Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce
Recipe Type: Vegan
Many Chinese restaurants offer vegetarian ‘meaty’ dishes made from seitan (gluten flour) or tofu – ‘lamb’, ‘beef’, ‘chicken’ – if you’re vegetarian it can feel strange ordering these dishes! This Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce is full of flavour and quick to prepare. If you’re using seitan, have a look at the ‘Vegetarian Brisket’ recipe – www.jvs.org.uk/vegetarian-brisket – for instructions on preparing seitan from scratch. Alternatively, tofu or a packet vegetarian ‘chicken’ work well. You will generally only find fermented black beans (douchi) in Chinese grocery stores, so make sure you stock up in advance!
- FOR THE MARINADE:
- 1 tablespoon rice wine (e.g. saki)
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- FOR THE ‘CHICKEN’:
- 250 g/8 oz (approx.) seitan, tofu or meat-free ‘chicken’ (e.g. Redwood’s ‘Gourmet Meat Free Chicken Style Pieces’) cut into bite-sized cubes
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- a generous sprinkle white pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons cornflour
- OTHER INGREDIENTS:
- 2½ tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons fermented black beans (douchi)
- ½ small green pepper, deseeded and cut into largish pieces
- ½ small red pepper, deseeded and cut into largish pieces
- 2 red finger-length chilis, deseeded and cut into thin rounds
- 1 small onion, cut into largish pieces (or a handful of spring onions, chopped into large pieces)
- salt, to taste
- Marinate the ‘chicken’ with the rice wine and cornflour. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Prepare the black beans: soak them for 15 minutes, rinse and drain, then squash with the back of a spoon to form a rough paste.
- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the ‘chicken’ and stir-fry until the pieces turn golden (approx. 2-3 minutes). Dish out and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over a high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir fry until they turn light brown.
- Stir in the fermented black beans, peppers, onion and red chilli. Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes.
- Return the ‘chicken’ to the wok, stir and blend well with the other ingredients, about 1 minute.
- Add the sauce and stir until the ‘chicken’ is cooked through – approx. 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Transfer to a serving dish then dish up into bowls on top of steamed rice.