This Vegan Salmon recipe is a delicious, pan-seared fish-inspired fillet that has the most amazing crispy skin and tender, flaky inside. The flavour is mild but full-bodied umami with hints of butter, nuts, and the ocean. It pairs beautifully with a squeeze of lemon and melts in your mouth with every bite.
For the tofu:
- 1 12oz block(s) extra-firm tofu drained and pressed (see step 1)
For the marinade:
To prep the tofu:
- Prepare the tofu by draining it, and then pressing it for 15 minutes to 1 hour. For pressing instructions, check out
this video. Pressing the tofu squeezes excess water out so that the tofu can suck up more of the marinade and become chewier.
- Once the tofu is pressed, cut the tofu in half lengthwise, and then in half lengthwise again making 4 long skinny strips of tofu. Take one piece of tofu and place a chopstick on either side of the tofu to stop you from cutting all the way through, so the slices remain intact. Slice the tofu partway through repeatedly about ⅛" apart to give the tofu a flaky texture. Repeat with the other tofu slices. Be careful handling them as they will be fragile. Tip: I like to cut the slices on a slight angle to be more similar to how fish flakes.
For the marinade:
- Add all of the marinade ingredients together in a blender. Blend until smooth as possible. Place the tofu in a resealable bag or dish and cover it with the marinade. Let marinate in for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge.
To cook the vegan salmon:
- Put the cornstarch into a wide bowl or baking dish. If using the nori, cut the nori into strips roughly the same size as the tofu pieces. Gently remove a tofu piece from the marinade (be careful as it will be fragile). Dunk a strip of the nori into the marinade, then stick it to the back of the tofu. (Covering the nori in the marinade will help it stick to the tofu). Dredge the tofu with the nori attached in the cornstarch, covering all sides of the tofu. Repeat with all the tofu pieces.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the cornstarch covered tofu. Fry 2 - 4 minutes per side until lightly golden all over. Remove from the pan and serve hot with a wedge of lemon.
Baking: I love the pan-fried version of this recipe as it makes for beautiful crispy skin, but if you prefer to bake it, follow these steps. Omit the cornstarch dredge, and then bake the vegan salmon in a baking dish at 400F (200C) for about 10 minutes until heated through. Air-fryer: I love the pan-fried version of this recipe as it makes for beautiful crispy skin, but if you prefer to bake it, follow these steps. Omit the cornstarch dredge, and then air-fry the vegan salmon in a preheated air-fryer at 360F (182C) for about 8 minutes until heated through. Oil-free: to make this recipe oil-free, skip the pan-frying and follow either the baking or air-fryer instructions above. Nori: this is the same seaweed that is used to make sushi rolls. It should be easy to find in your local grocery store, or you can order it online. Nori will give the vegan salmon a fishy flavour, so if you prefer less fish flavour, then reduce or omit it in the marinade.
Serving: 1serving (recipe makes 4 servings) | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1145mg | Potassium: 213mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg