Vegan ham deli slices

Vegan ham deli slices

I’ve made ham-style deli slices before, but the taste wasn’t quite right. Liquid smoke is really hard to find here, and I couldn’t get the right flavor with smoked paprika.

A few days ago, in a health shop in Hereford, I discovered smoked tofu by viana. This stuff is awesome. It’s denser than regular tofu, and can be sliced really thin without crumbling. It has a really great smoky flavour. In fact, it’s very nice sliced and pan-fried… similar to bacon but without all that bad karma.

Anyhoo, I thought it would be the perfect ingredient to use in my experiments into vegan hammy perfection. I used less tofu and more water than usual because it’s more dense than regular tofu.

I was very happy with how the ham roll turned out. The smoked tofu imparted a delicious smoky flavour. I think there’s a nice balance of other flavours as well, though I might tweak it a bit next time (maybe a bit extra ketchup or tomato puree).

Instead of wrapping the roll in baking paper and foil before steaming, the way I usually do, I wrapped it in baking paper and cheesecloth. The latter is another thing that’s difficult to find here, but I finally tracked some down at Amazon. It worked well, but the roll ended up having flattened sides (using foil results in a perfectly round roll). Wrapping the cheesecloth tighter might work better.

Ham-style vegan deli slices

British American
30g ground almonds 5 tablespoons
200g smoked tofu 7 ounces
1/2 vegan chicken-style bouillon cube 1/2
1/2 vegan beef-style bouillon cube 1/2
1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon tomato puree (tomato paste) 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon ketchup 1 tablespoon
3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil 3 tablespoons
34g finely chopped onion 1/4 cup
2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic 1 teaspoon
3/4 teaspoon pepper 3/4 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon
160g vital wheat gluten flour 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons

1. If you’re starting with whole almonds, grind them in the blender first while it’s still clean and dry, then remove and set aside.

2. Crumble the tofu into the blender. Put the bouillon cubes in a glass measuring cup and add a couple tablespoons of boiling water to dissolve the cubes. Add the soy sauce, tomato puree (tomato paste) and ketchup, then add enough cold water so the mixture equals 150ml (9-1/2 tablespoons). Add this to the blender.

ham roll wrapped

3. Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT gluten. Blenderise until completely smooth. Empty into a large mixing bowl.

4. Add gluten and mix until evenly combined. You’ll have a soft dough.

5. Turn out onto the countertop and form into a log. Wrap in baking paper and then in either aluminium foil or cheesecloth. (With foil, use a triple layer; with cheesecloth, a double thickness wrapped twice around.) Tie the ends with a couple pieces of string.

6. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Steam for two hours over gently simmering water, turning roll a quarter turn every half hour. Check water level regularly to ensure the pot does not boil dry and add boiling water as necessary. Turn heat off and let cool for two hours.

Makes 600g (1-1/3 pounds).


  1. That looks superb! I’m seriously tempted to try it (if I can find Viana smoked tofu).
    I had another seitan failure today, so I need to restore my faith. Maybe this will help…..

  2. I’ve had some AMAZING smoked tofu and thinking it’s too complicated to make at home but you make it so easy.

    I am so sorry Felicity, but yea, I wanna move in. So far, I’ve got River…Becks..Crystal…

    Wow imagine all the gorg sarnies you’re eating…boo boo for me!

  3. Becks… steaming seitan is pretty foolproof, give it a try. BTW, the lamb seitan you’re experimenting with sounds really interesting.
    denny… Well, I haven’t tried smoking the tofu myself, but Bryanna has a recipe which I’d like to try. The ham is easy though.

  4. yummy! it looks so professional.

    I’ve had smoked tofu before and it’s good. It was also very dense.

    In one of my cooking classes, they said some people were using smoky tea as a flavoring. I guess you’d have to be careful to remove the tea bag early when brewing so it doesn’t have a chance to release a bitter flavor.

  5. Interesting info about the tea. I bought some smoked salt today and will probably add that in next time I make the faux ham.

  6. I just made this! Wow…it is excellent. I kneaded it for 10 minutes with dough hook mixer. I tasted the liquid mix before adding it to the gluten and I think it would make a very tasty dip on it’s own! Like my mother’s devilled ham mixture. Thanks so much. I will try the hotdogs next!

  7. Thanks, I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I agree, the tofu mix is pretty tasty on its own. I welcome your comments about any other recipes you try 🙂

  8. wow! I am so glad I found you! I have been searching for recipes like this! Thank you! I will be trying them!

  9. I made this last night with my boyfriend. I don’t really care all to much for smoke flavoring so I used the extra firm tofu. After steaming it I lightly basted it with liquid smoke and wrapped it back up to cool, that gave it a very mild kick. None the less, AMAZING. Today I cooked it on stove top with brown sugar, a little ground cloves and powdered mustard. YUM! Thank you so much for this recipe.

  10. Just made this today, it turned out great! It was easy and the flavor and texture are wonderful. I’m going to tweak the recipe and do a roast beast tomorrow. I’ve missed simple roast beef and mustard sandwiches and I think this may be the solution. Thanks for a great recipe!

  11. I just want to thank you for such delicious recipes…I tried this for Easter dinner but after steaming…let it rest for two days and on Sunday morning put a glaze on and studded with pineapple slices and cloves…then baked to heat through…this is the best ham seitan and yes…use smoked tofu…I tried first with it then last year I didn’t have smoked tofu so I added liquid smoke and used regular tofu…a difference in taste…I will use smoked tofu again!!! Great…great…great recipe!!!

    Thanks, Kathy

  12. Oh my gosh!!! I’ve been vegan for 20 years and just stumbled across this recipe, made it last night…amazing! I didn’t have any smoked tofu at home so just used firm plain and subbed for a heaped tsp of paprika. Gone are my days of paying an extraordinary amount for a treat!! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I used smoked paprika

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