I have a very mixed history with food pretending to be other food – or, at least, non-meat pretending to be meat. Historically, I’ve disdained it. It’s like the bread and cereal and other items that appear around Passover so that you can still have your Cheerios for breakfast without eating chametz. If you’re going to give something up – especially for a non-medical, non-required reason – then give it up and stop weaseling with technicalities.
But that was a position staked out largely before I gave up pig products, which explains why I have a vegan chorizo recipe photocopied and waiting to be tried. Also, it explains this post.
This is technically my second experiment with seitan, the first being the little curds I picked up the other month and tried to figure out how to use without any sort of directions or suggestions on the package. In my vegetarian Thai cookbook, there is a recipe for making seitan from scratch, the end steps being to either deep fry (preferred) or bake the results. I got something edible out of toasting the store-bought version, so I figured I’d try again.
These may put anyone on the path to carnivorous behavior. They felt exactly the way they look – like rubber.
Thankfully, they look a little more like food and less like mistakes from the tire factory after toasting, even though I believe this type is supposed to be steamed:
As for what to do with them, I opted to go for a Chinese-Thai mishmash (it’s not elegant enough to be called a fusion): a Thai green curry stir-fry.
This is my new-ish wok, by the way. It’s one of those flat-bottomed types for western stovetops. I actually have a proper Chinese wok, complete with a crown that rests on the burner grate, but this is easier to work with. It was originally a bright, shiny stainless steel, but while my seasoning has been irregular, the important part – the bottom – is well done. It’s gigantic, though, and one of the reasons my next home cannot have a tiny stove.
Food that looks exactly like what it’s supposed to be. More or less; the coconut milk is reconstituted from powder.
This is a lot of food and yes, I was eating it all week.
I didn’t make it as soupy as a Thai curry that you get in a restaurant would be – I love that style, but that’s an awful lot of coconut milk to be consuming. It was saucy enough, though, and very tasty.
Dessert was from the other end of the globe: a poppy cake made with the remainder of the mun filling from the Purim hamantaschen.