A very veggie ham

Honey Glazed Veggie Ham

As you know from my tagline, I am a carnivore in rehab. While I really miss eating meat, I don’t regret my decision to quit. However, I don’t let any chance to try a meat substitute go by.

As many of you might know, east Asia has a long history of Buddhism. Now, while traditionally, Buddhist monks ate whatever they were offered, the preference was for vegetarian cuisine. Over many centuries with typical East Asian ingenuity and brilliance, many different meat substitutes emerged. Mostly soy based, these “mock-xyz” (substitute xyz for Chicken, Tuna, Ham etc.) are quite tasty and readily available at Chinese grocery stores. It was on a visit to one of these stores that my younger daughter professed a desire to try veggie ham. We bought a two pound cylinder and once thawed and sliced, it was delicious.

Holidays came and the wife wanted to host a traditional holiday dinner. A traditional American holiday dinner, of course, means it has to have ham, turkey or both. Problem was that we are vegetarian – so ham and turkey were out. We solved the turkey problem by buying some Tofurkey. For ham, I went back to the Chinese store and bought another two pound hunk of ham. This time though, I decided to cook it like it was regular ham. I found a recipe for Honey Glazed Ham at allrecipes.com and I subjected the veggie ham to the same directions. It was wonderful. I couldn’t stop eating it at the dinner and for many days afterwards, I had ham sandwiches for a snack.

The daughters craved it again and so a month or so after the holidays, I made it again. It was great the second time around as well. It is really easy to make. Hope you enjoy it.

INGREDIENTS (for a two pound cylinder of Veggie Ham)

Whole cloves

1/8 cup dark corn syrup

1 cups honey

1 stick of cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Score ham into diamonds(cut about 1/4 inch deep) and stud with the whole cloves. Place ham in foil lined pan.
3. Heat the corn syrup, honey, butter and cinnamon in a double boiler. Keep this warm while baking the ham.
4. Brush glaze over ham, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Every 12 minutes or so, baste the ham with the honey glaze.
5. During the last 4 to 5 minutes of baking, turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze.
6. Remove from oven, and let sit a few minutes before serving.

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