Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Trying to recreate vegetarian "chicken" nuggets


stuartlikesstrudel
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

there is a place in Melbourne (Australia) that serves some delicious mock chicken nuggets. Yeah i know many people don't like the mock-meat concept, but I do, and I would like to try recreating these at home.

Here is a picture of them :

http://www.flickr.com/photos/penguincakes/3374739079/

I already have a few ideas of what to do in terms of creating the actual nugget (though suggestions are still welcome - they are gluten free which is interesting since a lot of mock meats use gluten-flour).

The main thing I'm wondering is if anyone might have ideas of how to flavour them like meat. I paid particular attention last time I ate them (and saved one to eat cold for analysis) and noted that apart from salt (!) there were some other flavours in the "flesh", but it was hard to perceive what. They were subtle, it wasn't like a flavoured nugget, but something was there to make it not bland. I am thinking some kind of 'earthy' spices, maybe coriander and cumin, and for some reason i almost get ideas of a little star-anise...

Any thoughts? I know it's hard without having actually eaten them!

- Stu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure about specific seasonings, but the easiest way to introduce a meaty flavor is to add glutamate. the chemical associated with umami. Lots of things are glutamate-heavy: tomatoes, aged cheeses (especially Parmagiano-Reggiano), mushrooms. Any of those are likely to throw off the flavors of what you're trying to do, but glutamate is available almost unadulterated in the form of Ac'cent seasoning. I don't know if it's distributed in Australia.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What exactly are you going to flavour like meat? I know you said you have a few ideas -- what are they? Tofu?

Could it be that they just use some of the mock-chicken as the . . .mock-chicken? Bread it and fry?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MGLloyd, thanks for the suggestion but I don't think that's it... I have never heard of Quorn so i googled it... it's pretty interesting! But these nuggets are vegan and apparently Quorn uses eggwhite.

Pam, I'm going to make my mock-meat with the flavouring in it... so i'm trying to work out what those flavours are. I know that they are using some kind of Textured Vegetable Protein as the meat, and TVP is made from soy. I'm going to try 2 methods, one of which is using TVP flakes which I will reconstitute and then partially blend to get a mushy yet slightly stringy texture. I'm also going to try soy flour and chickpeas to create my own TVP, so to speak.

And you're right, after I have that, I will just coat and fry it. So the spices and flavours will be IN the mock meat.

Dave, I feel a bit silly to not have even thought of MSG... i have checked the vague product listing for the nuggets and they DON'T specify that no MSG is used, so i'm thinking it may well be in there. I have some MSG at home, so i will try it. In the past I have noticed the taste unpleasantly when I use it, so hopefully i don't get that this time... i don't notice it when i consume MSG in convenience foods or eating out usually.

How much might you suggest adding to, say, 500g of my mixture? (i know it's hard to really specify).

Thanks for all the suggestions so far :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stu,

Best of luck with your efforts....the picture looks amazing! I hope you will post the results with instructions when you are successful. I have been struggling to recreate a version of these: http://www.delightsoy.com/ Which are a fairly new product in the U.S. with limited distribution and a somewhat prohibitive price tag, but which I adore for faux chicken nuggets.

So far I have tried using fake powdered chicken bullion for flavoring and tried adding pureed mushrooms for taste and texture but have not managed to come up with something at all like what I am aiming for.

~F

Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew. ~Guillaume Apollinaire

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The items in the photo look like pakora to me; the coating in particular looks like it's from chickpea batter.

I often find that celery seed is an ingredient that often lurks in the background of industrial fried chicken. If I add it at home, I get oohs and ahhs from the younger set in particular.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doodad, good idea... I don't use sage much so probably wouldn't have thought about that, thanks for the idea :)

Chris, thanks for the celery seed suggestion! I haven't ever used or really even heard of these, so i'll have to keep an eye out, sounds like a good thing to play with. I'm not sure if these nuggets actually have a batter, I suspect the outsides are just crispier because of the contact with oil, but again, i will keep the chickpea batter as an idea to try.

Fantasmagoria, I will definitely report back here with what I find. Don't get your hopes up too much, I'm not an expert in reverse-engineering dishes, and these are the kind of thing that I reckon might require specialty equipment or technique to get just right! But who knows...!

Now I just need to find a good time to actually make them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you tried the sanitarium vegitarian chicken nugget mix? when i was vego I tried it and was creeped out by how close they got the texture and taste. Their sausage roll mix is similar too. You should be able to get these from any safeway, er woolworths. It might be worth a look, even just to see what ingredients they are using then copy them.

I might swing past lord of the fries and try these nuggets at some point, you've got me curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Yesterday, an old friend sent me a picture of her family dinner, which she prepared. She was never much of a cook, so I was a bit surprised. It's the first I've seen her cook in 25 years. Here is the spread.
       

       
      I immediately zoomed in on one dish - the okra.
       

       
      For the first 20-odd years I lived in China, I never saw okra - no one knew what it was. I managed to find its Chinese name ( 秋葵 - qiū kuí) in a scientific dictionary, but that didn't help. I just got the same blank looks.
       
      Then about 3 years ago, it started to creep into a few supermarkets. At first, they stocked the biggest pods they could find - stringy and inedible - but they worked it out eventually. Now okra is everywhere.

      I cook okra often, but have never seen it served in China before (had it down the road in Vietnam, though) and there are zero recipes in any of my Chinese language cookbooks. So, I did the sensible thing and asked my friend how she prepared it. Here is her method.
       
      1. First bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the washed okra and boil for two minutes. Drain.

      2. Top and tail the pods. Her technique for that is interesting.
       

      3. Finely mince garlic, ginger, red chilli and green onion in equal quantities. Heat oil and pour over the prepared garlic mix. Add a little soy sauce.
       

      4. Place garlic mix over the okra and serve.
       
       
      When I heard step one, I thought she was merely blanching the vegetable, but she assures me that is all the cooking it gets or needs, but she did say she doesn't like it too soft.

      Also, I should have mentioned that she is from Hunan province so the red chilli is inevitable.
       
      Anyway, I plan to make this tomorrow. I'm not convinced, but we'll see.
       
      to be continued
       
       
    • By missdipsy
      Two of my family members are pescetarian, one of whom is my picky daughter who only likes a few types of fish cooked in very specific ways so to all intents and purposes is mostly vegetarian. Many Chinese soup recipes involve meat or fish, or at least meat broth, so I'd love to find a few more recipes that would suit my whole family (I also don't eat much pork as it doesn't always agree with me, and a lot of soups involve pork so this is also for my benefit!). Vegetarian would be best, or pescetarian soups that are not obviously seafood based (I could get away with sneaking a small amount of dried shrimp in, for instance, but not much more than that!).
       
      Any kind of soup will do, although I'd particularly like some simple recipes that could be served alongside a multi-dish meal. But I'm always interested in new recipes so any good soup recipes would be welcome!
       
      Any suggestions?
    • By Druckenbrodt
      So, our flights have been booked for next Sunday, we're servicing our loyal bikes, the panier bags are coming out of the cupboard and we're checking the tent still has all its poles.
      Our plan is 10 days of cycling, through the Pelopponnese and Crete, far from the madding crowds, through mountain meadows and forests full of bee hives, with regular visits to pristine hidden beaches. That's the plan.
      Of course, to make our holiday perfect, some feasting would go down well. I had thought that this would be impossible for my boyfriend, given he's vegetarian (no fish either), since I assumed the options will only be grilled meat, grilled fish, or Greek salad. But having had a look at some of these posts, it seems like there are quite a few really delicious (and popular?) dishes that don't involve meat or fish, but do include delicious things like spinach, fava beans, chick peas etc.
      So, I'd like to compile a list of Great Greek Dishes that vegetarians can eat, the sort of simple everyday stuff that we might be able to get in a small village taverna. To kick start the list I'm nominating:
      Briam - I had this about 10 years ago on the island of Amorgos and it was mindblowingly delicious. Potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes and maybe onions and lots of olive oil? All cooked together extremely slowly. I've tried recreating this but never succeeded. It's something I still have fond memories of!
      Any general advice or additions to the list would be most gratefully appreciated!
    • By Deeps
      This is one of my daughter favorite dishes, being mild and less spicy she loves this rice dish.  Its super easy to make and goes well with most Indian curries.
      Do try this out and I am sure you will be happy with the results.
       

       
      Prep Time : 5 mins
      Cook Time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2
       
      Ingredients:
      1 cup rice(basmati), cooked
      1/2 cup coconut, shredded or grated
      1 green chili, slit
      1 dried red chili
      1 1/2 tablespoon oil/ghee(clarified butter)
      1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
      1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      1/2 tablespoon chana dal(split chickpeas)
      1/2 tablespoon urad dal(split black gram)
      1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped
      A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
      Few curry leaves
      Salt to taste
       
      Directions
      1) Heat oil/ghee(clarified butter) in a pan in medium flame. I used coconut oil here because it tastes best for this dish.
      2) Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal(split chickpeas), urad dal(split black gram), green chili, dried red chili, ginger and curry leaves. Fry this for 30 seconds in medium flame. The trick is to ensure that these are fried but not burned.
      3) Add a pinch of hing(asafoetida) and mix well.
      4) Now add the cooked rice and coconut. Stir well for about 15 to 20 seconds and switch off the flame.
      5) Finally add salt into this and mix well. You could add peanuts or cashew nuts if you prefer. Goes well with most curries.
    • By loki
      Vietnamese Pickled Eggplant
       
      These use tiny white eggplants that are nearly impossible to get here.  I tried to grow them without success (this time).  I did not have these so used unripe cherry tomatoes.
       
      Ingredients
      2 lb eggplant (tiny white SE Asian types) or green cherry tomatoes.
      1/4 cup salt
      1 TBL galangal root
      1 TBL ginger root
      12 green chilies - thai peppers or serranos
      6 cloves garlic
      1/2 cup onion finely chopped
      2 cup Granulated sugar
      2 cup water
      1/4 cup fish sauce
       
      1. Rinse off eggplant and pierce with a knife - or cut in half if larger than 3/4 inch in diameter.
       
      2. Put eggplant into jar and add salt - and water to top of jar.  Cover with plastic lid and cover loosely.  Let ferment for 7 days.
       
      3. Take out eggplant and drain.  Rinse with water.  Put into jars again.
       
      4. Chop ginger, galangal, chiles, onion, and garlic.
       
      5. Boil water and sugar, add spices and onion, and heat for 5 minutes.  Add fish sauce.
       
      6. Pour over eggplants making sure the spices and onion get all around (might have to take out some eggplant and return).
       
      7. Cover with plastic lid, and refrigerate.
       
      8. Ready in several days.  Will last a very long time in the refrigerator.
       
      Notes:  Good alongside other SE Asian dishes, or even alone with rice.  The green tomatoes are not the same texture as the eggplants, but are quite good.  The eggplants are very crispy.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...