Vegan Unturkey Thanksgiving 2010

After discovering the unturkey recipe a few years ago, we created one for our vegan friends thanksgiving dinner and took notes in 2007 and 2008.

Here is how the 2010 bake went.

Thanks to for the recipes!


  • Gather the Ingredients
  • Gind Up Spice Mix
  • Mix the Gluten
  • Pre-Bake the Gluten
  • Make the Stuffing
  • Boil the Gluten
  • Stuff and Wrap
  • Bake

Step 1. Obtain the yuba (AKA bean curd skin).

Yuba or tofu skin is used to make the crispy "skin" for the unturkey. You will find it at your local asian market.

Step 2. Create some wheat meat!

If you go read the recipe you'll see there are several ingredients and steps to make an unturkey.

Nutritional Yeast Spice Mix

Recipe. Easy. Toss a bunch of dry stuff in the processer and give it a whirl.

Grind the following ingredients in the food processor:

  • 2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (mmmm!)
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. thyme
  • 4 tsp. sage
  • 4 tsp. onion powder
  • 4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tsp. celery seed
  • 2 tsp. tarragon
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. marjoram
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ginger


This is some weird stuff! The moment you put water in it turns to rubber, so be prepared.

See the original recipe.

Mix It

Mix the yeasty spice mix and the gluten in a great big bowl, then begin pouring in the broth. You can mix it with a wooden spoon at first, but you'll quickly have to switch to your hands.

The video here shows a previous recipe that reduced the broth and used water.

Roll It

After it's mixed it has to be spread into a sheet and then rolled up. Use a rolling pin and to form it into a rectangle. Not too thin.
After it boils, you'll have to unroll it to fill it with stuffing. It can be difficult to unroll after the boil, so this year we rolled up cheese cloth in the middle to make kinda of a gluten ho-ho. It worked great! It was super easy to unroll. I recommend you do this for sanity.

Bake Briefly

So that it doesn't expand too much when boiling, bake it at 350 for 30


Take it out of the oven and put it in a pot of cold water. Bring it to a boil and leave it for an hour. Turn off the heat, and let it cool in the water for a half hour.


Recipe. Make some stuffing while the gluten is cooking.

Step 3. Construction

Unroll the gluten

Take the gluten out of the water, but don't throw out the water yet. Let it cool for 20 min or so until you can touch it.

Then unroll it as best you can. This was a little tricky. We've had the best luck by rolling up a cheese cloth inside before the pre-bake.

Hydrate the yuba

Open the yuba package and spread it all out. Separate and re-fold each sheet so you have four separate packets rather than one. Put two of them into the remaining hot water for a moment until it turns from translucent yellow to opaque white.

Spread 2 or 3 sheets of yuba over a baking dish and press it down into the corners.

Don't skimp on the yuba. The "skin" is the best part!

Stuff the "Turkey" and close it up

Place the splayed unturkey on top and fill it with stuffing.

Wrap the yuba up around the top. After tucking in the 2 pieces from the bottom, lay two more over the top and tuck them under for an extra thick skin. Just pick it up and slide them under.

At this point we wrapped it in foil and placed it in the fridge for baking the next day.

Step 4. Final Bake


The basting liquid makes the skin golden, spicey, and crispy.

The remaining yeast spice mix should be just enough to make the baste.
Put in a glass measuring cup, and heat slowly in the microwave until the margarine melts.
Use a brush to slather the unturkey.

Into the Oven

Remove the foil and bake for 90 min. Baste every 15 min and replace foil once the skin browns. Probably after the 2nd basting.

Step 5. Eat

Behold its golden crispy goodness.

Carve it up and dig in!



Subscribe to Syndicate