Alternative Holiday Foods: Delectable Seafood Substitutes

Types of Seafood Substitutes

Before you start whipping up a few fish-less seafood recipes for your holiday celebrations, go on a fishing expedition -- fishing for answers, that is. First, you'll want to decipher what, exactly, comprises a seafood substitute. It won't contain seafood, and in many cases, it won't include meat, either. In fact, if you'd really like to get acquainted with the ingredients in seafood substitutes, you'll need to head for the land of legumes and vegetables. Meat-free recipes are a great place to start looking for seafood substitution inspiration. For example:

  • "Crab" cakes: You'll need a few landlubber ingredients to whip up these tasty temptations. Made of grated zucchini, onion, breadcrumbs and flour, along with crab pot seasonings, eggs and margarine, these little fried cakes look like the real thing. The only thing missing is the tartar sauce.
  • "Tuna" salad: For this faux tuna, combine coarsely chopped chickpeas and almonds with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of kelp powder, celery, onion, mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. When mixed well and served atop a traditional lettuce salad, this "tuna" salad is a surefire substitute [source: Wacky Vegan World].
  • "Shrimp" cocktail: Try this cauliflower poached in a milieu of crab boil seasoning, onion, garlic and lemon, which is then cooled and served with cocktail sauce -- and get ready to send your tastebuds on an unexpected journey. If you'd really like to add "shrimpy" flavor, sprinkle the concoction with kelp powder [source: Roberts].
  • "Caviar:" Top toast points with caviar made from soybeans and your wallet will thank you. After all, soy caviar is just a fraction of the cost of real sturgeon roe, which can add up to more than $100 an ounce [source: Fabricant]. You could also make your own faux caviar varietals using tapioca pearls and a soy sauce and vinegar bath -- or any other unique combination of flavors you'd like to infuse [source: Wilson].
  • Sea "bacon:" Bacon from the sea? Dulse will make your tastebuds do a double take. This sea vegetable is chewy, salty, and when fried, adds a savory crunch. Use it as a casserole topping, to add interest to breakfast foods and as a stand-alone snack [source: Whole Foods].

More to Explore