From Yves Veggie Cuisine to Tofurky to Gardein to Sol to the offerings in the President’s Choice Blue Menu line, the variety of mock meats in supermarkets has exploded in recent years. Ottawa’s Chinatown is a fantastic resource for lovers of mock meats. This is the first in a series of posts to introduce readers to the treasures they can find in Chinatown and meals that can be made with them.
Our first stop: Phuoc Loi on the northeast corner of Somerset and Booth. If you’re driving, you’ll need to find street parking or use the pay parking lot at the southeast corner of Somerset and Lebreton. Head to the freezer section in the back right corner of the store.
It may look “grim”, in the words of my big sister, but this is the best mock ham I have tried. A caution to vegans: I have seen similarly shaped mock ham that includes whey or egg — be sure to read the ingredients.
What can you do with it? A few ideas…
Slice it thinly, sear each side briefly in a hot frying pan, and put it in sandwiches.
Slice it thickly, glaze it with a mixture of maple syrup and mustard, and bake in the oven.
Cube it and add it to a tofu scramble, as suggested in this previous post.
Or, try this recipe for Ham & Cheese Biscuits. These biscuits proved very popular at a potluck. They will also cause any dogs who happen to be nearby to cluster around your legs and stare at you hopefully.
- Mix 2 cups of flour, 3 tsp. of baking powder, and ¾ tsp. of salt.
- Cut ¾ of a stick of Earth Balance margarine into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or with your fingers. (A stick is equivalent to ½ cup.)
- Mix in ¼ cup of diced mock ham and ¼ cup of Daiya cheddar style shreds.
- Add a splash of vinegar to ¾ cup of soy milk, and mix with the dry ingredients to form a dough.
- Knead the dough briefly, folding it over no more than 5 times. This will give the finished biscuits nice flaky layers inside.
- Flatten the dough to about ½ inch thick. Use a sharp knife to slice it into squares.
- Bake at 450°F for 13 minutes.
The photo of the biscuits has one pulled apart to show the flaky texture (and delicious bits of mock ham and cheese) inside.
I have also found the mock ham at New 168 Market on the southwest corner of Somerset and Breezehill (just west of the O-Train tracks). They’re closed for renovations right now, but when they reopen they might be more convenient for those doing errands by car, as they have a small parking lot just west of the store.
Next instalment: vegan “wings” that are way better than the real thing.