Vegan Project ...

Joined Jan 4, 2011
Pineapple Baked Ham [Vegan]

Many of you might know my "Vegan" story already. I'll not make you read it again. Just know that because of how much $$$ these wonderful people are willing to pay is why I love them and love to feed them. ... Plus ... I am that good. ... Anyway ... Sunday is Easter. Duh. I've got a couple that have asked me to make them something special. I found ... get this ... a vegan HAM. LOL. Really. I'm gonna do a practice run and try it out. I hope that'll allow me to tweak anything it needs. Starting out however ... is that it takes 2-days. ... Yeah ... You read that right ... 2-freakin'-days. I'm gonna start tonite. I'll take pics as I go to create this project story. Here it is.

It should look like this:

Here it is:
For the ham:

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons red miso paste
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon beet powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
For the 'fat':
  • 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 teaspoons organic granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
For the glaze:
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple rings, drained (optional)
  • Toothpicks (optional)
That which I didn't have on the shelf cost $46. ... Everything fit in 1 bag.

  1. Set up a steamer. Fold over a sheet of cheesecloth so it is doubled. Cut a 12-inch-long piece and prepare twist ties or kitchen string for tying the ends.
  2. Make the ham: In a large bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, flours, nutritional yeast, sugar, onion powder, and smoked salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, oil, miso, beet powder, and liquid smoke until the beet powder is completely incorporated and no lumps remain. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Once the dough becomes thick, knead it with your hands for 3 minutes. Set aside to rest.
  4. Make the fat: In a medium bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, sugar, onion powder, and smoked salt.
  5. In a cup, mix together the water and coconut oil. Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until just combined; don’t knead.
  6. Turn out the ham dough onto a floured work surface and form it into a 6-inch-wide loaf. Stretch the fat dough into sheets and wrap the ham in them (it’s fine if it’s uneven—just try to get most of it covered). Wrap the ham tightly in the cheesecloth, rolling on the counter until it is rounded. Roll it up and twist the ends. Bind the twisted ends with the twist ties or string.
  7. Place the ham in the steamer, cover, and steam for 1 hour and 20 minutes, checking to replenish the water as needed. The internal temperature should reach 180°F or more. Remove from the heat.
  8. Remove the ham and set aside to cool completely.
  9. Refrigerate the ham overnight.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  11. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the pineapple juice, brown sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Boil, watching carefully to adjust the heat in order to prevent it from boiling over, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the glaze into a measuring cup; it should be reduced to 1/2 cup. Set aside.
  12. Unwrap the ham and place it on a cutting board. Score the surface with 1/2-inch deep on the diagonal across the surface and then cut across those cuts, making diamond shapes. If using, affix the pineapple rings to the ham with the toothpicks.
  13. Transfer the ham to a shallow baking dish and, using a pastry brush, baste it with the glaze. Bake, basting every 10 minutes, for 50 minutes. As the glaze browns in the pan, periodically brush it over the ham. Remove from the oven.
  14. Carefully remove the toothpicks before carving. Slice and serve warm.

It already looks like more of a nitemare than just a project. Funny ... but a good part is that there is NO tofu involved. LOL. I hope BDL is laughing at me for this.

End of page 1 ... to be continued.
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
There’s two Chinese Buddhist vegetarian restaurants in town that do similar stuff—had a bite of my wife’s “chicken” and it wasn’t that bad, flavour was there but the texture was different.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
OK ... Here we go with the pics and commentary ...

First off ... Don't start doing this @ 9:00-pm while watching your favorite TV shows.

Secondly ... Get all your tools ready before you start. I couldn't find my nice wire sifter ... so I had to use a pasta strainer. It worked ... but not as nice. I also unfortunately discovered that my whisk was sorta destroyed by being put away wrong and it got squished to death by the drawer. I had to use a big fork. It worked ... but not as nice ... again

Next ... Check out your ingredients. Both the coconut oil and miso are thick solid like butter. Warm them up before measuring and incorporating. It's so much nicer.

Last ... Be smart. Have lots of utensils and towels ready and clean as you go.

End of page 2 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
First mix-up for ham dry/wet:



Ham combined:


"Ham" was put away to rest ... somewhat like you would do with a loaf of bread. It rested while the "Fat" was made.

End of page 4 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
The "Ham" came out a little on the wet side. Be careful with your liquid ingredients (maybe). I dusted up the table with some tapioca flower to incorporate it and cause some drying. If I have to do this with the next "customer's product" I will use both the tapioca and the chick-pea flower.

The recipe calls for onion powder. I realized when I started ... and the stores were closed ... that I had granulized onion. I went with what I had. If it sucks ... I'll know why.

Did I tell you ... This is the "trial run". I'm not giving my clients an untested product. ... As my Mother used to say ... "Yeah ... He's my kid ... he's goofy but he's not stupid.".

End of page 5 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Making the fat ... and the ham:

The mix:


The "Fat":


The "Ham":


LOL. ... It's NOT gonna come out "perfect". Any kinda meat product a perfect shape?

End of page 6 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Wrapping up:


This is more work than you might think. Make your cheesecloth bigger than you think you need. Try your best to wrap it tightly. ... Measure your steamer before you wrap it up. ... I got lucky the first time ... but next time it will be wider and shorter.

End of page 7 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011



Now ... We've got an hour-twenty minutes of steaming (1:20).

End of page 8 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Page 9 pics look exactly like page 8 ... but the other way around.

The steaming is done and now it has to sit, cooling down to room temp before going to sleep in the cooler overnite. It's gonna come out tomorrow around 3:00-pm for the sauce creation and the baking in the oven. It's AG
(all good) ... You'll get more pics and more story. I hope you've enjoyed it so far. ... See You tomorrow.

End of page 9 ... to be continued.
Joined Nov 15, 2012
Unfortunately Gluten is one of the most damaging things you can expose your gut to. The epidemic of gluten sensitivities seen these days is largely attributed to the new breeds of high-gluten wheat that the baking industries have pushed for and been using almost exclusively.

Of course, sell it if there is a market, that's the American way, just be savvy enough not to eat it yourself. Just like the potato farmers who sell their potatoes pumped full of carcinogenic herbicides to delay the eyes from sprouting, but eat from a separate patch they grow chemical-free.

So no attempt to discourage you here Iceman, silly as that notion is. I'd say vegans have earned the rigors of your industry and creativity, and deserve at least an acceptable to them decent culinary experience of it.
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Joined Jan 4, 2011
Dude ... Everyone eats something goofy. ... Everyone is gonna die from something. ... Let these people pay me $$$ to eat goofy ... and I will try my best not to kill them.

I had planned to continue this a coupla-3 hours ago, but you can't rely on shift timing and wife's meatloaf. Anyway ... the kitchen is back to being mine. I'm about to start up again. Gotta score the "ham", make the glaze and use it, then bake it up for another hour or so.

Stick around or come on back ... the show is about to be on.

End of page 10 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 9, 2019
Stumbled upon Amazon for the cheapest vital wheat gluten, believe it or not..
Still trying to clone the local Chinese "bubbly" stuff (freshly made, not canned).
My fave is/was the S&S & curry sauce.
Testing baking powder, yeast..still in the test stages.
If you use baking powder & boil/steam it..don't take the lid off for some time!..that stuff expands like nobody's business (and will collapse with the flat gluten) Use a huge pot! Really!
Joined Jan 4, 2011
OK ... Here we go ... Home stretch.

The unwrapping:

IMG_0401.JPG fullsizeoutput_1a8.jpeg

I'm thinking it really does look kinda like a ham ... sorta. The beet color cooked out nice and the fat looks real. NO big deal ... other than the cheesecloth strings. ... That killed 10-minutes.

End of page 11 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
The glaze:

IMG_0399.JPG IMG_0405.JPG

I kid you not ... I really did cook it down to half'a'cup ... from 16+ ounces ... on the first try. LOL. Don't ever expect that to happen again. You gotta be patient with the reduction. It can go from nice caramel to burnt to a crisp in seconds. Luck was a lady with me tonite.
* That freakin' pineapple juice was $4 for a 16oz. bottle.

End of page 12 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Glazed and ready to go:


It's blurry because of the glaze. LOL. ... It went into a 370* oven for 50-minutes; glazed every 10-minutes.

End of page 13 ... to be continued.
Joined Jan 4, 2011
Cook'em UP!:

Against the better judgement of my staff ... I'm including this pic to show that whereas it may look ugly ... it shows real cooking. The glaze does charcoal itself in an oven after 50-minutes. ... Deal with it.


Out of the pan getting dressed:


Back in the cleaned pan, reglazed ... FINISHED ... and ready to go:


There it is ... a VEGAN HAM. ... We all gotta wait until Sunday nite to see it carved up on the plates (not this one ... but it'll be the same still).

THANK YOU ALL for being here for this project. I PROMISE ... I'll be back Sunday nite for the FINAL pics of this porker carved up.
* My client just happens to have the same kinda phone as me. He'll take the pics ... send 'em to me ... and I'll show YOU.

End of page 14 ... still yet to be continued.

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