Saturday 29 May 2021

Plant-based Fish Fillets, Goujons and Fishcakes

Plant-based fish comes in a variety of styles. This page covers the type of fish products that you'd use to recreate fish and chips, plus plain fish fillets, goujons and fishcakes.

Gardein: Golden Fishless Fillets - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Frozen / 288g / Approx £4.50 (15.63 per kg)

Great batter, and the inside has a nice texture and flavour. The individual fillets are quite small, triangular-shaped (similar to a hash brown), so you'll probably need at least two.

Plant Pioneers: Battered Fishless Fillets - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Frozen / 2pk / £2.50

This is a twin pack of battered fishless fillets. I wasn't expecting these to be as good as they were. The batter and the fish-like texture were both great. The have jackfruit in the recipe and I think this is key to giving these that great texture. Visually, they look like small, natural fillets (much better than some other options here). The fishy flavour is just about right. We always keep a box in the freezer. Amazing.

M&S Plant Kitchen: Battered Fishless Goujons - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Chilled / 6pk /

The fish part is made from rice flakes, which are quite soft (almost like mashed potato). I prefer mine to have a little more bite. There is a nice smell of the sea about them, and they have a subtle, mild fish flavour. The batter was also nice.

Finnebrogue Artisan: Naked with the splash! No Fish Goujons - ⭐⭐⭐☆☆

Chilled / 250g / Approx £3 (£12 per kg)

These were quite nice, but I did find the texture to be slightly mashed-potato-like.

Moving Mountains: Fish Fillets - ⭐⭐⭐☆☆

Frozen / 260g / Approx £2.75 (but possibly up to £4)

I had high hopes for these. I tried them side-by-side with the Plant Pioneers (Sainsburys) fish version, and Plant Pioneers was better in every way. Firstly, this style of fish should be in batter, but MM have gone for panko breadcrumbs which isn't terrible in itself, but it's not batter. The shape looks very artificial. The texture and flavour are reasonable, but still not on par with PP. In summary, this option is ok, but doesn't have a single element that stands out.

Plant Pioneers: No Fish Cakes - ⭐⭐⭐☆☆

Fresh / 2pk . 240g

These were pretty nice. They didn't taste exactly how I remember fish cakes to taste, but they were nice. There was plenty of the fish part which is made from jackfruit and oyster mushrooms. It also had a parsley sauce in the centre which I don't remember ever having in a regular fish cake. Perfectly nice and I'd buy them again. I just wasn't blown away, hence the 3 stars (maybe 3.5 would be fairer).

Plant Pioneers: No Salmon Fillets - ⭐⭐⭐☆☆ (3.5 is probably more accurate)

Chilled / 2 pack / 240g / £4

Quite brave of Sainsburys to attempt salmon fillets - these are the first I've ever seen. Overall I think they've done a pretty good job. The main body of the fillet is made from young jackfruit and king oyster mushrooms, which gives a reasonable texture - it's a little softer than salmon but it is a decent effort. The fillets get their sea flavour mostly from a 'skin of seaweed' on the underside and this really does a great job of giving them that flavour of the sea. I would buy them again, but probably just once in a while.

Quorn: Fish fillets - ⭐⭐☆☆☆

Frozen / 2 pack / 200g / Approx £3 (£15 per kg)

The Quorn offering comes in two options; battered salt and vinegar, and breaded lemon and pepper. I remember being quite excited about these when I heard about them being released, however I found the fish part to be a tad on the dry side (I find all Quorn's vegan products have the same problem). Ultimately I felt a little disappointed with them and I haven't had them again.

Vemondo: Vegan Fish Nuggets - ⭐⭐☆☆☆

Frozen / 250g + 2x25g sauce / £1.99

These are Lidl's own brand vegan range, which is pretty reasonable in terms price. The coating is breadcrumbs and inside is white, firm substance that is based on cauliflower and rice flour. The texture is not great, kind of like a solid dense block, which wasn't particularly pleasant. On the plus side, they do have quite a good fishy flavour. The box also contains two small pots of vegan remoulade sauce.

Plant Kitchen: To-fish and chips (Marks and Spencers) - ⭐☆☆☆☆ (possibly discontinued)

Chilled / ready-meal for one / 

The Marks and Spencers option is sold as a complete meal containing both the fish, the chips and some tartare sauce. The batter was really, really nice - possibly the best of all the products in this list. The biggest problem was, as you may have guessed from the name, that the fish part is just a block of tofu - it seems like there was no real effort to add some texture. Really disappointed, and even the amazing batter can't make up for this.

Since writing this I have discovered that M&S have introduced some battered fishless goujons, they sound better so I'll add them to the list once I've tried them.

Coming soon... (hopefully)

Asda: Plant-based Fishless Goujons

MV Taste: Breaded Fish Fillets (Morrisons)

Plant Kitchen: Battered Fishless Goujons (M&S)

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