placing it into the wet batter, making sure it is thoroughly coated on all sides.
Immediately place the eggplant into the dry batter and make sure it is evenly coated. Gently shake off any excess batter and carefully place into the hot oil. Pro Tip: When battering and frying the fish it's important to have a functional assembly line. You need to place the ingredients on your counter by your stove in the order in which you use them. Eggplant next to the wet batter, then the dry batter next to the stove.
Place the eggplant into the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Drain on a paper towel and immediately sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and sea salt to taste.
Growing up anytime we had fried fish it was always fried in cornmeal and always seasoned with Old Bay Seasoning. So using them both is nostalgically essential. Kelp flakes on the other hand is something I discovered after going vegan. Technically it's seafood because it's a plant from the ocean, so it has all the flavor of the sea. It's great for adding an authentic fishy flavor to foods. I use it all the time whenever I want to make a seafood style recipe.. You can check out my Hearts of Palm Lobster Roll and My Eggplant Fish & Chips recipe below to see more ways to use kelp and old bay.
Here are the ingredients I use.