How to make your own Quorn | Vegan homemade Quorn
Deciding to make your own Quorn might be a great way for you to save a few dollars, and to get creative in the kitchen. Veganism and vegetarianism are growing food trends across the globe and more and more people are now subscribing to the meat-free lifestyle.
Plant-based meat substitutes are becoming more mainstream. “Whether it’s for health, environmental and ethical concerns, (our) appetite for vegan food is increasing. The rise in the popularity of plant-based eating will see more mock-meat products permeate mainstream stores and restaurants in 2019,” says Callan Boys in Good Food.
There are many meat alternatives out there, some more processed than others. Personally, the first time I ever tried commercial meat substitute Quorn, I was very impressed by the taste and texture; then I started to wonder if I could somehow create my own Quorn.
What is Quorn?
To put things simply, Quorn* is a plant-based meat alternative, that you might be able to find in your local supermarket, most likely in the freezer or fridge section. It’s worth a try, if you haven’t had it yet. I always thought it was made from mushrooms, but it seems to be a little more complex than that. There are vegan (potato) and vegetarian (egg) versions of the product.
Quorn was invented in 1985, and is now found in around 19 countries, mostly in Europe. It’s now hit the shelves in Australia, where I live, and it’s really a very tasty product, which I do recommend, but like all specialist foods, it can be a bit pricey (it’s about $AUD8 or more here) and some people regard Quorn to be quite processed, as lots of vegan food can be.
“Quorn is a ‘mycoprotein’ fermented in vats from a fungus found in soil,” explains Joanna Blythman in The Guardian. “It is made from a strain of the soil mould Fusarium venenatum by fermenting it, then adding glucose, fixed nitrogen, vitamins and minerals and heat-treating it to remove excess levels of ribonucleic acid.” Let me be clear here, I am not sponsored by Quorn, and if you like convenience, you might still like to purchase it, but I worked out how to make your own.
How to make your own vegan Quorn
I first got the idea when I was watching Gordon Ramsey’s tutorial on how to make Beef Wellington (you can make a vegan or vegetarian version if you like, substituting the beef for eggplant, or even beets). One of the key ingredients in Beef Wellington is duxelles, which is essentially a chopped mushroom “pâté” or tapenade. It’s possible to make a vegetarian or vegan version of duxelles, and this reminded me very much of a more natural version of Quorn.
Homemade vegan Quorn recipe
- 500g of field mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Sprig of rosemary
- Sprig of thyme
- Parsley, to taste
- 3 shallots
- Plant-based “butter” (or regular butter if you’re vegetarian)
- ½ a cup of textured vegetable protein (TVP)*
- Black pepper
- Salt to taste
*TVP is available at most health food stores, some supermarkets and online. It’s an inexpensive, plant-based protein source, and is great to take camping or travelling as it’s light, filling, requires no refrigeration and is delicious.
Chop the field mushrooms very finely, including the stems and cups. Pan fry the chopped mushrooms in olive oil, and then add the chopped shallots, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Continue to cook this over a relatively high heat, until the mushrooms break down and release juices. Add a dollop of vegan butter, and salt and pepper to taste.
After about 15 minutes, you will be left with a paste-like mixture. Meanwhile, soak the ½ cup of textured vegetable protein in 2 cups of boiling water, and drain any excess liquid after 5 minutes. Add this mix to the duxelles, which you will remove from the pan and leave to cool.
Add salt and pepper to taste, or even miso paste, soy sauce or other vegan flavouring. This mixture can be frozen, or used right away in cooking.
How to use your homemade vegan Quorn
This duxelle/Quorn mixture can be used in many recipes in place of beef mince, for example. You can use this vegan Quorn as a base for vegan bolognaise sauce. Here are some other ideas, where you can use your vegan homemade Quorn. Tell me if you have any other ideas!
Vegan beet wellington: My favourite chef Gordon Ramsey even went vegan for a month, and created a fabulous beet wellington version of his beef wellington recipe. Try it with your homemade Quorn!
Vegan san choy bow: This traditional Asian dish is usually made from pork mince. Use your homemade vegan Quorn in place of meat in this dish.
Vegan lasagne: Substitute beef mince with your delicious homemade vegan Quorn. Many varieties of dried lasagne sheets (not fresh) contain no eggs, and are vegan.
Vegan bean chilli: You don’t really need to add anything to this delicious bean dish, but try adding some pan-fried homemade vegan Quorn for extra texture and flavour.
What are your favourite vegan recipes, or recipes using Quorn? Tell me in the comments below.
*This is not a promotional or paid post, and I am not associated with Quorn in any way.