Vegan Fish Tacos

Are you entertaining picky family and friends, and want the perfect recipe to wow them? Are you looking to try something new, and easy to make, that’ll make you seem like a world class chef? This is the perfect recipe that looks complicated, but isn’t, and makes you look really good to anyone who tries it.

What are Hearts of Palm?

It is the edible bud or core of a palm tree. There are a few varieties that are found, including coconut, and most commonly the peach palm.

They are low calorie, fat free, high fiber, and an amazing source of potassium. They also contain protein, iron, manganese, copper, zinc, and vitamins B2 and B6.

It can usually be found in most supermarkets with other canned salad vegetables, such as artichokes. You can also find it online on Amazon here.

It comes salad cut, which is cut in small round disks, or in long cylindrical sticks, which is what I used. It is white and mostly flavorless, taking on the flavor of whatever you choose, which, on top of its soft flakey texture, makes it a perfect meat substitute.

How to Make Fish Tacos?

The fish taco batter I created for this recipe makes the perfect crispy fish tacos. Fish has a classic batter that is very light but crispy, which is caused by cornstarch, making that crispy coating we all know and love, and baking powder making it light and crispy because of its leavening properties, instead of being thick like traditional batters for other foods.

Flakey hearts of palm have a unique texture most similar to fish, more than anything else I can think of in the plant kingdom. When dipped and fried in my batter, it becomes the perfect fried fish substitute.

This recipe does have a lot of parts, but no worries, you won’t be simmering anything for 3 hours or anything else too crazy. In fact, it should all come together in under an hour.


What to Serve With Fish Tacos?

I made cabbage for fish tacos with a mix of red and green cabbage, some lemon juice, and salt. It’s simple but keeps them fresh, and gives a nice taste that compliments the vegan fish perfectly. A creamy but slightly acidic sauce is perfect to top it all off. A fish taco sauce recipe is included below, and I have a few options if you want variety:



My Tips For Making the Best Fish Tacos:

  • You can use just red cabbage. I just wanted to be fancy. Red cabbage is more tender, and I prefer it for eating cabbage raw, but green will also work in a pinch.
  • I love mixing different seasonings, but if you don’t have blackened seasoning, don’t even worry about it. The Old Bay is the main event for this recipe, so you can add extra Creole seasoning, or leave it out.  There is also a variant of Old Bay that has blackened seasoning added in. Purchase blackened seasoning here and Old Bay seasoning.
  • I tend to use cayenne pepper in literally every savory recipe I make. Every. Single. One. Please feel free to take it out if you don’t like spice, it will not affect the flavor.
  • I use coconut or olive oil for frying. Olive is best for a neutral taste, coconut adds flavor.
  • When battering and frying anything, a fish spatula is completely indispensable. I got one this year for the first time, and it has become one of my favorite cooking utensils. Thinner than a regular spatula, it makes it easy to pick up battered food and flip it in the pan without the batter coming off, even if it sticks to the bottom a little. I got mine for under $6 here on Amazon.
  • Everything in this recipe can be made ahead, except for the hearts of palm. They just stay crispiest and taste best fresh!

Other Dishes to Try

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #healthiersteps  — we love to see your recipes on InstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Also please leave a star rating ;-)

Need some encouragement on your Healthier Steps journey?

Join our Facebook groups, sharing lots of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes, health tips, etc., from our members. Please join us and invite your friends Gluten-Free and Vegan For Beginners and Vegan Recipes With Love.



(Per serving)
  • Energy: 199 kcal / 832 kJ
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Carbs: 28 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 25 min
  • Cooking: 15 min
  • Ready in: 40 min
  • For: 5 Servings


Shredded Cabbage

Avocado Cilantro Mayo

Prepping Hearts of Palm

Batter for Hearts of Palm



Shredded Cabbage

  1. Add shredded cabbage, lemon juice, and salt to a bowl. Mix and set aside. Do this first, as this will allow the cabbage to slightly soften (but not completely wilt).

Prepping Hearts of Palm

  1. Take hearts of palm out of can, drain liquid, and cut in half, or thirds for any particularly big pieces. Lay them all out on a cutting board or sheet pan, and squish with hand (see picture above for example). They shouldn't be completely squished, just a little softened. Some will fall apart, and that's fine. Sprinkle with all three seasonings and set aside.

Avocado Cilantro Mayo

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend twice. This does contain raw avocados, so even with the lemon juice added you may want to keep it refrigerated in the mean time.

Battering and Frying

  1. Add all the ingredients for the batter, except for water, to a large low rimmed bowl. Mix them out with a fork so they are evenly distributed, and then add water in parts. Don't add the whole cup at once because your batter may become too thin, or you may even need extra water. Your batter should be reminiscent of runny pancake batter.
  2. Heat a large frying pan to medium heat, and add enough oil to fill to about 1/4 inch height. The pan is ready when the oil dimples. If you're not sure, add a little drop of batter and see if it sizzles.
  3. Drop a few of the heart of palm pieces in the batter, turn with fork so they are completely covered, then lift with fork to allow the excess batter drip off. One by one, carefully place pieces into hot pan. Be sure not to overcrowd your pan. For my 12 inch skillet, I added 6-7 pieces, so a 10 inch standard skillet should hold about 5.
  4. After about 2 minutes, they should be brown and you can flip them to cook the other side. I have a hard time telling you how long you should cook each side for, other than "until a nice light brown color", because everyone's stove and pan will cook differently. Even with myself, each pan or burner I use affects cooking time and oil temperature, so just keep an eye on it, and you'll get the hang of it after a few tries.
  5. Place finished hearts of palm in a plate with a kitchen cloth or paper towels to absorb oil, so they don't become soggy. Continue frying until all your hearts of palm are finished.


  1. Warm your favorite brand of soft tacos in a hot pan. Usually, no oil is necessary. Place a forkful of cabbage in a cabbage shell, add a stick or two of the fried heart of palms, then top with the additional veggies and sauces of your choice.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Dev Marie

Hi there, I’m Dev, Chief Editor here on Healthier Steps, a Jersey girl now residing in Florida, and a first-generation Jamaican immigrant. As a passionate foodie adventurist, I love to create comfort dishes using exotic ingredients from all over the world.