A few years ago I first had a vegan cheesesteak seitan/TVP/TSP at a US vegan restaurant chain Loving Hut. It was great. At first, it's a good transition food like the other mock meats etc, then I just grew a liking to having the additional variety of texture and flavor of these foods. To me it's not like mock meats are glorifying meat eating, I just like them now, and Asians have been eating them for ages, it's not just a product made to pretend to be meat.
So I'm not about to travel to a loving hut every time I want mock meat, or pay 5X for their price. I make a lot of stir fry with tofu which is basically what I get at loving hut except they use seitan and/or TSP/TVP and I use better vegetables.
Whole foods has premade seitan from Upton's Naturals and a few other brands
The one I like says the ingredients are: Vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, water, garlic, sea salt, onion, soy sauce
Vital wheat gluten is basically seitan. So instead of buying a whole bunch of these packages for like 10X the price of the ingredients, I researched and learned Bob's Red Mill has Vital Wheat Gluten flour. But it's probably the hardest thing I've every tried to make. I tried different methods from online 'to a t', and it came out bad every time, rubbery and not good. The Upton's is great though, so I buy things like that sometimes. Side note, don't even bother buying Beyond Chicken, all the other mock meats have been so-so to excellent, but Beyond Chicken is just disgusting.
Later, I noticed a Loving Hut vegan restaurant menu tells that the mock meat is TVP and/or TSP (Textured Vegetable Protein/ Textured Soy Protein). Some vegan meats use a combination of TSP, TVP, and wheat/vital wheat gluten. So I looked into TSP/TVP instead of trying to make Seitan from Vital Wheat Gluten. The loving hut I went to, told me they order the meat premade and don't make it there, I was sort of trying to trick them into telling me some sort of secret how to make it so good. Next I found Bob's Red Mill makes TSP and TVP and I just bought them and recently was researching how to make it correctly even though the bag says to simple add hot water. But now I'm thinking the stuff you get in the store packages and restaurants is a different product all together than the bob's red mill flakes/crumbles. The Bob's red Mill is basically to make like chili, tacos, ground beef, etc. I was thinking the bob's stuff was the universal TSP/TVP and that I would just add water and heat it up and then mold it into strips to make a cheesesteak or stir fry strips.
As I'm looking online, I see TVP chunks are popular and mostly people are using that and the bob's red mill crumbles. I'm pretty sure it has to be manufactured as slices to be the good stuff in the restaurants and premade packages.
I could just get a case of the whole foods seitan and they'll give me %10 off but I would rather just have the stuff dry and cook with it as needed instead of freezing premade stuff which might ruin it like tofu sort of gets ruined after it's frozen (but some people love it like that). I know it's not a health food also, you don't have to remind me, especially seitan being basically pure gluten although I don't notice anything wrong when I eat gluten I am Italian American basically raised on wheat/pasta. There is tons of protein in the TSP/TVP though, probably not as much as Hemp protein powder or something, but the TSP/TVP retains quite a bit of other nutrients even though it's processed.
So, I'm googling but finding nothing yet, I'm trying to find a source in the US or that will mail to the US for maybe a 20lb bag of TSP/TVP/seitan strips, not crumbles or chunks. In case anyone else wants to help try and find a source. I will update this if I can find it though.
Basically what you want is probably the product in the following video: Elastic and fibrous textured vegetable protein TVP
You can see from some of the production videos, they make all types at the facility.
What the hodgetwins are eating in the video is what I am talking about. That's the good stuff, and I can't believe they are vegetarian all of a sudden like it's an april fools joke or something. They gonna make gains of the all kinds variety.
I don't really like the way that guy plays with the stuff in the first video but it really is good. I will be sure to post if I find a source for the good restaurant-quality stuff.
fakemeats.com and a few other sites have tvp strips (and chunks and crumbles etc), it's only like $10 for a 1 pound bag dry. Once reconstituted and cooked with water it becomes basically a 4-5lb bag for $10 which is a really good price. It's good stuff.
Some ppl like soy curls:
versatile and inexpensive