Are you contemplating a “mock turkey,” or tofurkey, for your Thanksgiving table this year? Whether you’re vegetarian or vegan yourself or just want to accommodate a family member’s dietary needs, there are a few things you should know about tofurkey before you try to cook it.

A Careful Cooking Process Is Key to Your Success

Tofurkey tastes similar in texture and taste to the white meat on actual turkey, and it’s pleasantly chewy. However, tofurkey is usually a bit more on the moist side than real turkey. That can be delightful — as long as you don’t overcook it. 

Tofurkey is generally made from either tofu or wheat gluten (or both), and those ingredients are very susceptible to drying when they’re exposed to heat. When tofurkey gets dried out, it can quickly turn rubbery and unpleasant. 

To counter any potential problems, simply make sure that you have a plan to keep your turkey basted throughout the baking process and you won’t have a problem. Make sure you also keep the tofurkey covered tightly with either a glass lid or foil while it cooks.

Add Flavor and Flair With the Use of Seasoning and Spices

Since the major complaint people have about tofurkey (and regular turkey, if we’re being honest) is that it tends to be somewhat bland, we reached out to the experts at Oregano Spices to see what cooking tips they can offer. 

Their suggestion is to add smoked sea salt to your baste recipe. Sea salt is preferred in many vegan dishes because it’s largely unprocessed, unlike regular table salt, which means that all of its nutrients are intact when it comes to your table. 

Once infused with the aromatic smoke from different woods, smoked sea salt is the easiest way to add grill flavor to your tofurkey without actually using a grill. While there are hundreds of recipes for a baste out there, here’s one that’s easy to put together:

  • A ½ cup olive oil
  • Juice from a whole lemon
  • Four cloves of garlic, pressed
  • Freshly torn sage, rosemary, and thyme 
  • A ½ teaspoon of smoked sea salt

You can be a little more generous with the salt if you like, especially since sea salt tends to be milder than table salt, so adjust the recipe above to your tastes.

When you add smoked sea salt to your tofurkey baste, your tofurkey and vegetables will have a flavor you can actually smell. Your “faux turkey” may even fool the carnivores at your table!

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