Hearts of palm are a really good substitute for seafood because of their light and flaky texture, so I often use them in vegan seafood recipes, like my crabless cakes. Palm harvesting can sometimes be harmful to the environment though, so make sure you buy a Fairtrade brand like Acai Palmito.

In this recipe, I separated the flaky circles of the hearts of palm and fried them to mimic the shape and texture of calamari. I added Old Bay seasoning to the fry batter to amp up the seafood experience even more. We whipped up a quick vegan tartar sauce (veganaise, relish, lemon juice, salt) and drizzled ours with lemon juice to complete the dish.

It was fun to try to replicate such a fun restaurant favorite, and I’m glad to have a new delicious appetizer recipe for parties and gatherings!

vegetable oil
1 can hearts of palm, drained and sliced into 1 inch slices
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
sprinkle pepper
lemon juice, if desired
vegan tartar sauce for serving, if desired (mix together relish, veganaise, lemon juice, salt)

In a large and deep skillet, pour vegetable oil to coat the pan until it is about 1/4-1/2 inch deep. Place over high heat. Meanwhile, separate hearts of palm rings by carefully pressing the center to reveal concentric circles. In a shallow bowl, add flour, arrowroot powder, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay, salt, and pepper and mix. Place palm pieces in the flour mixture and toss gently to coat. Shake off excess flour and place each piece in the hot oil. Brown on all sides (you might have to fry them in batches in order to not crowd the pan). Drain the “calamari” on paper towel and sprinkle with salt and lemon juice if desired. Serve with vegan tartar sauce.

Serves 2

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