Rice Paper Is Key To Making A Vegan Fish Sandwich That Doesn't Fall

Whether you're following a strictly vegan diet or just looking to consume less meat, there are quite a few alternative protein options on the market, including brands like Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat, and Gardein. But cooking up your own allows you to replicate non-vegan foods and customize dishes to your own personal tastes. One TikTok user, @polishdceo, revealed her recipe inspired by McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwiches, which includes one essential binding ingredient: rice paper.

Plant-based seafood can be made out of a few different ingredients, like chickpeas or beans. However, these may not always hold up on their own. In her TikTok video, the creator seasons hearts of palm to make a fish-like flavor. To keep the veggies together during the frying process, she demonstrates how she carefully wraps them up in sheets of rice paper.


Vegan filet o fish copycat! McDonald's who?! If you want just like a basic filet o "fish" sandwich just use, pink salt, pepper, garlic powder, Nori and onion powder but i spruced mine up to my liking with the extra seasonings below! Ingredients: 1 can hearts of palm Rice paper Old bay Nori Garlic powder Onion powder Lemon pepper Paprika Flour Water or plant milk Japanese breadcrumbs "Tarter" Vegan Mayo Relish Dill weed Lemon juice Minced garlic Pink salt Black pepper 🌱 Vegan digital cookbooks available in my bio – INSTANT DOWNLOAD ✅ #vegan #veganfish #filetofish #veganfood #veganrecipes #foodporn #fishsandwich #veganfoodshare #foodie #vegantiktok #vegantok

♬ original sound – polishdceo

Dip the rice paper sheets quickly in water in order to make them more pliable. This step is essential since the rigid, starchy ingredient won't fold properly without a little hydration. Then, wrap the rice paper around the faux fish filling. This works to keep the hearts of the palm contained neatly before frying, ensuring that the dish won't fall apart in the hot oil.

While the video demonstrates this working well for hearts of palm, rice paper can also bind other loose patty bases. Hearts of palm could flake apart, cooked potatoes may be too mushy, and soft tofu could crumble. The starchy wrapping can hold it all together, preventing any messes while cooking.

How rice paper benefits the filets

Rice paper's stickiness is part of why it works so well to hold the ingredients together. While the wrapper is pretty easy to work with while wet, it becomes gummier as it dries. This can be both a positive and a negative, depending on where you are in the cooking process.

On the one hand, this ensures that everything sealed inside the rice paper will be held together once it's time to batter and fry it. It's often used to wrap up fresh spring rolls for this reason. On the other, it may be more difficult to fold once it dries out, so working quickly is essential. Just keep in mind that you may need multiple sheets of rice paper for each veggie sandwich to ensure that the patties are fully covered and contained. Since the sheets can vary in size, it's important to use as many as necessary to keep everything wrapped securely.

Once wrapped, the patty can be dipped in a seasoned batter, and then coated with breadcrumbs or Panko. When it comes to frying the fish sandwiches, the rice paper may even provide a little extra crunch. As the paper cooks in oil, it puffs up and takes on a crispy texture. While a breadcrumb coating might make the exterior of the vegan patty pretty crispy, the rice paper can do some extra work as a middle layer. Additionally, it could retain a little extra moisture in the hearts of palm.

How to make a vegan sandwich taste fishy

Hearts of palm also make an excellent choice for vegan-friendly fish. Once prepared, the vegetable can take on a flaky feeling — similar to how cooked fish feels. This flakiness may make for a great faux fish texture, but it also ensures that the rice paper is necessary to bind it all together. On their own, the veggies taste pretty mild. But with some added seasonings, they are able to approximate the flavor of the seafood.

One ingredient that can amplify that oceanic flavor is nori, which is dried seaweed. The seaweed sheets can be ground up into a powder and then added to the seasoning blend for faux fish. Although there are plenty of fish-free sushi options, nori is often used to wrap up rolls, which contributes to the seafood affiliation.

Other seasonings that can enhance the flavor include lemon pepper, garlic, and onion powder. A little bit of lemon juice or zest may add some complementary acidity to the mix. Old Bay is often used to flavor fish, so it can lend itself to vegan alternatives, too. The blend combines 18 different spices, including celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, and paprika — so incorporating these can enhance the seafood feel of your meal. And, of course, the dish can be finished off with a vegan tartar sauce, made from an egg-free mayonnaise to ensure the dish is totally plant-based.