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Meatless Monday: Tempeh 'fish' sticks are a vegetarian take on a classic

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Keep your 'fish' sticks vegetarian by using this secret ingredient instead — tempeh

You’ll be hooked on these tempeh “fish” sticks with creamy tartar sauce. Both the sticks and the tangy sauce are easy to make and are perfect as the main course for a meatless meal. Serve with a green salad and a side of your favorite potatoes for a complete meal.

Keep your 'fish' sticks vegetarian by using this secret ingredient instead — tempeh

This is no fish tale: This classic dish can be on the table in under 30 minutes. You and your family will fall for these “fish” sticks, making them the perfect option for a meatless meal.

Keep your 'fish' sticks vegetarian by using this secret ingredient instead — tempeh

Tempeh is great for this dish because of its firm texture and heartiness. Tempeh is made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and additional grains like barley, then pressed into patties. The creamy tartar sauce makes the perfect dipping partner for these fish-less sticks that taste great!

Tempeh “fish” sticks with creamy tartar sauce recipe

Serves 3

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 12-15 minutes | Total time: 22-25 minutes

Ingredients:

For the tartar sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons relish or minced sweet pickles
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

For the “fish” sticks

  • 1 (8 ounce) package tempeh, sliced in half widthwise, then into long, 3-inch-wide triangles
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Directions: 

For the tartar sauce

  1. Combine all the ingredients, and mix. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the “fish” sticks

  1. Line 1 baking pan with aluminum foil, and a second baking pan with a layer of paper towels, and set aside.
  2. To a shallow bowl, add the beaten egg and milk, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, Old Bay seasoning, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Whisk to combine, and place near the egg mixture.
  4. One at a time, dip each piece of tempeh into the egg mixture, and allow the excess to drip back into the bowl. Place each piece in the flour mixture, and use your fingers to ensure the mixture coats the entire area. Set on the baking pan. Continue until all the pieces of tempeh are coated.
  5. Add vegetable oil to a Dutch oven or large pot so it reaches about 1/4 inch up the sides of the pot.
  6. Place over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat for several minutes. When hot, working in batches but taking care to not crowd the pot, add the tempeh, and fry on each side for a few minutes or until golden.
  7. Remove, and place on the baking sheet with the paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Keep warm.
  8. Serve warm with the tartar sauce on the side.
meatless monday

More Meatless Monday recipes

Crunchy cucumber, carrot and avocado sandwiches with creamy horseradish dressing
Grilled tofu with cilantro-avocado noodles and cherry tomatoes
Orzo salad with broccoli, chickpeas and feta

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