mystery vegetarian satay stukjes

20Jan12

I love the vegetarian satay stukjes that you get at Indonesian restaurants – the little chewy balls of mystery vegetable matter that come on a wooden skewer, snuggled under a generous lashing of spicy peanut sauce. I never really questioned what the stukjes themselves were made from – the peanut sauce is so delicious that the satay balls themselves could be cardboard or used tires and I would still reach for more.

Today I popped into the Indian/Pakistani grocery near where I work and found this:

gedroogd soja stukjes trs

Aha! The mystery vegetarian kibble! The bag is labeled in German (“Soyaeiweisserzeugnis Grob”) and English (“Soy Chunks”). For the consumers who still haven’t grasped the nature of the contents, the English fine print indicates “It Is A Cooking Ingredient”, while the slightly more loquacious French (“produit a utiliser uniquement comme ingredient dans la cuisson des aliments”) suggests that this is a product to be used exclusively in the cooking of food. Good to know!

So I rushed home and reconstituted a handful of the soja stukjes in some boiling water. The packet didn’t have any cooking suggestions, but the internet suggested boiling them for 10 min. However, the stukjes were a bit disappointing. Even some delicious leftover spicy peanut sauce couldn’t disguise their resemblance to soggy corn puff cereal. The stukjes would probably be more exciting in a curry or a dish where the texture mattered less.

It’s also possible that the toothy interior and crispy exterior of the restaurant vegetarian satay is produced by deep-frying the stukjes once they’ve been revived in water (as per here). Further experiments are pending…..

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