This is the best Beer Battered Vegan Fried Fish! Made from hearts of palm, Old Bay seasoning, and a rich beer batter, the tender fried “fish” is best served with tartar sauce and fries. Just like authentic fish and chips, but better!

piece of vegan fried fish with a bite missing on top of a pile of more vegan fish

Vegans may not eat fish but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy beautifully fried and flaky “fish”. Just like my Vegan Fish Sticks and Tuna Sandwiches, this Beer Battered Vegan Fried Fish tastes even better than the real thing. Perfect if you’ve been missing classic fish and chips!

The flaky “fish” in this recipe is made from a savory mix of hearts of palm, Old Bay seasoning, and nori sheets. No tofu, chickpeas, or artichoke hearts needed!

When coated in the rich and airy beer batter, the fried vegan fish sticks become so crispy and irresistible. Serve them up with Homemade Tartar Sauce, pickles, lemon, and Air Fryer French Fries for the best vegan fish and chips ever!

pieces of golden brown fried vegan fish on a wire rack

What’s vegan fish made from?

The “fish” in this vegan fish recipe is made from hearts of palm, breadcrumbs, nori, vegan mayo, and Old Bay seasoning.

Hearts of palm are a meaty and tender vegetable that come from the inner core of cabbage palm trees. They’re used in a lot of vegan seafood recipes, like my Vegan Crab Cakes, because they’re so delicate and have a nice balance between creamy and crunchy.

Combining these with nori sheets and Old Bay is the secret to authentic tasting vegan fish. You can almost always find Old Bay seasoning in classic fried fish, and the nori (dried seaweed sheets) ensures your vegan “fish” tastes like it’s fresh from the sea.

What kind of beer is best for beer battered fish?

A vegan-friendly lager or pilsner is best but any pale-colored beer will work. Darker beers, like stouts or porters, will make the batter much too dark and affect the flavor. 

Not sure if the beer you’re using is vegan-friendly? You can double check using Barnivore. They list almost every alcohol brand, letting you know which are made with and without animal products (in the ingredients and processes).

Mixing beer into a fried fish batter incorporates air, which helps the batter crisp up. You won’t taste the beer flavor and the alcohol cooks out as it fries in the oil.

hearts of palm, crumbled nori, and spices in a food processor

How to make vegan beer battered fish

First, make the fish by pulsing the ingredients together in a food processor. Leave a little bit of texture in the mix (or even some large chunks) so it replicates real flaky fish. 

white mixture with green flecks in a food processor

Use your hands to form about 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time into small fish filet shapes. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you prepare the batter.

white vegan fish sticks on a parchment lined baking sheet

Whisk the dry batter ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the beer until the batter is smooth.

Get ready to fry the vegan fish by heating some oil in a large pot to 375ºF. Dip the chilled fish sticks into the batter one at a time, then fry in the hot oil. Take them out of the oil when they’re golden brown and let them drain on a wire rack. Serve hot and enjoy!

dipping a white vegan fish filet in an orange batter in a glass bowl

Tips and substitutions

  • Cold beer – The colder your beer, the better! It makes the fried fish even crispier.
  • Hearts of palm – If you can’t find hearts of palm, use canned jackfruit in brine or artichoke hearts instead. They’ll still have a nice texture but the flavor will be a touch sweeter.
  • Thermometer – I strongly recommend using a thermometer when frying food. It’s the best and safest way to tell when your hot oil is ready.
  • When frying – Handle the fish sticks gently or they will fall apart. They’re much sturdier once they’re done frying.
piles of golden brown vegan fried fish on a piece of white parchment paper

Serving suggestions

Your vegan fried fish is golden brown and ready for all of your guests to enjoy! All you need is some fresh vegan tartar sauce, crispy french fries, lemon wedges, pickles, or potato wedges on the side to make the meal complete.

Take it up a notch and use the fish in Vegan Fish Tacos. They’re so crispy and tangy, making them a perfect match for a creamy slaw and black bean and corn salad on the side.

Frequently asked questions

  1. Can I make this without alcohol? Yes! Replace the beer with unflavored sparkling water.
  2. Can it be made gluten free? Swap the all purpose flour in the batter for rice flour or a gluten free 1:1 flour, and use gluten free breadcrumbs in the fish. There are lots of gluten free beers on the market nowadays or you can use sparkling water.
  3. How long do they last? Vegan fried fish is best eaten hot and fresh but you can store it in a container in the fridge for 1 or 2 days. To reheat, place the leftovers in an air fryer or oven at 325ºF until heated through and crisp (about 5 to 10 minutes).
  4. Can I air fry or bake them? Probably, though I haven’t tested it. Even if you’re not a fan of deep frying food, it’s SO worth it for this recipe! Baking or air frying just won’t give you that fried fish crunch and richness.
womans hand holding a piece of golden brown fried vegan fish

Want more fun vegan food?

piece of vegan fried fish with a bite missing on top of a pile of more vegan fish
5 stars (7 ratings)

Beer Battered Vegan Fried Fish

This is the best Beer Battered Vegan Fried Fish! Made from hearts of palm, Old Bay seasoning, and a rich beer batter, the tender fried “fish” is best served with tartar sauce and fries. Just like authentic fish and chips, but better!
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 14 fish

Ingredients 
 

For the fish

For the batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups beer

For frying

  • vegetable oil, safe for frying

For serving

Instructions 

Make the vegan fish

  • To a food processor, add the drained hearts of palm, bread crumbs, vegan mayo, crumbled nori, old bay seasoning and salt.
  • Pulse several times to combine, but make sure there is still some texture and even large chunks. Don't process into a paste. If the mixture seems really wet, add another 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and pulse.
  • Using your hands, form into fish like shapes, about 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide.  Use about 2 tablespoons per fish stick.
  • Place the sticks on a plate lined with parchment paper and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the batter.

Make the batter

  • To make the beer batter, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, paprika, old bay seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Gradually whisk in the beer until a batter forms and is smooth.

Fry the fish

  • Add oil to a large, heavy bottomed pot about 2-3 inches deep. Heat to 375 degrees F, using a thermometer for best results and safety.
  • Quickly dip the chilled fish sticks into the batter one at a time, then place in the hot oil, carefully.  I use a fork to dip them in and carefully out of the batter. Handle them gently or they will fall apart, but once they are fried they are very sturdy.
  • Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Drain on a wire rack. Enjoy immediately with Vegan Tartar Sauce and Air Fryer Fries, or use in Vegan Fish Tacos.

Notes

  1. Can’t find hearts of palm? Try using jackfruit or artichokes instead.
  2. Gluten free? Substitute gluten free breadcrumbs and use gluten free beer.
  3. How to reheat? For best results, reheat leftover “fish” in an air fryer or oven at 325 degrees until heated through and crisp, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Don’t want to use alcohol? No worries, substitute sparkling water instead, unflavored.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 14 fish | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 310IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Main, Snack
Cuisine: American
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Hi Nora,
    I’ve been vegan for over thirty years so I’m pretty confident and experienced vegan cook and mostly don’t follow a recipe when I cook but when I’m looking for something new I always check out your blog as I have never had a recipe of yours that didn’t work or we didn’t like.
    Thanks for this recipe- I made it this evening because my family and I are doing a virtual round the world vegan culinary tour (started during lockdown and now done over half the countries of the world!) and we picked England so we did fish and chips. I’ve made vegan fish before using banana blossoms and also your fantastic crab cakes recipe which we loved (none of us have ever had ‘real’ crab cakes!) but not tried this recipe before.
    It was really lovely, as expected.

    For me the batter stayed on better when we dipped the fish cakes in flour first and also I had to more or less start again with the batter as the beer made it very bitter- we must have picked the wrong sort- so I had to add a load more flour, and then some yeast flakes etc etc to counteract the bitterness- another time I think I would use cider- but the fish was absolutely lovely.

    I didn’t have any Old Bay seasoning and it was pretty expensive to I just subbed with celery salt; I also added a pinch of kelp to the seasoning because I had some in the cupboard.

    I’ve not eaten fish since I was a child and not ever eaten battered fish but this seemed very fishy and my kids were asking if we could have it again next week!
    This is a great recipe, thanks so much!
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah. You are welcome! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed the vegan fried fish! Your virtual round the world vegan culinary tour sounds great! Thank you for sharing your interesting story, and wonderful feedback!

  2. I have never used hearts of palm before and I was so curious as to how this would turn out but it’s SO. GOOD.!!!! It was a huge hit with the whole family. Thank you for all of your fantastic recipes! 

    1. Hi Ally. You are welcome! I’m so happy the vegan fish was a hit with the family, and I’m glad you tried it! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback and review!

  3. Just tried these they were great! I added 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch and a lil more seasoning.  Thank you for this recipe I wish I could’ve added a photo of them.

    1. You are welcome! I’m glad the fish came out great for you, and that you loved them! Thank you for sharing your great feedback!

  4. I made these both deep fried and some I airfried. Both ways were great! My husband enjoyed them either way and we like the air fry option because of the oil free option. They were perfect! Thanks for the recipe. It’s a winner!

    1. You are welcome! I’m really glad you guys loved the recipe! I really like the way so many things cook in an air fryer! Thanks for sharing your wonderful feedback and ideas! Happy cooking!

  5. OK, this recipe is so dang good. No need to substitute anything at all so don’t even go there! Tastes like a mild white fish. The tartar sauce is excellent too. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  6. Another AMAZING recipe from Nora. I made it last night as part of a vegan fish n’ chips meal for my friends birthday. I used jackfruit as I couldn’t find hearts of palm and a basic veggie season because I couldn’t find Old Bay seasoning. Everyone loved it! So flaky, so tasty, and the seaweed made it so fishy! It was a lot easier than I expected. Definitely making it again 🙂 

    1. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the “fish”! Thank you so much for letting me know and leaving a comment, I appreciate it!

  7. These were delicious and surprisingly quick to put together! I cut the recipe in half because it’s just me and hubby and we still had leftovers. I don’t know how much nori varies in size, but I used 2 sheets. We fried them in oil but I plan to reheat what’s left tomorrow in the air fryer. Thank you, Nora!!

    1. You are welcome! I’m glad the fish turned out delicious for you. I think it will be fantastic reheated in the air fryer! Thanks for taking your time to share your review and comments!

    1. I think you could, though they won’t taste quite the same of course. I would spray the air fryer basket with oil and spray the fish with oil if possible, then cook for 10 minutes on one side, flip and cook 10-15 minutes more, checking them often.

  8. I’m loving your vegan seafood recipes!
    I wonder if I could make these a little bigger for a couple of fish planks on a sandwich. Fried fish sandwich! Do you think they would hold up?

    1. Thank you! Yes, you could just shape them as burger patties and fry them up. I’ve totally done that and it was fabulous. 🙂 I would pan fry in less oil though, just so they don’t fall apart.

    1. I haven’t tested it, but I think they might freeze okay if needed. You could probably shape them, then freeze them, thaw and fry when ready.

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