In my ongoing search for sci-fi food that’s not just Gagh or Solyent Green, my mind often returns to the sci-fi staple of protein or nutrient blocks. I know we can buy a ‘meal in a can’ and energy bars, etc. but they’re all a little too appetizing for me! Instead, I’ve made some miniature, individual tuna loaves, with coloring.
I don’t know if it’s the novelty, the Maillard effect or something else, but I love them – nibbling tiny bits off each cube in an effort to make them last longer. (Also, the mustard and tabasco sauces in the pipettes above, aren’t as nice with it as a good marinara sauce – but I happily eat them straight from the fridge.)
Recipe for Black Protein Cubes
- 100g (one drained can) of tinned tuna chunks
- 100g (one drained can) of tinned salmon
- 66g all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 66g finely grated cheddar cheese
- 66g chopped onion
- 88ml of milk
- 30ml of oil (olive/vegetable)
- 1/4tsp baking soda
- 1tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black and red food coloring
- Mix the flour (66g) and the eggs (2) until blended.
- Slowly incorporate the milk (88ml) and then do the same for the oil (30ml).
- To this thin mixture, add the tuna (100g) and salmon (100g), the onion (66g), the baking soda (1/4tsp), and the cheese (66g).
- Add the paprika (1tsp), salt (1/2tsp), pepper (1/2tsp) and food coloring (6 drops black, 2 drops red).
- Add to a pre-oiled silicone brownie bite mold by the teaspoon, filling almost to the top.
- Put in the oven for 40 minutes at 200c (400f).
Serve cold or hot, with a dollop of marinara sauce. Excellent for stashing in the fridge and grabbing a few to munch on as you’re running out the door in the morning. Also – you can swap out the tinned salmon for more tuna – it doesn’t seem to matter between the two. A good larder backup – just eggs, canned fish, and cheese, and you’re 90% of the way there.