Basics

Seitan

The most widely used meat substitute is seitan. Seitan consists of gluten, i.e. wheat protein.

The meat substitute products made from seitan were developed hundreds of years ago by Buddhist monks under the name miàn jīn, as they lived strictly vegetarian due to their religion and were encouraged to avoid animal suffering. To do this, all of the starch was washed out of the flour and the remaining protein was processed further.

Seitan has the advantage that it can be used to produce a wide variety of consistencies. Spices can be worked into the dry gluten powder, so that you can get almost any taste with it.

The preparation options are numerous.

But they differ fundamentally in the WTF, Wash that Flour, method in which you wash the starch yourself out of the flour and at the end keep the pure gluten or the use of VWG, Vital Wheat Gluten, the already pre-dried, pure wheat powder .

Both methods can then be processed further depending on the desired end result.

Depending on the end product, the seitan is then baked, boiled, fried or steamed,

so that the egg white coagulates and the seitan becomes firm. Some people complain to the VWG

Powder has a strong aftertaste to counteract this just a little

Incorporate apple cider vinegar into the dough, this works very well against the inherent taste.

tofu

The small blocks of bean curd are probably the ingredients that most omnivorous people associate with vegans. For a long time, tofu was considered the "meat alternative" par excellence. But tofu only seldom does justice to this.

First of all, it should be clearly noted that not all tofu are created equal. Silken tofu, for example, is ideal for desserts, while smoked tofu is much easier to use in hearty dishes. Most of the tofu we get in the supermarket is "firm" tofu. So a firm tofu that can be used relatively universally. But there is also "extra firm" tofu which is great for

special dishes are more suitable.

Many people are easily put off by tofu. While a fresh,

I personally like handmade tofu even raw, I can

understand that meat eaters are irritated when they bite into a piece of tofu

and wonder that it bears no resemblance to meat.

Here are a few tips for working with tofu:

If you want to get it really crispy, press it for as long as possible. The more liquid it loses, the faster it will later become crispy in the pan or in the oven.

If you want to use it like hacked, I can also recommend you freeze it beforehand. After thawing, the tofu loses a lot of liquid.

Another tip is to dust it with starch before putting it in the oven with a little oil or frying it. The starch, with the protein from the tofu and the oil, allows for a pretty good Maillard reaction, aka crispy browned spots.

In any case, it is definitely not worth throwing the gun in the grain with tofu, but just keep experimenting and maybe just try other brands. Especially fresh tofu from the Asia market can be a real revelation.

milk

The choice is huge. Nowadays there are numerous alternatives to milk on the shelves or refrigerated sections of supermarkets.

From almonds to cashews, coconut, oats or soy, there is actually something for everyone. It is important that most types of milk are differently suitable for different purposes. Soy milk, for example, naturally contains lecithin, which can be used as an emulsifier (i.e. binding agent) for mayo. This is why most mayo recipes are based on oil & soy milk. They can also be foamed differently (depending on the protein content) or used for other dishes (pudding can be made bad with some plant-based milk because the enzyme amylase is used in production, which breaks down starch).

And what is of course also important, they all taste very different. Soy milk is not just soy milk, oat milk is not just oat milk, just try a little until you have a brand that you like.

More basics coming soon

Pulled Seitan nach der Chickwheat Methode
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