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This 28 message thread spans 2 pages : ( [1] 2 ) >>

vegan 'fish' fingers
ID#: 159216
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1:11:12 AM on 15-01-2010
I took the ingredients list for Redwood's "Fish Style Fingers", combined it with my experience making chickpea cutlets, and worked out what I figured would be a pretty reasonable shot at a decent recipe. I must be starting to learn something about this sort of thing, as it turned out pretty much spot on first go - woohoo! Anyway, for those who may be interested, give it a go and enjoy...

(oh, as far as spices go, the ones below are what I grabbed out of the cupboard, but you can do whatever you like. The sea weed and dulse are both optional, and can be substituted for other spices if you want as well, although I added them primarily for nutritional benefits rather than taste alone. The maize meal could also be substituted for plain flour if desired, which is what the Redwoods product actually used - I think maize gives it that little bit extra though, not to mention that grains go very well with legumes nutritionally speaking, but it's your call either way. Overall it's one of those recipes you can't really do too much to stuff up, I reckon, so go nuts and have fun).

1 cup soya flour
1/2 cup maize (corn) meal
1/2 cup gluten flour
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sea weed (ground to powder)
1 tsp dulse (optional: good for lots of nutrients, inc. B12)
1 tsp vegan stock (eg. Massel's)
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp guar gum
breadcrumbs for coating
olive oil for baking

Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add wet ingredients and mix to form dough. Knead dough by hand until gluten strings form and dough starts to toughen (2-3 minutes). Break off golf-ball sized pieces and form into fingers. Dunk fingers in water and then coat with bread crumbs. Place on a pre-heated oiled tray and bake at 190C for 8-9 minutes, then flip and bake for about the same again. Done! Perfect with a vegan tartare sauce or sweet chilli.
ID#: 159218
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1:25:15 AM on 15-01-2010
I have NO idea how you would have the patience to do this.

I have considered it, but the thought of trying to figure out quantities of ingredients made me completely go off the idea.

Quite interested in this recipe as it it doesn't seem to use alot of gluten flour - I'm always wary of eating too much gluten as I don't want to develop an intolerance.

I bet the seasoning could be adapted to give a flavour like one of those chicken chippee things with the spicy breadcrumb coating for an alternative. probably leave out the seaweed and add some nutritional yeast, garlic powder and "chicken" spices.
ID#: 159219
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2:03:23 AM on 15-01-2010
Hi Neykid,

you sell yourself short, I think! You start by saying you could never do it, then end with exactly the right ideas that get you there anyway! lol

Chipees idea is a good one, you could do nuggets very easily too.

That's how I started off - work with known good recipes, and get comfortable with them. Then start gradually experimenting with minor changes, and learning what effect different ingredients and quantities has. Then one day you look at a list of ingredients and think "hey, that's pretty close to X, so if I maybe use these ingredients in those quantities, that'll at least get me close..."

Not a lot of patience needed then, just persistence. Keep making the things you like, and it's always fun and rewarding then, and one day you just look back and think "wow, when did I learn to cook?"
ID#: 159221
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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8:11:28 AM on 15-01-2010
OK to sub another flour for soy?
ID#: 159226
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9:31:20 AM on 15-01-2010
What does the guar gum do?  I don't have any in the pantry and would be reluctant to buy a packet just for 1/4 teaspoon... I assume leaving it out would be ok?
ID#: 159240
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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10:52:47 AM on 15-01-2010
Broadbean, my hubby is an omni, but is extremely impressed with your recipes, not that we have tried any yet!!
He has always said that he would eat more vegan food if I could make it more 'interesting'.  Today I have made a lentil cottage pie and it smells and looks great.
He has asked me to ask you whether you could provide with or tell us where to find recipes using chick pea flour, he particularly wants samosa and onion baji recipes.............would appreciate any help you could give in that regard......thank you....
ID#: 159247
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11:22:43 AM on 15-01-2010
Hi noosagranny,

don't see why it would be a problem. Since it is a legume, I'd try other legumes first, probably chickpea flour is best to start. Just a straight swap. Flour would be easiest, but you could even try mashed cooked chickpeas if you were after a chunkier product. Just treat the recipe as a starting point and go nuts! On that note, I wonder how a nut flour would go? Maybe do it 50-50 with potato flour too.
ID#: 159249
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11:30:57 AM on 15-01-2010
Hi Ellie-may,

there are heaps of great recipes using chickpea flour, although I haven't yet come across any for samosas - I do have an idea though, so I will have a try.

I posted a couple of threads on this in the last week. Look up "socca", which is an AWESOME French-Italian flatbread (also called farinata). Also look up "chickpea omelette", a variation I found on the same recipe, which someone else then took and found made fantastic quiches. I think I posted the recipe for the chickpea cutlets too, but will check and out it up if not - they're basically vegan steaks, and are sooooo good. You cab do a lot with the cutlets just from how you cook them alone, getting a texture from burger through to steak and even schnitzel too! Very flexible.
ID#: 159250
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11:35:57 AM on 15-01-2010
Hi meljoy,

You could leave it out, just be more careful not too add too much water. The original ingredients included carrageenan, as a thickener, so I just subbed the guar gum as that's what I had. Just some straight cornstarch (cornflour) would probably do, although I would up it to maybe 1 tbsp (start at 1 tsp and add more as needed if you're not sure). Either way, you're after a dough that is still a bit sticky but not watery.
ID#: 159251
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:45:28 AM on 15-01-2010
Hi Broadbean.  I have been very busily copying and printing out your recipes... thanks so much.  haven't been able to find the cutlet recipe though.  Perhaps you could direct me to it? it sounds as if it's something I could try for the omni boys!

No, don't worry BB, have just found it myself.....looks awsome. Thanks so much.
ID#: 159252
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11:53:24 AM on 15-01-2010
Hi Ellie-May,

Not a problem.

One mod you may like to try with the burger/cutlet recipe is to add a half cup of maize (corn) meal (which is NOT the same as cornflour/cornstarch, if you haven't used it before). I tried that after posting, and it adds a nice touch to it, as well as boosting it nutritionally (legumes combined with grains give you a complete protein source - a good comeback to any omnis who try to tell you that is the reason you 'need' to eat meat). Good luck, and enjoy!
ID#: 159303
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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4:18:07 PM on 15-01-2010
Far out, nice recipe, but i agree, there is a quicker way that is still yummy.

Just slice firm tofu into finger pieces, coat with a mixture of egg replacer and vegan milk, then dip into a combination of breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper...then shallow fry. Serve with tartare sauce.
ID#: 159445
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2:26:42 PM on 16-01-2010
Turns out this recipe also kicks butt for making 'chicken' nuggets and 'chicken' chippees too...just subbed the Massel's chicken stock for the veg stock, and also put in some lemon pepper, otherwise everything is the same. mmmmm
ID#: 159474
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6:26:18 AM on 17-01-2010
i dont bother with 'omnisubs' (omnivore substitutes) as i find plenty of great things to eat close to their whole form - ie lentils, veggies, fruit, etc. Easier too.
but these r great for omnis and those transitioning into veg*
thanks 4 sharing ur recepies :)
ID#: 159476
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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8:18:22 AM on 17-01-2010
Ocicat, you are absolutely right of course....I must admit I find the omni-subs very enjoyable. I guess a lifetime of making meat/dairy part of the delicious tastes in our meals is hard to give up and it becomes a challenge to invent substitutes. The hardest for me has been cheese and yogurt...savoury yeast doesn't really do it in replacing certain flavours I miss. But having said that there are other flavours I never liked and don't miss, e.g. liver, and no doubt there are flavours in other cultures' cuisines that we don't miss because we were not brought up with them....  no doubt Japanese or other countries' vegans will be 'missing' different things...

Whatever and however, it all helps animals, so keep 'em, coming, BB!
ID#: 159486
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10:47:06 AM on 17-01-2010
Hi ocicat,

I do understand the sentiments behind your position, but I have to say that I reject the foundation on which they are based. I'll try to explain my reasons, and hopefully will make enough sense! :-)

Many vegans reject "omnisubs" or "faux meats" on the basis that they feel it is wrong (or at least improper, even if not in a forbidden sense) even to 'pretend' to eat animals. And if you feel strongly enough about it, then there is certainly nothing wrong with doing this. As you quite rightly point out, there is still a HUGE range of awesome foods to choose from.

But for me, I don't regard these as being "omnisubs" at all, or even a substitute of any form. The only reason I use omni terminology to describe them is that it is too hard to otherwise give people an idea of what the finished product is like. The fingers/nuggets/chips I have talked about here are all 100% vegan foods that are most accurately described as breads, NOT as meat substitutes, but it just happens that for most people (including veg*ns as well as omnis) they'll get a better understanding when the omni word is used instead.

So, these are in fact high-protein vegan breads with a (optional) crumbed finish, that can be easily added to any meal containing salads, nuts, and other vegetables, giving a super tasty and nutritious meal for very little effort. However, if some people choose to use "omnisub" terminology, or even to use them AS omnisubs, don't let that stop you from enjoying it too - just call it a "soy-corn bread", which it truly is anyway.
ID#: 159490
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:22:49 AM on 17-01-2010
I would say that in a different way BB.

Most things like Fish Fingers and Burgers are highly processed products that don't remind me of an animal.
When someone starts simulating bones and veins then I would feel repulsed.

Also great effort BB.
ID#: 159491
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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11:25:05 AM on 17-01-2010
"When someone starts sumilating bones and veins then I would feel repulsed. "

Just reading that has put me off breakfast! :P
ID#: 159493
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11:32:29 AM on 17-01-2010
Hi ZanyZebra,

Good point. One difference between commercial products and the above though, is that you wouldn't call the home-made version "highly processed", as you can make it pretty much entirely by hand from scratch.
ID#: 159494
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11:44:27 AM on 17-01-2010
My wife just made a great point about this when I told her about the conversation. She said she doesn't see how fish fingers and chicken nuggets look anything like meat themselves! Who cares what something looks like, it's what's inside that counts.
ID#: 159500
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12:47:54 PM on 17-01-2010
Excellent BB, I was never one for fish fingers so I will try it as a "chicken" nugget instead :D I would probably also make it into a "chicken" burger too.

I don't have a problem eating "omni-subs" because Like others suggested, it's the way of marketing it in a recognisable form, to most people considering going veg (or when trying to explain to an omni what you eat) "soy-vegetable derived protein logs" sounds nowhere near as appetizing as veggie sausage.

ID#: 159504
Vegetarian and Vegan Society of Queensland member
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1:10:56 PM on 17-01-2010
What I mean by "highly processed" is you don't open up a cow and find anything that looks like a hamburger or sausages inside. These are artificial products to make it easier for an animal (us) that is optimally suited to eat plants, eat an animal that only a real carnivore could naturally devour.
ID#: 159555
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8:33:21 PM on 17-01-2010
lol i only meant i dont bother with omni subs because i can't be bothered (i'm a lazy cook) and i find simple meals i make taste just as good (and i dont doubt ur vegan fingers would taste great too!).
but i dont BUY omni subs because most of them are highly processed or just has too many additives and things that i can't pronounce/understand............. ;)
ID#: 159570
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9:34:59 PM on 17-01-2010
That's fair enough Oci, I tend to only buy one or two omni subs and anything else, I figure beans or mushrooms makes a good replacement.
ID#: 159599
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11:50:09 PM on 17-01-2010
Hi Ocicat,

No worries then, now you've got a few more recipes that ONLY have ingredients you can pronounce/understand, and which kick the proverbial over what you could buy anyway. :-)
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