Back in June, my boyfriend and I made the three-hour road trip to the Farm in Summertown to meet with the staff at the Book Publishing Company in regards to my Southern vegan cookbook. Along the way — about 40 minutes or so outside Summertown — we drove past a teensy health food store in the middle of nowhere. I wish I could remember the name of the town or the store, but I can't.
I'd actually stopped at this store on my prior visit to the Farm a few years back, and I was pleased to see that it was still in business. It's rare to find a health food shop in a rural Tennessee town! Of course we had to stop again this time. I purchased some large chunks of TVP (a size I can't find in Memphis) and this interesting can of Cedar Lake Vegi-Scallops:
Now, I've never eaten an actual scallop in my life. I grew up hating seafood, but for some reason I was intrigued by these. The ingredients didn't list anything that sounded like it'd taste fishy, so I thought I'd take the chance. I'm far for more culinarily daring these days. Here's what the stuff looked like after opening the can:
Little bits of chewy, white wheat gluten. I tried one in this state, and it was, well, weird. It had the texture I'd imagine a scallop to have. But then again, I don't really know what texture a scallop should have. It didn't taste bad. Just kinda bland.
I googled scallop recipes and came across a few scallop stir-fries. I was kind of in a hurry, so I figured a simple scallop fried rice would be easy and quick. I sauteed the "scallops" with garlic in a little canola oil, then added chopped cabbage and carrots and a little leftover brown rice. For a sauce, I combined soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, and mirin. Here's the result, topped with extra sriracha:
It wasn't half bad. In the stir-fry, the scallops reminded of the canned vegetarian mock duck I sometimes buy from the Asian market. But honestly, the best part of the dish was the cabbage, carrots, and rice. I probably wouldn't buy the scallops again, but they were fun to try. Next time, I'll stick with tofu in my fried rice.
Don't forget to enter my Artisana coconut butter giveaway here. It's open until Tuesday.