Friday, September 3, 2010

Vegan Scallops in a Can

Back in June, my boyfriend and I made the three-hour road trip to the Farm in Summertown to meet with the staff at the Book Publishing Company in regards to my Southern vegan cookbook. Along the way — about 40 minutes or so outside Summertown — we drove past a teensy health food store in the middle of nowhere. I wish I could remember the name of the town or the store, but I can't.

I'd actually stopped at this store on my prior visit to the Farm a few years back, and I was pleased to see that it was still in business. It's rare to find a health food shop in a rural Tennessee town! Of course we had to stop again this time. I purchased some large chunks of TVP (a size I can't find in Memphis) and this interesting can of Cedar Lake Vegi-Scallops:

Now, I've never eaten an actual scallop in my life. I grew up hating seafood, but for some reason I was intrigued by these. The ingredients didn't list anything that sounded like it'd taste fishy, so I thought I'd take the chance. I'm far for more culinarily daring these days. Here's what the stuff looked like after opening the can:

Little bits of chewy, white wheat gluten. I tried one in this state, and it was, well, weird. It had the texture I'd imagine a scallop to have. But then again, I don't really know what texture a scallop should have. It didn't taste bad. Just kinda bland.

I googled scallop recipes and came across a few scallop stir-fries. I was kind of in a hurry, so I figured a simple scallop fried rice would be easy and quick. I sauteed the "scallops" with garlic in a little canola oil, then added chopped cabbage and carrots and a little leftover brown rice. For a sauce, I combined soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and mirin. Here's the result, topped with extra sriracha:

It wasn't half bad. In the stir-fry, the scallops reminded of the canned vegetarian mock duck I sometimes buy from the Asian market. But honestly, the best part of the dish was the cabbage, carrots, and rice. I probably wouldn't buy the scallops again, but they were fun to try. Next time, I'll stick with tofu in my fried rice.

Don't forget to enter my Artisana coconut butter giveaway here. It's open until Tuesday.

22 comments:

Tiffany said...

I've never tried an actual scallop either, mostly because my mom has had some bad scallop-related experiences that freaked me out after I heard about them. I have textural issues with food, too. But the stir-fry looks tasty, and it's cool that you can find stuff like (and a health food store) in the middle of nowhere!

Lauren said...

Whoa, that is really, really weird.

I've never had a scallop either! They are kind of odd looking.

The Voracious Vegan said...

I can't remember if I've ever had a scallop...back in my pre-vegan days I didn't mind seafood but I never ordered it, always preferring red meat. These look really interesting, though. I would have to give them a go. I love novel foods!

Rick said...

i used to love a large, succulent scallop as much as any high-quality seafood. now i can't believe i ate ANY sort of shellfish (the cockroaches of the sea!). that dish looks intriguing though...if only i wasn't avoiding wheat right now...dammit!

Allyson said...

Wow- you really did a wonderful job transforming that stuff in the can into a beautiful meal! Looks delicious!

radioactivegan said...

I've got no idea what scallops are like, either, but I'm impressed that you tried the veggie kind. I tend to shy away from veggie-meats-in-a-can; the ones I've tried have a weird taste.

Kiersten said...

I used to eat scallops and liked them a lot. I won't lie though, the thought of vegan scallops sounds kind of gross to me. I can deal with fake chicken, but any other faux meat weirds me out. (Maybe I'm just weird?)

sTyliSH1 said...

I would have definitely have tried it also, looks sort of weird lol. Great looking dish though for working with what you have! I'd def go for a veggie fried rice over mock meat in there any day :)

Michelle said...

I've never tried scallops either...just the word "scallop" weirds me out. I think it's great that you tried the veggie version though. I'm not sure if I could have brought my self to try that one. :o)

Leslie R. said...

The canned stuff always freaks me out...just so rubbery!

Kelley said...

Aw, too bad they aren't so great - I really miss scallops!

Jenny Wright said...

What a strange find! I suppose it's different over here in the UK, I never stumble across Vegan foods in cans! I too, have never tried Scallops but those do look rather tasty and your dish looks delicious!

Jessica said...

That is really cool the store is still open, or open at all. I had a vegan shrimp once that was disturbingly shrimpy. I'd like to think I'd be adventurous too. The fried rice looks great, scallop or not!

Leigh said...

I never understood why they call these scallops. They're just gluten chunks! I like them as much as I like any other seitan-in-a-can, but they're not a thing like scallops.

VegInDenver said...

I'm not sure I've ever had a scallop either. I'm always to scared to buy faux meat products like this.. they kinda freak me out. Looks like it was pretty good though!

highonhealthy said...

Vegan scallops?!? Bizarre but.. intriguing. I've never had actual scallops but I would be kind of interested in trying those vegan ones.

shauna said...

those just look weird. I like to think im adventurous when it comes to new foods, but im not sure i could eat faux meat from a can... The dish you made looks great & thanks to you my hubby is addicted to sriracha! Lol

awesomeveganrad said...

i used to really love seafood in my pregan days... i wonder if i'd like these. i tend to stay away from mock meats, but every once in awhile, i try one. hm! your stir fry looks awesome, regardless!

Anonymous said...

Recently in Poland to hear a lot of celebration commemorating the creation of Solidarity. There are many discussions on this subject and some of them are very controversial. I wonder whether in other countries, people know what it is and if they have solidarity on this issue a sentence?

br
Matt
[url=http://www.odzywki-warszawa.pl]od┼╝ywki[/url]

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

That is an interesting looking product. I've never eaten a scallop either, but these fake ones look more appetizing that the gooey, squiggly real ones :D

Emma said...

I think scallops would be one of those things that would be ok to give up for life...

Dc said...

I make a curry dish with potatoes and vegi-scallops served over brown rice