TofuPerhaps the most famous food used for plant-based meat is tofu. Originating in China approximately 2,000 years ago, tofu is a type of bean curd made from soybeans. Tofu is traditionally not considered a meat replacement, as many Chinese tofu recipes include meat. Despite these origins, inventive chefs have created ways to cook tofu that replicate the taste or texture of meat, and tofu has become popular with vegetarians and vegans because of its high protein content. Firmer styles of tofu can crumble like ground beef, and can even be grilled on a barbecue! Tofu has been used in plant-based meat products like vegetarian hot dogs, veggie burgers, and Tofurkey.
SeitanAnother popular replacement for meat is seitan or wheat gluten. Created from washing wheat until all the starch is removed, seitan is a high-protein food with a texture that’s been compared to chicken. Seitan also originates in China, but unlike tofu, seitan is traditionally used as plant-based meat, often in Buddhist cuisine.
Beyond, Impossible, and Modern MeatOf course, the hottest plant-based meats on the market today are those made with the newest techniques; companies producing these include:
- Modern Meat
- Beyond Meat