During World War 2 there was quite a shortage of commodities when it came to food and not everybody could get their hands of what they wanted or needed. This shortage forced people to think differently and creatively around the way in which food was both aqquired and prepared. In Norway we even made bread from flour made of tree bark, called barkbread. Other examples are steak made from kohlrabi or coffe made from green peas.
Today we are venturing into an old danish classic from this time that was translated into “peace-fish” by the danish food blogger Maanebarnet (It’s vegan, of course its peaceful). It is somewhat similar to the traditional english dish called fish & chips and made out of parsnip! Turns out if the parsnip is cut into slices on the long side and breaded it looks just like the real thing. OK, lets face it, you will not fool a fully fledged peschetarian with these ones, but really they are not that far from the original and the taste is incredible. As with all dishes that resembles non-vegan plant food the side dishes is what brings it all together. Change the protein source and keep the side dishes will bring you a long way in converting a non-vegan dish.
Ingredients for approx. 7-8 “fish fillets”:
- 3 medium sized parsnips
- 1 cup (or more) wheat flour (chickpea flour for gluten-free version)
- 1 cup plant milk, we use oat or soy (unsweetened)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon kelp powder (can be omitted, but this is what makes it taste like fish/sea, you can also crush a sheet or nori and use that)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- breadcrumbs, quantity is a bit difficult, I used about 1/3 of the package
- oil for frying
This is how you do it:
- Set the oven to 200 C (400 F) and place parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Peel the parsnips and cut them into slices lengthwise, approx. 1-2 cm thick for taste.
- Put them on the tray, do not use oil as the breading can then slide off. Fry them in the oven until they are a bit golden, approx. 10-15 minutes. They should be soft.
- Take them out and cool them a little while making the breading. Put flour, spices and water/milk in a bowl and mix well. It should be a little thick, like pancake batter, if it is too watery then you must add more flour. Put the breadcrumbs in another bowl.
- Dip the parsnip in the flour first, they should be well covered (this is messy but it needs to be done) and then straight in the breadcrumbs. Cover them well and place them on a dish until you have breaded them all, or put them one by one straight in hot oil in a large frying pan.
- Cook them well on both sides until they are browned but not burned.
- Serve them with whatever side dish you want. These are brilliant to make up in advance because even if they are a little soft when they cool down, the breading becomes crisp and good as new when heated in the oven again later.