This dish uses Soy Curls. If you have not tried them, I highly recommend using them. They make a great chicken replacement. In this dish, the curls replace the beef. You can get them at either Amazon or directly (which I recommend) from www.butlerfoods.com You can also make this dish with other meat substitutes like mushrooms (specially battered and fried oyster mushrooms!), tofu, or textured vegetable protein.
I first made this recipe using the awesome VietVegan and applied my own tweaks. Viet vegan has many great recipes.
- You can make this dish with a variety of vegetables. A common method is to use only some sliced green onions, but I like adding more veggies to make it healthier. Best served with or over rice.
This is not one of my easier recipes. It takes a little bit of work. Will serve 4-5. Time should be around 45 minutes.
- Bowls, a few. One small for the sauce. One medium for the curls. One to hold the veggies.
- Small whisk
- Wok (can use skillets) with spatula
- Wire rack
- Rice cooker
- Oil for frying
- One bag of Butler Soy Curls
- 2 tbsp mushroom powder (or use a veggie broth)
- About 3/4 cup corn starch or tapioca starch
- Rice of choice (I like short grain white)
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp chili flakes (add more if you like heat)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
- 2-3 inches of ginger finely minced or grated
- 5-8 cloves garlic, finely minced
- Bunch of green onions, white parts cut into 1″ long pieces. Green parts sliced thinly.
- 2 Heads of broccoli florets, cut into smaller pieces
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- carrots, sliced
- sesame seeds (toasted or not)
You can make this entire dish in one wok, or use separate pots/skillets. I like using one small skillet for the frying, as then I use less oil.
If you are making rice, well… this would be the time to get rice in the rice cooker. And if you do not own a rice cooker… get one. It is a game changer.
In a medium bowl, add in the bag of soy curls. Cover with warm to hot water, the mushroom or veggie broth seasoning. Push curls down into the water. You do not want a bowl of water with the curls floating in them, but you also do not want curls drying out. Let the curls soak like this for 10-15 minutes.
Take the curls over to a sink and in a separate bowl or a ziploc bag, grab a handful of curls and squeeze out the water using your hands. Transfer the squeezed curls to the new bowl or bag. When all the curls are in the new container, add 3/4 cup of cornstarch. Either mix in the bowl, or shake in a closed ziploc bag, until all curls are coated.
Fill a small skillet (or wok) with an inch of oil. Using high heat, you want the oil to be pretty hot. Set a flat surface with a wire grid over it to set the cooked curls on. You can use a paper towel on a plate method, but a wire grid will keep the curls crispier. Do smaller amounts of the curls in the oil until golden. Do not overcrowd the cooking process as it will cool down the oil and cause a more greasy result. When all are cooked, set aside. Try one.. it is like eating popcorn chicken!
In the wok or larger skillet, using a bit of the leftover oil, add in veggies. If you are using harder veggies like carrots, add them first. I like to use the white parts of the green onions, cut into 1″ long pieces and add them to the veggie mix. Cook the veggies to get them somewhat soft, but not too much. Set aside the veggies in a bowl.
In a small bowl or container, whisk all the sauce ingredients together other than the ginger.
In the same wok or skillet, using a bit of the leftover oil, heat up oil and add the ginger. Cook for 2 minutes while stirring. Add in the rest of the sauce mix and cook while stirring. The sauce should thicken up.
Add back to the wok the soy curls and veggies, toss to coat. Add in the sliced green onions. Toss. Serve over or with rice. Garnish with sesame seeds.
Note: You can make the dish and serve the veggies like the broccoli on the side instead.