Vegan Southern Faux-Fish Sandwiches

 Faux-fish, because fish are too cute to eat! I mean have you seen them, so adorable. 

My family and I own some property in Kentucky. Sounds fancy, I know. I promise it is not. We used to spend a lot of my summers as a kid there. We would camp and hike and go to some super awesome southern fish fries! Hush puppies, catfish and greens aplenty. I really loved cornmeal crusted fish sandwiches. However, in the interest of leaving the poor fish alone. These vegan southern faux-fish sandwiches are the BEST replacement! Smells amazing, tastes amazing and I made the perfect vegan tartar sauce to put on top! Faux-fish sandwiches =best fish sandwiches.

 Obviously, at these fish fries, the fish was, well, fried. However, this crusted tofu alternative is baked and still crispy AF. Crusted in corn starch, then corn meal mixed with kelp powder is perfect and gluten free as well! The kelp powder makes this taste and smell like the real deal. If you can’t find kelp powder, crushed nori sheet work well too!

This recipe makes 4 sandwiches, so you can share with your loved ones. Believe me, they will want in on this. Vegan, gluten free and baked. So good for you, but it definitely seems like an indulgence. Just right for the winter months when I crave some super amazing comfort food!

Let’s talk about the tartar sauce. It takes 2 seconds, just a few ingredients you probably already have, and it is delicious. Then just pick your bread, gluten free or regular, top with faux-fish, lettuce and tartar sauce! You will want to eat all of them by yourself!

Throw your oven on, just dip, and coat tofu. Bake. Whisk together totally awesome vegan tartar sauce and you are ready for vegan southern faux-fish sandwiches the best sandwiches you will ever have! The smell made my mouth water, then once I took a bite, I was very proud of myself, and you will be too! 

Vegan Southern Faux-Fish Sandwiches
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Crispy baked tofu, coated in cornmeal and kelp powder. Served with vegan tartar sauce and crisp lettuce on a bun. OMG!

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 Sandwiches
Author: Lauren Hartmann
Southern Faux-Fish
  • 1 Block Extra firm tofu
  • 1 C. Almond milk or non dairy milk of choice
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 1/2 C. Corn starch
  • 1 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 C. Corn meal
  • 1 Tbsp. Kelp powder
Vegan Tartar Sauce
  • 1/2 C. Vegan mayo
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Relish, I used sweet relish, but whatever you like
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • pinch of onion powder
For the Sandwich
  • Buns
  • Lettuce, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

  2. Now drain your tofu block and stand it on it's side, cut through the tofu, cutting into 3-4 slices(depending on how thick you want them). Now place on paper towels and place more paper towels on top. The place a heavy object on top and press while you preheat the oven and get the rest of the ingredients together. 

  3. Now,  get three bowls, in one whisk together the almond milk and lemon juice. In the second mix together the corn starch, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. In the third bowl, mix the corn meal and kelp powder. 

  4. After the tofu has been pressed for at least 10-15 minutes(the longer the better), dip each piece of tofu into the almond milk mixture, then into the corn starch coating and shaking off excess, back into the almond milk, then coat completely in corn meal and kelp powder. 

  5. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non stick spray. Then spray the tops of the tofu with more non stick spray.

  6. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through baking and spraying the other side with more non stick spray. 

  7. While the tofu is baking, make the tartar sauce. Whisk together all the ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning. 

  8. Once the tofu is brown and crisp and firm, it is done. Make the sandwiches with a bun, faux-fish, tartar sauce and lettuce. Serve immediately! 

Recipe Notes

Kelp powder is usually easy to find with spices or with Asian food.

If you can't find kelp powder, you can use nori sheet, just crush them into a powder with a food processor, or really crush them up with your hands.


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  • Reply
    January 7, 2018 at 6:31 am

    your recipes sound amazing! i just found you! thank you for sharing I’m going to start trying them out. Your photography is so beautiful as well.

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      January 7, 2018 at 11:32 am

      Thank you so much! That means a lot! I hope you enjoy whatever you try!❤

  • Reply
    January 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    This might sound weird, but I have seaweed at home. Could I ground that up in place of the kelp powder? Or is that ridiculous lol. Recipe looks great btw and can’t wait to try! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      January 9, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      Not weird at all! I think that would totally work!!😊

  • Reply
    January 27, 2018 at 3:37 am

    Do you think these would keep well in a freezer? (I’m pretty busy and like to meal prep most of my meals at the beginning of the week)

  • Reply
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    March 13, 2018 at 6:26 am

    […] and lemon juice. That’s not all! If you’re looking for a meatless fish cakes, give this cool recipe a […]

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    March 29, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve made these twice and we love them! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      March 29, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      Yes! So glad to hear that! You are very welcome!❤

  • Reply
    April 8, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I made these and felt compelled to write. They were so crunchy I teasingly told my husband to watch for bones. He asks: there are bones in this? (We haven’t had meat in four years)

    I’m gonna count this as a win! You should too!! Thanks, loved it!

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      April 9, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      You made my day! I’m so glad you loved them! Thank you, this is wonderful to hear!

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    May 3, 2018 at 8:54 am

    would old bay seasong work instead of seaweed?

    • Reply
      Lauren Hartmann
      May 3, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      It won’t have as much of a seafood taste if you skip the seaweed, but if you aren’t worried about that, I think Old Bay would be delicious!

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