Vietnamese mock duck?
I used to live in Minneapolis, which has a huge Vietnamese population. In many of the reasonably-priced Vietnamese restaurants there, there are several dishes built around "mock duck" which I think is wheat gluten. These dishes typically involve a spicy brown sauce, maybe with onions and chopped peanuts, sometimes curry.
Whenever I have asked about mock duck in an LA Vietnamese restaurant, I get blank stares. It never occurred to me that this stuff might be regional, or vegetarian, or...
I miss this food. Can anybody shed any light on this stuff, as in "it's South Vietnamese vegetarian gluten blended with tofu" or whatever, and/or any recommendations about restaurants that serve it? I've read the threads about Asian fake meat, but didn't see this specific item.
Yea, why are the Vietnamese restaurants in Minneapolis so different? Hmong maybe? Curried mock duck and fresh spring rolls was my favourite lunch combo. I haven't found anything like it here in L.A. You can find cans of mock duck in some Asian supermarkets.
You can find mock duck in Chinese or Vietnamese vegetarian restaurants. But I haven't seen them in non-vegetarian restaurants.
Kung Pao Bistro in either Weho or Studio City has a full page of mock meat items, including duck, and they really are tasty, if a Chinese perspective is of interest.
You mention the Vietnamese population in Minneapolis, yet the largest outside Viet Nam is in southern California, with the largest concentration in the Westminster/Garden Grove area. Cannot imagine you can't find it in that area, and probably many others as well.
I can't speak for the LA Vietnamese scene, but there are a few restaurants down here in OC that could fit the bill for you. Best choice would be Au Lac restaurant, at the corner of Brookhurst and Heil, just north of the 405 freeway. It's a Vegan restaurant, so no animal products are used in any of their dishes.
Personally I'd rather eat real duck than mock duck, but we all have different tastes :)