Seitan vs. TVP: The Satay Showdown

Today the game is on. In an ultimate battle, two chunky meat replacements fight for the top spot.
OR: I wanted to make some nice vegan satay and I couldn't decide if seitan or TVP would be better, so I decided to make both. As always, the whole idea started with a vegetable and a craving, in this case a big bag of fresh organic green beans and an unexplainable wish for spicy satay sauce. Yesterday, during Tuesday Juiceday Schmuesday, I made some fresh seitan, soaked some TVP chunks and let them marinate overnight. I am not sharing a whole recipe here, mostly because in all my enthousiastic and instinctive cooking I didn't think to write down exact amounts of what I threw in the bowl. I was way too busy singing along with some Aretha Franklin and pretending to be a TV chef whirling around the kitchen, with all the neat little bowls of ingredients and all. But let me tell you that the marinade I made consisted of shoyu, lime juice, agave, ground corianderseeds, ground laos, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, shallots and a real hot red chilli pepper, all mixed in the foodprocessor. 
An unexpected advantage of vegan cooking is that you have to be a lot less scared about cross contamination. Ain't it great that I used the marinade as a base for the peanut sauce? I just sauteed the whole lot on a medium fire with some extra garlic and onion, added some organic peanutbutter, coconut cream, ginger syrup and shoyu and there was my perfect little darling calorie bombing sauce. 

 Now for the Satay Showdown: as I was putting the TVP chunks on the sticks I already noticed they were a bit 'tough'. As for the seitan, it was still nice and moist. I had my grill on high heat and everything was ready in just a few minutes (after a slight accident with my grill catching flame and me not being able to see because of al the smoke, but let's not talk about that). Result time!

The seitan had really taken in the flavours, the texture was juicy but a bit on the chewy side. Also, it didn't respond too well on the hot grill and the little amount of fat. Frying might have been a better option for this baby. I'd rate it at a 7.

The TVP was taking the grill love a lot better and looked pretty promising. But after the first bite I knew it would not be able to compete. Marinating it overnight had not made it soft and flavoury, but tough and chewy. No good honey, no good! So much for good looks, ladies and gentleman. I'd say: an astonishing 4 for effort. 
In the next few weeks I'll be trying some more of the same style grilling with tempeh, tofu, kebabs from De Vegetarische Slager (The Vegetarian Butcher) and more. And then let the best of the best battle in a big finale with a whole testing panel! And some tv camera's and me in a new dress! Yeah! 

Today's actual winner was the green bean & peanutsauce combo. And the sweet and sour cucumber/raw zucchini salad I paired it with. Another victory for greens! (And yes, that is cilantro sprinkled on top, ofcourse)


Chantal Alynda said...

I used to make satay from TVP, before I learned how easy it is to make seitan :) I like seitan satay (seitay :P) so much better! Though I'm usually lazy and have me a premade marinade mix.
It's also really good with the 'braadstukjes' from the Vegetarische Slager. People said they wouldn't think it wasn't the 'real' thing.

Laura said...

YAY, 'braadstukjes' it'll be next time!

Ineke said...

Ik ben inderdaad ook grote fan van zelfgemaakte seitan en iets minder van soya hoewel ik het wel af en toe gebruik. De silken soja echter is jummie om mee te taart en muffins mee te bakken of toetjes te maken. Echt een fijn product.

Anonymous said...

I love how you made both and compared them :) I've never made either of them before but I think I'll try the seitan based on what you wrote. I love peanut sauce on anything!

Angela @ Vegangela said...

I love how you made both and compared them :) I've never made either of them before but I think I'll try the seitan based on what you wrote. I love peanut sauce on anything!