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Jun 17, 2011 09:55 PM

Where to buy fake vegan meat (Asian style) in LA?

Hi all,
Does anyone know where I would buy the fake meats used by vegetarian chinese restaurants -- the kind that comes in little chunks ready to go in stir fries? I think they make fake beef, fake chicken, fake duck, all totally unseasoned, but I don't know where to get it...

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  1. Any Chinese market will have it, e.g. Ranch 99, Hawaii, 168, etc.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks - why didn't I think of that?

    2. There's a shop in El Monte that sells a lot of great vegetarian substitutes. It's in a strip mall on the corner of Santa Anita and Lower Asuza. I don't recall the name, but it's the south east corner. My girlfriend gets her vegetarian fish there. Nice ladies and they sell fresh bao and various other chinese goodies.

      1. Bodhi Vegetarian Supply

        8450 Valley Blvd

        Ste 106

        Rosemead, CA 91770

        They have a large selection of frozen foods and don't open until ten. Credit cards only for $20 or more purchase. Bought some excellent vegan ham and shrimp and some other items I haven't tried. I guess it was a fluke but when I was there last week there was a broken freezer that was taped up and marked broken but none of the food had been removed and unfortunately the place smelled. The operating freezers seemed very cold and the stuff seemed quite solidly frozen so I took a chance but it is peculiar that food would be left rotting. Nevertheless the items I got were so good (better than anything I've found at 99 Ranch, etc) I would probably risk it again if the offending freezer and stinky contents are gone.

        99 Ranch
        17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Layne Murphy

          Great, that's just the kind of place I was thinking of (minus the stinky freezer, of course). It seems to get universal 5 star reviews on Yelp so I suspect that was indeed an aberration.

        2. In the markets, don't forget to check the refrigerated section where the tofu and noodles are - there are often a lot of refrigerated vegetarian products here. Mock duck / chicken, spongey wheat gluten, vegetarian intestine, etc. Freezer sections of a lot of Chinese markets have really expanded their selection of mock meats in recent years.

          Also, the canned section will have some cans of wheat gluten which are decent and quite economical, and the dried food aisle will often have TVP chunks and other dried food. Don't forget more traditional, less processed items like tofu skin of various sorts, different types of wheat gluten, etc.

          There used to be another vegetarian supply place besides Bodhi, but I think it closed.

          VP Tofu on Garfield - not a lot of processed stuff, but they have very fresh tofu-skin intestine and wheat gluten intestine, as well as fantastic tofu, soy milk, dou hua (including a delicious hot pandan dou hua served with coconut milk and ginger syrup), and an agar-thickened tofu pudding with pandan or black sesame, etc. Also, they have a delicious gluten-based vegetarian "char siu" on Tuesdays.

          1. There's Vege USA in Monrovia on Myrtle near the 210 freeway. My mom gets a lot of her mock meats from there. This location is new-ish and very clean/organized.