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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am very new to the fake meat world. I have been using Tofu and Seitan. The receipes work out okay but they don't taste like they do when I've gone to veggie resturants. I know - I know they are professionals.

I just can't seem to get the texture right with the Tofu and I can't get the seasoning right for Tofu or Seitan.

So I guess my question is: How should I cook Tofu? How long and with what method should I season Tofu and Seitan? Should I soak them in things overnight?

Also, I have a receipe for making my own Seitan. Has anyone tried this? I thought this would be good because I could flavor it myself from the beignning. Any thoughts or advice would be VERY much appreciated.
 

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I cook my own seitan and love it. Does your recipe ask you to bake it or boil it?

My recipe involves processed vegetables (I just whiz mushrooms/bell peppers/spinach in a processor with the amount of water needed in the recipe and then add it to the mix), and then I boil it in vegetarian chicken-style broth. I find seitan tastes best if it you let completely cool down/drain before using, and it's great cooked a little in a pan. General Tso's Seitan is one of my favourite dishes. I think I have a confusing recipe for it around here somewhere that I need to clean up.

You can marinate tofu, but you can also just drain it of water, cut or crumble, and cook it for a while alone in a pan before adding vegetables.
 

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I make my own seiten, a bag of wheat flour and a couple hours later I have a big blob of the stuff.

What I do is after the seiten is made but before it is cooked I kneed spices into it and let it sit for at least a day before I use it.

I make mine is bulk to freeze for later, I dunno if you are useing seiten mixes or what though , I make mine fully from scratch so that may have an effect on seasoning
 

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We used seitan for the first time the other day in our old General Tso recipe, substituting the seitan directly for the chicken and handling it the same way.

I bought "chicken style" seitan that apparently had seasoning in it already, discarded the liquid it was in, and cut the seitan into bite sized pieces, soaked in our soy etc, coated in cornstarch, chilled, coated again, and ended up frying in peanut oil.

The end result was identical in texture and all other ingredients performed the same, but there was a weird aftertaste to the seitan. Is this normal for it, or did I choose the wrong "flavor" perhaps? We were disappointed and I was going to try TVP or tofu next (but I'm a novice at all of this). If I had something with basically no flavor I think it would work better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Elena~ Yes, mine calls for boiling, for quite a while, in whatever flavor you want. I'm kind of intimidated to make it but I've been that way about all my vegan ventures so far. They have all turned out better than I thought.

Ayrlin~ Yes, my receipe is from scratch. That is why I liked it. While the ginger/garlic flavored Seitan is okay I would much rather make my own. I bought vegan beef and chicken flavoring. I plan on adding other spices as I learn more about how to cook vegan.
 

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Seitan is flavorless without the seasonings in it. I've never tried the chicken-style though. If you make it yourself from gluten flour, it's not that time consuming and you can control the flavoring you put in the cooking liquid.

Tofu would probably work really well for your recipe as well. The texture is different but it should still be really good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselAmy View Post

The end result was identical in texture and all other ingredients performed the same, but there was a weird aftertaste to the seitan. Is this normal for it, or did I choose the wrong "flavor" perhaps? We were disappointed and I was going to try TVP or tofu next (but I'm a novice at all of this). If I had something with basically no flavor I think it would work better.
Hmmmm. First of all, if it is vegan, I would LOVE to have the receipe!! I have been trying to find good chinese vegan dishes as I love that type of food.

I would think if you made your own that it probably wouldn't have the aftertaste? Maybe the aftertaste was some type of perservative or spice the company added that didn't sit well with you. I haven't tried the prepackaged chicken flavor seitan, only the ginger/garlic flavored kind.

I will try and find the receipe for Seitan that I have......
 

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I love making wheat meat, and now that my commissary is carrying Vital Wheat Gluten, the process is much faster.

Chinese restaurants usually use different cooking techniques and that's why you may not be getting the same results. After many years of investigating it myself, I finally figured out what you need to do. I was cutting up firm tofu into cubes and then pan frying it, it wasn't the same. Here's what they do in chinese restaurants. Take soft tofu, drain it well, cut it into cubes and coat it in potato starch. I can't find potato starch, so corn starch works for me. You must flash fry it. You need a deep fryer that is heated to 450 degrees for it to qualify as 'flash frying'. Then, it's golden brown and great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimra View Post

First of all, if it is vegan, I would LOVE to have the receipe!! I have been trying to find good chinese vegan dishes as I love that type of food.
It's not--it has an egg in it but I can't think of anything else nonvegan, and the egg would probably be easily subbed with something else. It's only part of a marinade or sauce, I think, not real "fluff" like in our Pad Thai recipe.

I'll ask the recipe's owner if I can share it! It really is wonderful, if messy and time consuming! Worth it enough to make it once a month or so--just like the style you get in restaurants, but yummier. I am definitely going to keep trying with other proteins to get the right frying substance. It may have just been chicken-style seitan that was a bad choice.
 
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