Tuesday, August 11, 2009

i'm a pepper, you're a pepper!

i love chinese food with a firey dragon passion. but it's full of MSG, lots of fat, and possibly has fish sauce. so instead of going through the pains of going to my local chinese eatery and asking a barrage of questions, i took the cause into my own hands and made a veganized version of pepper steak.

i used referee
Lord Seitan's seitan recipe from the Bleedingheartland Rollergirls:
Equipment: Large ceramic or glass bowl, Smaller bowl for liquid ingredients, Skillet (Cast Iron is best), Large soup pot with lid
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 cup very cold water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Simmering Broth 10 cups water or vegetable broth +1/2 cup soy sauce
In a large bowl, mix together Vital Wheat Gluten Flour and nutritional yeast flakes.
In a seperate bowl, mix together reamining ingredients: water or veg broth, soy sauce. tomato paste, garlic, lemon zest.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine with a firm spatula, knead dough for about 3 minutes until a spongy, elastic dough is formed. Let dough rest for a couple of minutes and prepare your broth, but don’t start boiling it.
Now roll your dough into a log shape about 8 inches long and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Place the pieces in the broth. It is important that the water/broth be very cold when you add the dough, it helps with the texture and ensures that it doesn’t fall apart. Partially cover the pot (leave a little space for steam to escape) and bring to a boil.
When the water has come to a boil set the heat to low and gently simmer for an hour, turning the peices every now and again.
Now you’ve got gluten. Let it cool in the simmering broth for at least a half an hour. It is best if it cools completely.
jen's tip: bake this seitan after you boil it to give it a nice steak-like texture.

as for the sauce, i used some bragg's, chinese 5 spice (about a t worth), crushed garlic, hot chili sesame oil, a Tor 2 of canola oil, and a T of vegan hoisin sauce. i sauteed the peppers and onions first, then added the prepared seitan to the mix in the ol' wok for a minute or so. while this party was going on, i cooked up a big ol' batch o' brown rice in my rice steamer.

the results? pretty dang good chinese made by a darling jewmutt. i wasn't wild about the 5 spice, so i might omit it from the blend next time. i feel like a big dummy-- i wasn't aware that anise was in that 5 spice blend, and i hate that stuff.

what's your favorite chinese food to make?


Bianca said...

Yum!!!! I'm still trying to master fried brown rice. Mine never tastes as good as the kind at Chinese joints.

And I have a secret confession: I love MSG! I actually cook with it at home. I don't care if it's bad for me. It tastes so good.

Sal said...

yum it looks awesome. I LOVE 5 spice though.

I love love love chinese food! My favourite is probably tofu satay and singapore noodles.

A_and_N said...

I love that you took charge! :)

miss v said...

i hate diggin' around at chinese places to see if i can eat there. and this is a dish i've never had, but kickin' myself for it. it looks so fiery dragon good!