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

Sep 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

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.

Sit down to a classic with Meatless Monday appeal: Tempeh "fish" sticks with creamy tartar sauce.

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.

Dip these tempeh "fish" sticks into creamy tartar sauce for a delightful meal!

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


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


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

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