Home Made Unturkey

dale's picture

Upon discovering the unturkey recipe we decided to create one for our vegan friends thanksgiving dinner. It turned out quite well. We had 8 people and a ton of leftover turkey. I can't wait to modify the recipe and make a bunch of little unchickens for the freezer. Here's how it we did it.

Step 1. Obtain the yuba (AKA bean curd skin).

This isn't really a step, but I thought it was going to be difficult. This turned out to be way easier than I thought. We just had to get out of our small town and go to a larger asian market in Sacramento. We found the ginormis round kind folded up with 4 in a package. We bought three packages and used one.

Step 2. Create some wheat meat!
If you go read the recipe you'll see there are several ingredients and steps to make an unturkey.

Nutritional Yeast Spice Mix
Recipe. Easy. Toss a bunch of dry stuff in the processer and give it a whir. Add 1/3 cup of this to the gluten flour.

Recipe. This is some weird stuff! The moment you put water in it turns to rubber, so be prepared. Need 8 cups vital wheat gluten and 6 cups of water.

Mix It
Mix in the yeast spice mix then begin pouring in the water. It actually easiest to mix with your hands.

Roll It
After it's mixed it has to be spread into a sheet and rolled up. At this point
Jill and I almost came to blows as we fretted it would never unroll again. It
mostly did. I don't know how best to ensure an easy unroll. Anyone have any
tips for next time?

Bake Briefly
So that it doesn't expand too much when boiling, bake it at 350 for 30

Take it out of the oven and put it in a pot of cold water. Bring it to a boil and leave it for an hour. Turn off the heat, and let it cool in the water for a half hour.

Recipe. Make some stuffing while the gluten is cooking.

Step 3. Construction
Unroll the gluten
Take the gluten out of the water, but don't throw out the water yet. Let it cool for 20 min or so until you can touch it.

Then unroll it as best you can. This was a little tricky. After all that boiling there still was somewhat of a seam running through it. I'm not sure how to optimize for this step.

Hydrate the yuba
Open the yuba package and spread it all out. Separate and re-fold each sheet so you have four separate packets rather than one. Put two of them into the water for 5 minutes until it turns from translucent yellow to opaque white.

Lay 2 sheets of yuba into a baking dish.

Stuff the "Turkey" and close it up
Place the splayed unturkey on top and fill it with stuffing.

Wrap the yuba around. After tucking in the 2 pieces we added 2 more for an extra thick skin. Just pick it up and slide them under. Better yet, start with 4 sheets.

Make a tastey basting liquid from melted Earth Balance margarine and the
remaining yeast spice mix and slather it all over.

At this point we wrapped it in foil and placed it in the fridge for baking the next day.

Step 4. Final Bake
Remove the foil and bake for 90 min. Baste every 15 min and replace foil once the skin browns.

Step 5. Eat
Behold its golden crispy goodness.

Carve it up and dig in!

Update: We are cooking our 2008 unturkey right now, and I will link to the details with recipes and videos when we are done.