Vegetarian Meats from May Wah!
I've had a few of the products from here now. All-in-all they can nail meat-like texture.
Can anyone else comment on experiences with their products? There is a lot of product and a lot of variation that would take me quite a while to get through, so I'm curious about what others have tried and their opinions. Please include links if you can!
Overall it's seasoned to a Chinese palette, which is fine if that's what you're cooking. But so far of the 4 products that I've tried, 3 have a relatively strong spice flavor that is hard to mask in western dishes. If you know of anything that DOESN'T have this flavor, do share, because I'm mostly interested in western preparations.
The best so far has been...
Tuna - http://www.vegieworld.com/cart/product_pages.asp?id=609
Texture - 4.5 / 5
Flavor - 4 / 5 ( Only 4 because it doesn't taste much of fish, which is actually good as far as I'm concerned, more usable, but since it's suppose to be tuna, I'll mark it down 1 ).
This stuff is pretty great. Nice neutral flavor. The oil works really well with it. Fat is often lacking in vegetarian meat products and the oil does a good job of bringing some of that back. Versatile texture. Did some awesome tuna melts with this and I really like it. Will also be trying this for a BBQ pork substitute soon. Similar texture. I will reliably buy this.
I've also tried...
Ham - Similar too: http://www.vegieworld.com/cart/product_pages.asp?id=581
Texture - 4.5/5
Flavor - 3/5
The spice flavor is not TOO strong. Worked acceptably in an omelet. I've had excellent faux ham before, so I know this can be done pretty neutrally. There are a lot of varieties with very similar names here and packing style. If someone can recommend one over another, I'd sure like to know which is best. Would be great in smaller portions. You have to buy quite a bit at a time.
Vege Pepper Steak - http://www.vegieworld.com/cart/product_pages.asp?id=90
Texture - 4/5
Flavor - 2/5
Had this for dinner last night. The texture is pretty good, but it has a strong spice flavor that won't mask easily. Not particularly beefy. Stick to Asian preparations that complement it.
Vegetarian Salted Pork - http://www.vegieworld.com/cart/product_pages.asp?id=843
Texture - 4/5
Flavor - 3/5
Looks like un-cut bacon. This is really interesting. The "fat" marbling is done really well - it has two distinct textures, fat/meat. The spice flavor is present, but can be acceptably masked, though I don't *think* we would use it again. Used this in all sorts of dishes. Great as a contributing member rather than the focus of a dish. Looks like an uncut version of Vegetarian Bacon ( http://www.vegieworld.com/cart/produc... ), though I imagine the seasoning is different.
The pre-flavored/spiced meats at May Wah taste cheap to me; I’ve always found the “chicken” products to be the least invasive flavors when cooking western style dishes.
With their fabulous stringy soy body wrapped in a yuba skin and very little flavor, these pair well with bold sauces like smoky BBQ and spicy buffalo sauce/blue cheese. These chicken legs are also the base for one of my favorite vegan snacks, the Southern Friend Drumsticks at Foodswings.
Spiced Chicken Legs
A softer textured “meat” wrapped in yuba with a sugar cane “bone,” this one lends its self to savory dishes like Indian curries and Trinidad stew.
Another stringy soy base, these flat nuggets have an oily fried skin that is excellent in stir fry.
Citrus Spare Ribs
This is one my “lazy dinners,” tossed in a pan with veggies and some water, it makes a quick Chinese style Orange Beef that actually tastes labored. The “beef” is dry and dense with a pleasant toothsome quality.
There is no such thing as good vegetarian bacon, but if I must have something resembling it, then May Wah is the ONLY one I would consider. I cook it in lots of oil/butter with a sprinkle of liquid smoke and maybe some maple syrup.