Why do vegans replicate meat if they are so opposed to it?
QUESTION: Why do vegans replicate meat if they are so opposed to it? – M. Cyman
ANSWER: Some of my best friends are vegan. They have taught me a lot about cooking. The other night we had a dinner party for eight where I cooked food suitable for a vegan, a person with FODMAP problems and the husband of the vegan who hates vegan food. It was a great meal. The fact that another mate was making ridiculously strong and delicious cocktails did help.
I really don't think it is the vegans who replicate meat but the businesses who see an opening. You can't get a whole lot of tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP), amino acids, hydrolised vegetable oil, colours and seasoning and put it on a plate. You have to shape it into something recognisable. And I am not talking about a hammer or a vase. It has to look like food. And shaping tofu and TVP into a carrot doesn't make sense when a carrot already exists. So you create fake bacon, turkey, myriad burgers and sausages that look like meat but taste like thongs.
When I researched and wrote My Year Without Meat, one of the first things I learned is that going meat-free means you have to take nutrition really seriously and learn how to prepare food properly. Because a lot of processed meat substitutes are truly awful.
QUESTION: Why are my fish balls always soft and floppy and not spongy? – K. Low
ANSWER: You need to slap the fish around a bit. Take a small handful of minced, seasoned fish and throw it against the side of the bowl. This works the protein in the muscles that when cooked will set firmer than if you had just rolled the minced fish into balls.
You can use a stand mixer and mix the minced fish to achieve similar results. You will notice a change from being slightly grainy looking until it is slightly glossy and elastic. This slapping method is also essential when making the filling for Chinese dumplings.