Vegetarian Beef Recipe
It's hard to believe it's almost the end of January already! It feels as though the year just got started. With the Asian New Year (Tết in Vietnamese) starting in a few days, I concocted yet another vegetarian recipe. This time around, I stir-fried vegan-friendly faux-beef with fermented black beans and chili garlic sauce. It's a great source of protein while the texture is very similar to beef itself.
To balance the meal, I also added crookneck squash, which provided a soft contrast to the dish. Enjoy!
Yields: 4 servings1 (12-ounce) package frozen seitan, thawed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons leeks (green part only), chopped
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 crookneck squash, halved then sliced
½ cup vegetable broth, warm
2 tablespoons fermented black beans
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons Thai basil, coarsely chopped
4 cups steamed cơm tấm rice (see tips)
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in the wok. When the oil is hot ready, add the leeks and cook over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add garlic. As the garlic becomes slightly golden, stir-fry the squash for about 2 minutes. When the color is translucent, add 1 tablespoons fermented beans. Add the vegetable broth and cook for 4-5 minutes over high high until the liquid evaporates. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
While the wok is still warm, add more oil. Add the thawed seitan and cook for 2 minutes per side until a crust is formed. Add the remaining fermented beans, chili garlic sauce, sugar and soy sauce. Stir well and set aside.
Once the soy sauce is completely absorbed, return the squash. Add the Thai basil. Toss well and sprinkle with black pepper. Turn off the heat. Keep on the stove for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
Serve immediately with some soy sauce stir-fried cơm tấm rice and nước chấm dipping sauce.
You can find seitan (called vegetarian beef stew) in the frozen section of any Asian stores. I find the texture to resemble the meat the most. You can also find some at Trader Joe's.
I used store-bought fermented, salted black beans. You can find them in any Asian markets.
I use Thai basil (from the garden) which has a more potent, earthy fragrance.
Cơm tấm is a Vietnamese specialty rice. It translates to broken rice. You can find it in most Asian stores.January 21, 2013.