“ Brand: Quorn / Type: Vegetarians „
I have recently been enjoying lots of stir fries because they are quick to cook when I come home from work. When I saw that Quorn manufacture some frozen steak style strips, I decided to try them as I thought that they could add a different flavour to the dishes, along with extra protein. Like all Quorn products, they are actually made of a mycroprotein, which is a member of the fungi family.
There are obviously intended to taste like steak, and it is suggested you use them in the same way as the regular kind. For example in stroganoff or with noodles, as well as stir fried. You can cook them in the microwave, or on the hob if you don't fry them but in both cases you need to cover them with a sauce first. I don't mind this as this tends to suit the recipes I want to cook, but I did find it less convenient when I wanted to add them to a pizza. I had made a sauce already, so I tried cooking the steak strips with just a little water in the microwave but it didn't work well. They turned out dry, and chewy, and the water became dark brown. I do think they need covering with a sauce as recommended. Stir frying them is easy though. They take about 10 minutes, so you need to add them with vegetables that take a similar time to cook. They don't need defrosting first, but being frozen means they reduce the temperature of your hot oil when you first add them to the pan. For this reason, I need to cook any vegetables fried at the same time for slightly longer.
The pieces look like a pale version of real steak, and colour up a little on cooking. They look nice enough, and the fact they are in a strip form makes them easy to stir into noodles for example. They don't smell of meat which is not a disadvantage to me. Taste wise, I would say that they really do remind me of beef at the first bite but after having a few mouthfuls I am left with what I call the universal Quorn aftertaste. This is the taste of the mycroprotein itself, familiar from the Quorn chicken pieces and fillets that I have tried previously. This means I don't think their flavour is that distinctive, even if it isn't unpleasant. It helps to add bulk to a noodle dish, and the texture is good because if cooked properly, the pieces are succulent. I just didn't find the taste very exciting. I enjoyed them marinaded more, using an adaption of the recipe for "beef" teriyaki on the Quorn website. [hhtp://www.quorn.co.uk/recipes/39/quorn-beef-style-teriyaki/] All the same I thought they were working mostly as a vehicle for the lovely flavours of the marinade, rather than adding much taste of their own.
They are marketed as a healthier alternative to real steak pieces, no doubt to appeal to non vegetarians too. Quorn say that the pieces contain 30% less fat than the equivalent meat would if stir-fried. In fact, a quarter of the pack contains only 0.8g of saturated fat in total, plus 10.7g of protein. The only nutritional point that bothers me is the salt content - 15% of your RDA in the quarter pack. This is an issue for me because I like to add soy sauce to my stir fries and this also tends to contain quite a lot of salt. Taken together, it is easy to consume a lot of sodium in just one meal. For this reason, I wouldn't use the Quorn pieces too often, even if I loved them more.
Being frozen, these pieces keep a long time. The use by date on my packets have been a year in advance! You can shake out exactly the amount you need because the pieces are not stuck together in one large lump. This makes them convenient if you like them. It is a shame the bag isn't re-sealable though.
I do not like these enough to pay the standard price of £2.35 in Tesco/Sainsbury's too often. [This is for a 300g bag.] I just enjoy other Quorn products more. They are worth trying if you like steak flavours, bearing in mind that I don't think it is that strong. You may enjoy them more than me.
[This review may also appear on Ciao, under my user name.]
I don't know what I would do in my house if it were not for Quorn products. My husband is a pescatarian and I do not eat fish so between us we are forced to eat a mainly vegetarian diet. I find quorn products are ideal for providing protein in a versatile and generally quite tasty way and these steak strips are a great new addition to the range.
Quorn seems to have gone up in price over the last year or so (along with pretty much every other type of food stuff) and where a 300g bag like this used to cost around £1.30 it is now around £1.80. It is well worth watching out for offers, recently Asda had these for £1 a bag and I tend to buy in bulk whenever they are reduced to a more sensible price. In any event it is still cheaper than stewing steak would be.
These steak strips show the usualy level of adaptability for quorn products - I use them in Stifado (usually made with stewing beef), fajitas and casseroles and they always soak in the flavours of your recipe very well. One of the benefits of quorn is that you can chuck it into dishes still frozen and it cooks through very quickly, in the slow cooker for instance I just tip the whole bag in frozen and bung all the other ingredients in on top and it always turns out right.
These steak strips are like longer and darker versions of the quorn chicken style pieces, they do however taste seasoned like beef and are pretty much as good a substitute as you are likely to find for proper beef stewing steak. The texture is much softer than actual meat would be but chewy enough to have some proper substance in your mouth.
All in all another success from Quorn which offers veggies and quick, healthy and convenient way to create tasty and succesful meat free meals.
I nipped to Tesco yesterday for a few bits and remembered we needed some quorn mince, unfortunately they didn't have any in the frozen department. I then picked up a bag of steak strips which I had never tried before and thought they would be ok for a stew.
Today I had a great idea for tea I would use these steak strips to make a stew and pour it over mash.
I prepared the veg I would be using and popped it into a pan I then opened the bag of strips I wasn't really impressed with how they looked they looked similar to the beef style pieces but longer (about 5 cm). They are brown and rough looking. I decided to cut them smaller and began to think my idea wasn't really that great after all.
They can be cooked on the hob, in the oven and used in stir frys. As I was doing stew on the hob I cooked them on the hob with the other stuff and liquid. As the stew was cooking I tasted one of the steak strips and it was bland. These strips are suppossed to absorb the flavour so I was not looking forward to my tea so to add extra taste I added a little garlic pepper. I shouldn't have worried everybody loved it, the strips were tender but I can't say they tasted like steak as I remember it. As we ate it with other stuff the meal wasn't bland at all.
If you are interested the stew tonight was made with the steak strips, carrots, green beans (both chopped), dried onions, pepper and a bit of garlic pepper and just before I started mahing the spuds I added a tin of marrowfat peas. For the liquid I used some sieved tomato passata and some vege gravy. Very basic and easy to do and after it was cooked I just made a hole in the mash and poured it over.
I would have these again in different kinds of meals but would never eat on their own.
I paid £1.98 for a 300g bag a quarter of the bag has 72 calories in I used about half or maybe a bit more.
I love the Quorn range as being vegetarian it helps me to get some much needed protein in to my diet. These Quorn Steak Strips come in a bag as pictured with 1/4 of a packet being around 78 calories if I remember correctly. The first time I ate them I didn't bother to read the back of the packet, I ovened them and ate them with chips but they turned in to chewey charcoal despite me cooking them for the allotted time. I then read the back and discovered that they are best cooked in a sauce so I used some to make a stir-fry.
I cooked them in a pan on the hob and made my own concoction using chillis and some chinese five spice amongst other things, again I'm not completely sure of the exact time but they cooked in well under 20 minutes. I added onion, peppers and various other veggies before throwing in my straight to wok noodles. Two minutes later I was ready to eat.
I was initially a bit dubious as when you get them out of the packet they do look a bit like small blocks of cardboard or something but after cooking I was very suprised. Being made from mycoprotein (a type of funghi) means that they are absorbant and took on all the flavours of the sauce.
They are bite sized pieces and so tender and juicy when you bite in to them, they've also got a lovely flavour, a lot like steak but obviously not exactly the same. You don't actually need many of these strips as they're very filling and usually I can chow down for England! I only needed a few in my stir-fry to fill me up. If you eat that way you can easily make one small packet last a few meals or one big meal for the whole family.
Even if you're not a vegetarian I would recommend these, they're certainly a lot like meat in taste and better for you too! They can be expensive but you can pick them up for under £2. Give them a go, you might be converted ;)
Being vegetarian, and needing to get protein from somewhere, I eat quite a lot of Quorn. Vegetarian ranges tend to be rather same-y in the types of products available, so when a new product appears I usually give it a try if only for a little variety. Quorn have been producing beef-style mince and chicken-style pieces, fillets and roasts for years - and these have improved a lot in that time; to begin with any product which included Quorn always tasted more of Quorn than it did of anything else, and if you overcooked the roast even slightly, you could have played tennis with the results - and they have now added frozen steak strips to the range. According to the blurb, these are ideal for stroganoff, Thai dishes and stir-fries.
I was underwhelmed when I first took them out of the packet. They are pretty uniform in size and shape (about two inches long and roughly the thickness of a pen) and just look a little unrealistic. In fact, my first thought was 'well, this is a con. They've just sliced up a burger and charged me double for it'. As Quorn - unlike meat - keeps its shape when it is cooked, some variation in appearance would go a long way to maintaining the illusion that these are in any way similar to steak.
The instructions for cooking on the hob are to cover the strips with sauce and cook for 15 minutes, but I usually brown Quorn products first even though this isn't necessary. Perhaps it's a psychological hangover from those far-off days when I cooked meat, but it just seems like missing a step not to do this and as these are cooked straight from the freezer, it's good to help the cooking process along a little. They browned nicely, and I added the sauce and cooked them as directed.
Well, it turns out that the whole burger thing was doing them a bit of a disservice, as these actually tasted quite authentic. I say 'quite' because the kind of steak these brought to mind was 'stewing'. I suppose technically that is still steak, but if you asked most people in a word-association kind of way, the first thing that came to mind would probably be something more along the lines of 'sirloin', and there is no resemblance to the more premium end of the steak scale here. The taste reminded me more than anything of my mum's beef casserole, which isn't really a bad thing and does at least suggest how these strips might best be used. Obviously, I'm only going on memory here, and a more recent steak-eater might have a different opinion; I would have asked my husband, but we were not on speaking terms at the time (this has to do with a rowing machine that was gathering dust under the spare bed, it's a long and not particularly interesting story).
You can also cook these in the oven, which takes 35 minutes, or in the microwave, which takes 8 minutes. I can't say I've ever cooked Quorn in the microwave, but I shouldn't imagine that this is going to be your 'for best results' option.
As these are a Quorn product, they are good for you. I used half a packet for two of us which works out roughly per person to be:
Energy 70 kcal
Saturated Fat 0.75g
So, quite high in salt (the maximum daily amount for adults is 6g) but otherwise pretty good. The ingredients list is short, comprising mycoprotein, rehydrated free range egg white, roasted barley malt extract and an unspecified 'flavouring'. As are all Quorn products, this is Vegetarian Society approved.
I bought these from Asda for £1.98 (disappointingly, not on an introductory offer), although the Quorn website says they are available from Sainsbury's. They only seem to be available in the 300g frozen bag rather than the 350g chilled packet (the mince and chicken-style pieces are available in both), although they do a similar chilled product so possibly this one will only be available from the freezer section.
I was quite pleased with this product, although I'm not sure it's going to be as versatile as the packet suggests. I can't imagine using it in Thai dishes or stir-fries, but I will try it in a stroganoff and possibly a casserole as well, although this might need some creative recipe tweaking. I doubt I'll be using this every week as I do the mince and chicken-style pieces, but I expect that it will establish a regular spot on my shopping list.