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I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience, but I’ve eaten foods that were specifically touted as being “vegan” that basically taste like you hate yourself for eating it.

I’m thinking specifically of this particular vegan soup at a local restaurant that has a bizarre and inappropriate, slightly sweet grain/nut flavor, as though the broth was made from steeped Grape Nuts. It has those wonderful tofu-curd knots, cellophane noodles, and plenty of veggies – all good ingredients, but that godfuckingawful broth basically wastes all the other good stuff that went into the making of that soup.

Now I occasionally cook vegan meals, not specifically because I’m a vegan (because I’m not) but because sometimes it just works out that something I made is not only meatless, it’s sans animal products of any sort.

Tonight’s dinner is one of those affairs, and I’m going to let you in on a secret for a good vegan broth: mushroom stock granules. I get this stuff at a nearby Asian grocery and it is so much the bomb. It’s basically shiitake mushroom concentrate and salt, and if you like shiitake mushrooms, then you’ll way dig this broth.

I’m simmering some Central Soy hickory-smoked tofu (that I browned in chili oil) in a broth made from the mushroom granules, a squirt of Siracha hot sauce, a dash of garlic powder, and about 1/4c dried shiitake mushrooms.

I’ll cook some broad rice noodles and then arrange thinly sliced cabbage (like you’d do for cole-slaw) and half of a bell pepper (diced) on the noodles and then ladle the broth/mushrooms/tofu over the top.

This turns out to be a vegan dinner that doesn’t taste like punishment and self-loathing.

One Response to “It doesn’t taste vegan!”

  1. Nora Charles says:

    Those sound awesome! Thanks for the heads up.

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