Vegan ham #2: Lam Sheng Kee Vegetarian Ham (Chicken Flavor)

The vegetarian chicken ham Let me start by saying I really like this product. Even if it has about two too many words in its name. I think “vegetarian ham” is easier to understand than a “chicken ham.” After all, a vegetarian analog is like the meaty original, but made without animals. But is a vegetarian chicken ham a now-meat-free version of a ham, but originally made with bird flesh? Or pork, made like bird, but now made with soy?

It’s none of these, I gather. It’s light, savory, lightly spiced vegetarian product that I’d call “imitation chicken lunch meat”– which I think gets the point across, even if that might not pass regulatory muster, and again suffers for having two too many words in it. And to be clear, it’s like a processed chicken product, like the inner part of a chicken nugget, so don’t expect long fibers of imitation meat.

A confession. I don’t think I ate this one hot, but ia slice of the vegetarian chicken hamt has probably enough flavor to stand up in a soup. Indeed, next time I hope to make a pot pie with it. But it’s so delicious cold that this is how we plowed through it. Often in strips on a plate with other food, or sandwiches. I think this is the same product that my go-to Vietnamese Buddhist restaurant serves in slivers in a cold lotus root salad (Gỏi ngó sen). Both the restaurant and the supermarket where we got the Lam Sheng Kee Vegetarian Ham (Chicken Flavor) is at the Eden Center, in Falls Church, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. It comes frozen, in a 1 kilogram log for about $10 at the Good Fortune Supermarket.

My mother used to make a perfect-to-spread “blender chicken salad” and I think this product would be ideal for it. Other ingredients to buy would be the vegan Just Mayo (at Target) and vegan Worcestershire sauce. This used to be easy to find: just get the cheapest brand. But now they all have anchovies. The same supermarket has large, cheap bottles of vegan Worcestershire sauce, from Taiwan, with the soy sauce — a bit thinner than I like, but it’s not that you use much, right?

In any case, this vegan ham is a winner, and I’ll buy it again. But what if you wanted ham ham? That’s for next time.

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Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

2 thoughts on “Vegan ham #2: Lam Sheng Kee Vegetarian Ham (Chicken Flavor)”

  1. Three thoughts, Derek. Because it is frozen and perishable, it’s unlikely to be a reasonable option by mail order.

    So I might:

    1. Ask the local large supermarket if they can special order it.
    2. Get it — like an ice chest — when visiting a large city. I find the Asian groceries that cater to Vietnamese people have the best vegetarian options, but that may be a D.C. thing.
    3. Try to cook one from a mix, as from http://www.fakemeats.com/

    If it’s the ham flavor you want, there are vegan ham-flavor bullion, too.

    I might reach out to a local/campus vegetarian club or an Orthodox or Adventist church either for local info, or to provide pressure — I mean, an incentive — for the mainstream grocery to carry it, particularly since it is a frozen item.

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