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Veganizing Pork Chops
Veganizing pork chops was quite a challenge. Unlike chicken, pork chops have a nuanced flavor that is both savory and subtly sweet. I wanted to create a base that wouldn’t overpower these flavors but still enhance them during cooking, similar to what you would do with traditional meat.
During my experiments with these chops, I made a few key discoveries that took the final result to another level:
Resting Seitan: Normally, I let my seitan rest for at least 6 hours in the fridge after cooking because it tends to improve in texture. However, on this occasion, I couldn’t resist trying the chops after only a little over an hour at room temperature. Surprisingly, they turned out perfect! According to my husband, they had the “most meaty texture of all the seitan you’ve ever made.” Of course, you can still make them ahead and let them rest, but the shorter resting time worked wonders in this case.
Achieving the Fat Layer: I have spent countless years experimenting with ways to recreate the juicy, gelatinous, and slightly gross texture of the fat layer on traditional chops. Finally, I think I’ve nailed it with these vegan chops. They hold up when cooked in broth and still have that melt-in-your-mouth quality. I find it absolutely amazing, and I hope you do too!
Baking Magic: Out of all the cooking methods I tried, baking the chops turned out to be the winner. They absorbed the flavors from the broth and then shrunk back down to a deliciously meaty texture with a little time at room temperature. While simmering them also produces fantastic results, baking adds a slightly softer touch. Give it a try and let me know which method you prefer!
Your feedback means the world to me as I continue to perfect my seitan “chops.” If you enjoy them, please rate the recipe. And if you don’t, I’d love to hear why! I’m always striving to improve, and your input is invaluable.
Check out some additional tips below.
A Few Extra Tips:
Storing Gluten: After washing and draining the gluten, I usually store it in a sealed container in the fridge. I find that breaking up the process and having washed gluten ready in the fridge (or freezer) makes it much more convenient. Plus, the extra rest time helps improve the texture. It’s a win-win-win!
Fat Dough Quantities: If you need a larger amount of fat dough for other purposes or prefer working with specific weights, here’s a guideline: After washing, draining, and resting, my gluten weighed about 560g before seasoning and approximately 600g after. For 120g of seasoned dough, I added butter, agar, and glutinous rice flour.
Time to Ignore: If you have some spare time, this is a great moment to use it. Simply seal the seasoned, assembled cylinder in a container and pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to slice and cook. Just like most seitan, this will also improve with a rest after cooking. But don’t worry, it’ll still be fantastic if you need to finish it all in one day!
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