So I was going to hold off on sharing this yet but as my ideal date for publishing my forthcoming book has already passed I though it would be nice to share one of the techniques I worked on which is included in the next book. As far as I’m aware no one else has done this and it’s something new with the potential to be expanded on.
Basically this was an idea that I’ve had floating around for ages but hadn’t until now refined into something that worked how I wanted. The basic idea was to find a way to add protein to vegetables or a vegetable base, along with flavour, then bind this with transglutaminase (an enzyme which can bind proteins together sometimes know as meat-glue) so that you have an end product with a new texture and flavour which can be cooked if you wish but that is built from just a couple of ingredients.
I used mushrooms, and this is now something I’ve made many times and given out tasters of, and it is truly delicious! Definately the meatiest thing you will ever taste that isn’t actually meat! Its got amazing depth of flavour from the combination of mushrooms with umami rich tamari and then a final stage of being smoked before being salted and marinated in oil. It has a flavour like a cured or aged product and a big hit of Umami
I’m going to share the technique and my recipe here but not the completed dish that I use this in, you’ll have to wait for the book for that and the other new ideas I’ve been developing (now due in september).
So before the recipe here is the break down of the techniques basic steps
1) Slice & dehydrate your chosen vegetable (in this case mushrooms sliced thin)
2) Rehydrate the vegetables in a 12% soy protein isolate solution along with additional flavours (in this case tamari)
3) Squeeze the vegetable to get rid of as mush liquid a possible
4) Stir 5% of the mixtures weight of transglutaminase through the prepared vegetables
5) Press the Vegetables in a tofu press or similar for around 4 hours to bind together
6) Now its set vacuum the resulting pressed block and cook sous vide at 62C for 2 hours to de-nature the enzyme (necessary in some countries for food hygiene when using transglutaminase)
Additional steps -
7) I then cut the pressed mushroom block into cubes and smoked it with oak using a Smoking Gun
8) FInally I salt the pessed mushroom cubes and marinade them in oil
Note - Transglutaminase is itself an enzyme rather than a meat product and so is suitable for vegetarians so long as you check with your suppler that it was produced in a manner suitable for vegetarians.
Recipe - Pressed Mushrooms
This recipe could be adapted so long as you use 5% Transglutmainase and 12% Soy Protien Isolate
80g Dried Sliced Mushrooms (from approx 750G fresh mushrooms dehydrated)
500ml Boiling Water
60g Soy Protein Isolate
20g Transglutaminase Activa EB
First slice thin and dehydrate approx. 750g fresh mushrooms.
Dehydrate at 52C for 12 hours
You should end up with approximately 80g dried mushrooms.
In a bowl mix the 80g of dried mushrooms with 120g tamari
Then in a jug mix together 500ml of boiling water with 60g Soy Protein Isolate, stirring well to create a slurry.
Pour this hot soy protein slurry over the friend mushrooms in the bowl and mix together well then allow this mixture to sit for one hour.
Next strain the mushrooms and using muslin squeeze out as much liquid from the mushrooms as possible.
You should have around 400g of mushroom mix at this point.
Season with maldon salt
Mix in 5% of weigth in transglutaminase - 20g in this case
Place this mixture in a tofu press lined with muslin and place a heavy weight on top then let this sit at room temperature for four hours while the transglutaminase binds the protein spiked mushrooms together.
Take the resulting firm pressed mushroom block and vacuum pack it then cook SousVide at 62C for two hours. When finished cooking place immediately into ice water to cool.
Now cut the mushroom black into cubes of your desired size and place in a bowl. Use the smoking gun to smoke the mushroom cubes with oak and sit them in the smoke for 5 minutes.
FInally sprinkle the pressed mushroom cubes with salt and place in a tub with a clove of fresh garlic and a couple of bay leaves and pour over enough rapeseed oil to cover.
Allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.
Hope you enjoy it