Gà Xào Xả ớt Chay Vegan Lemongrass Chili Chicken – 148 of 365

Vegan Chicken Strips

Aside from “VFC” earlier this week perhaps you’ve noticed the general dearth of meats on this food journey that clucked in a former life.  A very simple explanation for this glaring omission of a very large source of potential foods will clear up your curiosity now as to why.  Most Vietnamese chicken and I just can’t share the same plate.  An entire bird hacked to bits and then served skin, organs, sinew, fat and all holds little appeal to my sheltered palate. Try as might, I just can’t do it.

Yes, the sensory overload of this foolishness on a bone makes something inside me snap and not in a good way, but here is another vegan delight yet again to the rescue.   Never in a million years could I have imagined eating vegan foods tricked out to look like their furry and feathered brethren I consume in such copious quantities back in the US.

An Lac Restaurant down a side alley at 175/1 Pham Ngu Lao in District 1’s backpacker area has chicken strips scarily textured like a real piece of chicken skin.  You’ve seen that goose bump appearance on a piece of an unsanitized real bird’s fat layer.   Well, obviously these “meats” at An Lac began their journeys in some injection molding apparatus at a factory somewhere.  Don’t hot dogs and Chicken McNuggets spawn in a similar fashion?   And this all begs the question why anyone would want to recreate the very part of the bird so offensive and rubbery in real life.

Fake Texture

Dropping some überspicy birdseye chili peppers into soy sauce scorches things up nicely, and the lemongrass and chili peppers crunched up from their grease fueled swirl around the wok add some great taste to the otherwise bland strips lining the lettuce garnish.   Compared to an actual chicken dish over here, this fake mess is food Shangri-La, and definitely something I will eat again.

Had you told me two years ago I’d be consuming vegan products, I’d have told you to get lost.  Trying new things in life is a great thing though, and variety really is the spice of life.  You just never know what might end up turning out quite ok.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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