Plantein Kiev Review
Ever since Herb and Sons released a vegetarian “Chicken” Kiev product, vegans have been wishing that a vegan version was available. Plantein, who use the same manufacturers as the Herb and Sons products, have filled that gap in the market with this Plant-Based Garlic Kiev product. I hope my Plantein Kiev Review helps you decide whether to give this product a shot, or not.
Plantein Plant-Based Garlic Kievs
Before I decided to do a Plantein Kiev review, I had to test the product out properly. So this was my 3rd dish using the product. And whilst I didn’t really have Chicken Kievs before I went vegan, I had a pretty good idea what I was looking for.
The Plantein Kievs come in a 300g pack of two and are available in many Woolworths stores around Australia. You’ll have to venture into the meat section to find them, and I know some people hate that about plant based meats, but I am promising you that it’s well worth the trip into the supermarket graveyard.
They are well priced too at $7.50 for two Kievs. Compared to some of the mock meat products around today I think that’s pretty good. When you work it out per kg it’s pretty hefty, however the trick is to serve it with enough sides that you only need one, something I haven’t been successful with so far.
From a nutritional point of view they sit at around 270 calories per serve with 16.4g of protein and around 800mg of salt. I mean, they aren’t the healthiest thing in the world, but if you can restrain yourself and just eat one then it’s not going to tip the scales too much as a treat.
It’s a long list of ingredients that’s for sure but keep in mind there are 3 key components here, the “meat”, the filling and the crumb, so that takes quite a few words to spell out.
Meat Free Portion (59%) [Water, Soy Protein, Coconut Oil, Plant Fibre (Cellulose), Vegetable Gum (461), yeast Extracts, Dehydrated Vegetables, Sugar, Natural Flavour, Salt, Maltodextrin (Maize), Spices], Coating [Water, Wheat Flour, Salt, Sugar ,Yeast, Vegetable Oils, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Semolina, Flavour Enhancer (635)], Filling [ (12%) [Water, Maltodextrin (Maize), Vegetable Oil Spread (Contains Soy, Natural Colour (160b)), Garlic Powder (5%), Potato Starch, Vegetable Gums (461, 412, 407), Salt, Herbs, Spices, Natural Flavour] Canola Oil, Preservatives (202, 234).
There was a question raised about the flavour enhancer 635 as apparently it can be derived from animals, however I contacted Plantein directly who confirmed that there’s no animal derived products in the Kievs, which is great to hear.
I personally would have loved them to use fresh garlic in this as I think it would have boosted the garlic flavour in it a little, however I just put extra garlic in my gravy the second time around and that seemed to do the trick for me. I am a garlic addict so my point of reference is probably a little skewed when it comes to that flavour.
The Good Stuff
When it comes to texture and filling I think these guys have done a pretty good job. I took this photo during my test run the other day, so it’s just an iPhone photo, but it gives a good view of the texture of the “chicken” and the ooziness of the filling.
You can see that it holds together really well and there’s no shortage of sauce inside. If I was making them myself, which I’m tempted to try doing using the Deliciou mouldable chicken, I’d probably put a bit more inside and make them a bit bigger.
The plant based chicken was firm but moist from the garlic vegan butter serving one of it’s purposes of keeping the inside juicy.
One of the gripes I have, and it was more because of how I wanted to photograph it than anything, was that the crumb kept falling off. I’m wondering if there’s a way they could make it stick to the Kiev a bit better. It came out of the oven OK but as soon as I cut into it it crumbled away and didn’t present as well as I’d have liked it too. But it’s purely an aesthetic thing, the crumb tased great.
How to Serve
The Kiev itself is so easy to cook. 200 degree oven for around 15 or 20 minutes depending how crunchy you want the crumb. Simple and because I lined the tray with baking paper, there was no mess at all.
I served this the same way both times except the second time I added a home made gravy. For me I was thinking of a traditional pub meal with peas and mash so I wanted to replicate that as best I could.
Of course there are many other ways you could serve this dish. I’m already thinking of fun ways to use it for dinner parties. Someone was talking to me about params today and I thought this would be great to use in a parma instead of the schnitzel, so I might try that with the leftovers I have in the fridge.
For the official Plantein Kiev review I wanted gravy to help bring the flavours of my mash, peas and Kiev together and it did just that. And I have to say, this was one of the best gravy’s I’ve ever made. I threw it together so didn’t write down the recipe as I went, but here’s roughly what I did.
- 1/2 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped or minced
- 1 Massel chicken stock cube, chopped up
- 1 tbsp vegan spread (I used nuttelex)
- 3 sprigs fresh Thyme leaves
- 1.5 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 tbsp Gravox
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- Pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat then sautéed the onions for a few minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic and continue to sauté, allowing to brown.
- Add the stock cube and let it melt into the onion and garlic mixture. You want it to all get quite browned.
- Add the nuttelex and thyme leaves and mix well letting the herbs infuse.
- Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium.
- Dissolve the gravox and cornflour in a little bit of water to form a paste and then add to the gravy.
- Whisk together until it thickens. If it doesn’t get thick enough, add a little more cornflour. And if it’s too thick, add some water.
- If you taste it and it’s too salty, add some water and more cornflour to re thicken.
I really enjoy this product. It’s fun to eat, easy to cook and tastes great. I give it two thumbs up, and given the reasonable price I reckon I’ll be enjoying it pretty regularly.
My only gripe is the size. I think 150g is too small of a protein portion and wish that it was 50g bigger. Maybe that would stop me eating 2 in each sitting.
The Plantein Plant-Based Garlic Kievs are:
- Plant Based
- Easy to cook
- Impressive enough to show off to your non vegan friends
I’d love to hear what you think of my Plantein Kiev review, about the product itself or or even how you decided to serve it, in the comments below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.