Vegan fish & shrimp tacos

fish and shrimp tacos for dinner

I know, I know. How can fish and shrimp tacos be vegan? They’re obviously not made out of shrimp or fish, but I like to pretend they are.

We bought some fake-meat shrimp from a veggie market in the SGV so I tried to batter and fry them like regular shrimp, but the batter didn’t stick so well. The texture of the fake shrimp was really strange; when I imagine food from the future, that’s what I imagine it tasting like.

The vegan fish was made my usual way: frozen tofu, thawed out, battered with flour & panko and then fried. It didn’t come out as good this time though, probably because I didn’t have it in the freezer for too long.

In addition to the salsa, I also made a vegan white sauce for the tacos. Usually white sauce is mayonaise, condensed milk, and lime. I used veganaise, almond milk, and lime and it tasted pretty good. I wanted the sauce to go with shredded cabbage piled on top of the tacos, but I forgot to buy cabbage. Oops.

Vin Loi Tofu

Vin Loi Tofu sells a lot more than just plain old tofu. The small humble-looking restaurant has some of the best veggie pho I’ve ever had and that’s saying a lot coming from someone who grew up on the pho in the SGV.
Vin Loi Tofu
On the counter were some of these strange looking dumplings wrapped in plastic. When I asked Kevin, the owner, what they were, he was enthusiastic about them and suggested we try them after he warmed some up in the microwave. They seem to be mock-meat dumplings wrapped with tapioca-starch wrappers. The wrappers made them extremely sticky and they tended to stick to each other, but they were pretty good. It even came with vegetarian ngoc mam (fish sauce) which was a pretty good imitation of the real stuff.
Vin Loi Tofu
The BF ordered their House Special Noodles, which comes with round rice noodles and an assortment of fake meat. He ordered it spicy, but the broth didn’t seem that spicy to me. The main complaint I have about a lot of vegetarian pho-style soups is that they’re too sweet. Vin Loi Tofu’s is sweet, but there’s also enough other spices in the broth to keep me happy.
Vin Loi Tofu
I ordered the House Special Seafood soup and asked for it to be spicy. Some how, my spicy soup was a lot spicier than the boyfriend’s spicy soup, but I wasn’t complaining. Despite it being over 95 degrees outside, drinking hot spicy soup felt good. My noodles were the typical flat rice noodles that you get with Pho and the mock meats in my broth included shrimp, fish cakes, and some other unidentifiable soy meat.

The noodle soups at Vin Loi Tofu will never be as good as the pho at places like Golden Deli or Pho 79, but the soups definitely have the best vegan broth I’ve tasted out of all the other vegan/vegetarian pho places around. And their soymilk and tofu aren’t too shabby either. It’s just a shame that they’re all the way in Reseda and not closer to where I live.

The only caveat is that their mock meats may not be entirely vegan. According to the BF, there may be whey in some of the meats and while the owner doesn’t make all of them, he doesn’t seem to give a concrete answer about their ingredients.

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Vin Loi Tofu
18625 Sherman Way
Reseda, CA 91335
(818) 996-9779