You don’t go almost vegetarian without reading up and learning about vegetarianism. And, from what I’ve read, meat substitutes, or “mock” meat if you prefer to call them that, fall under two broad categories: (1) soybean-based and (2) gluten-based. We haven’t tried any gluten-based meat substitutes yet but we have cooked four different kinds of soybean-based meat substitutes. Cooked properly, they are wonderful. But then again, I may have an advantage. To start with, I love tofu. If it’s true that tofu appreciation is an acquired thing, I’m glad that my father and my grandfather introduced me to tofu at a very young age. And that makes it easy for me to cook and appreciate soybean-based meat substitutes.
There are no recipes in this post (I’ll post the recipes separately and individually soon) — this is an introduction to soybean-based meat substitutes that we’ve tried, how they are prepared generally and some photos of how they can be served. Just to show you how appetizing vegetarian food can be. Appetizing both for the eyes and the mouth. Information about where to buy the vegetarian “meat” is at the end of the post.
Very inexpensive at PhP35.00 (that’s less than a dollar) per pack, that’s what a pack contains — enough for three people when combined with vegetables. It’s unseasoned so it needs a really good sauce to give it flavor.
I cut the layered tofu skins into strips and fried them over medium-low heat…
… until browned and crisp. I repeat — medium-low heat.
It’s best to drain them on paper towels to remove excess oil.
I served the crisp tofu skins with mixed vegetables, quail eggs and sweet sour sauce.
On page two, a more generic soybean-based meat substitute that can be cut into different sizes and shapes.