U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Food and Drink > Vegetarian and Vegan Food
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-31-2012, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,627 posts, read 26,544,826 times
Reputation: 26527

Advertisements

Hello, you good vegetarian and vegan folks. I'm hoping that you can help me.

I'm not a fan of tofu. The texture makes my skin crawl. The only time I liked it was when my husband doused it with soy sauce and baked it to within an inch of its life. It was chewy, almost crisp, and most definitely salty. I enjoyed it.

So, knowing that that -- the texture -- is my aversion to tofu, what can you tell me about seitan and tempeh, and my chances of enjoying it?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-31-2012, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Volcano
12,971 posts, read 23,489,817 times
Reputation: 10573
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
I'm not a fan of tofu. The texture makes my skin crawl. The only time I liked it was when my husband doused it with soy sauce and baked it to within an inch of its life. It was chewy, almost crisp, and most definitely salty. I enjoyed it.
I wouldn't write off tofu just yet. First, tofu comes in many different textures, so if you don't like one texture, why not try others? Even the supermarkets today typically have at least 3 or 4 available, including soft, firm, and dry. Asian markets typically have more choices, and also have different flavors. And yes, marinating tofu and baking it, or frying it until it is chewy is a legitimate way to prepare it in oriental cooking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
So, knowing that that -- the texture -- is my aversion to tofu, what can you tell me about seitan and tempeh, and my chances of enjoying it?
Tempeh is unlike tofu because it is made from whole soybeans that are pressed into a cake and fermented. It has an earthy flavor and a crumbly texture that is different from any other food I can think of. It kind of reminds me of some crumbly cheeses. Again, it is made in many different flavors.

Seitan is wheat gluten, from flour that has had all its starch washed away, and then is stretched and shaped in various ways to give it texture. Most kinds have a meat-like texture, which is why it is used as a meat substitute in various buddhist recipes. I used to enjoy a Chinese restaurant in Seattle which featured familiar recipes but with seitan "shrimp," "chicken," "pork," "beef," and "duck," in place of real meat, and it was good enough fake to fool meat-eaters.

Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2012, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,476 posts, read 17,388,423 times
Reputation: 4309
They have different textures, so you may not have the same issues.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 08-02-2012 at 06:54 AM.. Reason: Deleted off-topic comments
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-31-2012, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,627 posts, read 26,544,826 times
Reputation: 26527
Quote:
Originally Posted by OpenD View Post
I wouldn't write off tofu just yet. First, tofu comes in many different textures, so if you don't like one texture, why not try others? Even the supermarkets today typically have at least 3 or 4 available, including soft, firm, and dry. Asian markets typically have more choices, and also have different flavors. And yes, marinating tofu and baking it, or frying it until it is chewy is a legitimate way to prepare it in oriental cooking.



Tempeh is unlike tofu because it is made from whole soybeans that are pressed into a cake and fermented. It has an earthy flavor and a crumbly texture that is different from any other food I can think of. It kind of reminds me of some crumbly cheeses. Again, it is made in many different flavors.

Seitan is wheat gluten, from flour that has had all its starch washed away, and then is stretched and shaped in various ways to give it texture. Most kinds have a meat-like texture, which is why it is used as a meat substitute in various buddhist recipes. I used to enjoy a Chinese restaurant in Seattle which featured familiar recipes but with seitan "shrimp," "chicken," "pork," "beef," and "duck," in place of real meat, and it was good enough fake to fool meat-eaters.

Good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by user_id View Post
They have different textures, so you may not have the same issues.

But...if you don't like these processed products....don't eat them. There are plenty of alternatives....healthier alternatives.

Thanks, guys.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2012, 12:03 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,133,432 times
Reputation: 42502
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
Hello, you good vegetarian and vegan folks. I'm hoping that you can help me.

I'm not a fan of tofu. The texture makes my skin crawl. The only time I liked it was when my husband doused it with soy sauce and baked it to within an inch of its life. It was chewy, almost crisp, and most definitely salty. I enjoyed it.

So, knowing that that -- the texture -- is my aversion to tofu, what can you tell me about seitan and tempeh, and my chances of enjoying it?
One thing you have to do with tofu is squish the water. Freshly drained extra-firm tofu has the consistency of undercooked scrambled eggs, with no flavor at all. Baking helps dry it out, but frying won't so it will still be blah on the inside. I slice mine into four slabs, place on a platter with a few layers of paper towels, add a few layers on top, add another platter on top of that, and then weigh down with a big can of tomatoes. Change the paper towels every 10 minutes for 30 minutes (they'll be soaked), or longer if you can. It fries up much better when it is dry, and it soaks up marinades better too.

I have only made tempeh twice. It reminds me of a crumbly nut loaf ... the texture is hard to describe, like OpenD said. Some people think it is bitter or strange-tasting and recommend simmering it in a small pan of vegetable broth for 20 to 30 minutes. I have not tried this, but I have only just started eating it. The first time, I crumbled it into a bowl, mixed it with enough good BBQ sauce to coat, and then put it inthe fridge for 30 minutes. I roasted some corn in the oven and cut it off the cobs into a big bowl, then added chopped lettuce, pinto beans, grape tomatoes, and shredded carrots. I made a BBQ tahini dressing and added the tempeh to the salad. It was pretty good ... we had that around the 4th of July.

This past weekend, I made an enchilada-style casserole. I steamed the tempeh for 30 minutes (I was using the steamer for something else and figured I'd try it), then crumbled it into a bowl with some enchilada sauce for 30 minutes. Diced a zucchini and sauteed it in a little oil with chopped green onion and some frozen blacked corn in order to warm the corn up. Added the veggies and a can of rinsed black beans to the tempeh, added a little more sauce (enough to coat lightly, not drown), and mixed it all together well. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Cut three small or medium tortillas into quarters, and place them in the dish to create a single layer. Cover with half the tempeh mixture, then some shredded cheese. Repeat with three quartered tortillas and second half of tempeh. Drizzle remaining sauce over (I used one big can total) to moisten everything, top with more cheese and sliced olives, then bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

I saw a recipe that used tempeh in a mock Reuben that I want to try as well.

As far as seitan goes, it's not bad. I haven't tried the store-bought stuff, though. My husband makes it. It's just a glutinous, fibrous dough. I've used it in stir fry, but I think it's best suited to braising and other "wet" cooking methods. Think of it like stew meat. Cooked right it can be really good, but otherwise it's not that tasty. I am looking forward to using it in fall and winter dishes, when I tend to make a lot of stews and casseroles.

Hope that helps. Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are all meat substitutes, but they are not that similar beyond that. Tofu and tempeh are both ultimately made from soy, but they have very different tastes and textures. Seitan is the most meatlike in my opinion, and tempeh can be crumbled into larger chunks (sort of chicken-ish) or smaller (similar to ground meat). Tofu is probably my least favorite of the three, although I still use tofu sometimes.

Last edited by JustJulia; 08-01-2012 at 12:30 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2012, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,627 posts, read 26,544,826 times
Reputation: 26527
Thanks a whole bunch, Julia! The tofu that we bought was very firm, it's just that, if you don't cook it enough (i.e. cook it too long), it's not of a consistency that I say is Dawn-friendly. Any sort of "give" to it makes me squirm.

I, in fact, am a meat eater, but I would like to eat less meat. The real reason that I got interested in tempeh and seitan is that a friend of mine in Manhattan -- she's vegan -- posted some Facebook pictures of goodies that she'd eaten and they looked fabulous! And I know that it's healthier (in many ways) than meat, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 08-02-2012 at 06:56 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,133,432 times
Reputation: 42502
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
Thanks a whole bunch, Julia! The tofu that we bought was very firm, it's just that, if you don't cook it enough (i.e. cook it too long), it's not of a consistency that I say is Dawn-friendly. Any sort of "give" to it makes me squirm.
I hear you. My mother is very outspoken in her disgust for certain textures, including bread pudding, flan, scrambled eggs, and other soft, wet food. I am not as picky as she is, but squishy tofu is just gross. Try draining it like I said, then baking it on parchment paper at 350 for 20 minutes a side.

Get a brick of tempeh from the store and play with it. I would advise it over seitan because I haven't had store-bought and it could be nasty.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2012, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
16,627 posts, read 26,544,826 times
Reputation: 26527
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
I hear you. My mother is very outspoken in her disgust for certain textures, including bread pudding, flan, scrambled eggs, and other soft, wet food. I am not as picky as she is, but squishy tofu is just gross. Try draining it like I said, then baking it on parchment paper at 350 for 20 minutes a side.

Get a brick of tempeh from the store and play with it. I would advise it over seitan because I haven't had store-bought and it could be nasty.
Oh! Don't get me started on flan! {shudder}

We did drain it and then squished out all the liquid that we could. And it was good that time, when doused in soy and then baked forever.

When I think of tofu, though, I think of the little cubes floating in soup at Asian restaurants. GAG! And the cubes in some of the noodle dishes. GAG! You're right -- it's absolutely a texture thing for me, which is ironic given my love of mushrooms. Go figure.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2012, 02:05 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 3,923,934 times
Reputation: 5146
Freezing tofu (the extra firm variety, not the flan-like silken variety) changes the texture to something chewier and less tofu-like.

I usually take the whole un-opened plastic container and throw it in the freezer. If I remember to do it, I defrost in the refrigerator over night. Otherwise, I defrost in the microwave and then fry or bake as usual.

Other people drain the tofu and cut into cubes before freezing. Then, when they're ready to cook it, they just throw the frozen cubes in the skillet and fry as usual.

The freezing process really does change the texture. You might like it better then.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-01-2012, 02:33 PM
 
3,764 posts, read 7,432,763 times
Reputation: 4022
I make a point to buy nigari tofu that is not floating in water in a tub. It is sealed in plastic & is extra, extra firm. What a difference between nigari & floating in water tofu. It fries up crisp!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Food and Drink > Vegetarian and Vegan Food
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. | Please obey Forum Rules | Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top