Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Do Vegans Eat: Vegan Bulgogi

So I received Koreatown: A Cookbook from Blogging for Books and have been trying out some of the recipes.  (I got the book in exchange for a review, these follow up recipe reviews are of my own doing and I get no compensation.)

  I used to get Bulgogi, a marinated beef, from Hmart as a quick, we finished shopping and I want something fast to make for lunch kinda meal.  Now that we're not eating meat, that is no longer an option, but thankfully that doesn't mean we have to stop eating bulgogi.

You can find this package of soy based "vegetarian beef" at pretty much any Asian store.  I know some people are weird about soy, but I'm not buying into the hype. (Honestly, where is that info coming from? Research done by lobbyists for the meat industry? Where your info is coming from and who's paying for it matters people, educate yourselves, and then decide for yourself.  My opinion, everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb.  Plus, I'd bet a little soy every week is still healthier than eating beef...and no one has to be murdered, just saying.)

Now, if you buy it, you're going to look at this weird, vacu-sealed stuff and think, really?  You want me to eat this?  This is going to look like beef?

Well, shabam people...yes it does!  Anyone who grew up eating American-ized Chinese food can tell you that beef from Chinese food restaurants never really taste like beef.  They always have a softer, chewier texture.  This vegetarian beef is like that.  So when you substitute it in Asian recipes, it really does taste like the real thing.  Of course, that made me wonder...are they really serving beef or has it been soy meat all along...?

For dinner, we followed the recipe, kind of.  I used romaine lettuce leaves, because I couldn't find the red lettuce at my closer than Hmart Asian market.  You layer on rice, bulgogi, Ssamjang (which is this crazy good sauce with, oddly enough, walnuts) and kimchi.  I know the picture is not great, sorry.

I didn't take a picture the next day, but I made the most amazing wrap with it.  Flour tortillas, bulgogi, ssamjang, du chua (a Vietnamese daikon and carrot pickle), cilantro and bean sprouts.  Holy crap, it was delicious!  So for anyone thinking of making the switch to veganism, it's easy to swap stuff out.  I feel like I could have used beans or mushrooms and this would have been equally amazing.  Don't feel discouraged to try new things, just because a recipe is meat based.  I'll keep you posted on how my veganized versions of the recipes in Koreatown: A Cookbook are coming out.

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