Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce

Vegetarian 'Chicken' in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce

Vegetarian 'Chicken' in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce

Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce
Recipe Type: Vegan
Author: Suzanne Barnard
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
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 – – 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!
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (e.g. saki)
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 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
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • a generous sprinkle white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 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
  1. Marinate the ‘chicken’ with the rice wine and cornflour. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir in the fermented black beans, peppers, onion and red chilli. Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes.
  7. Return the ‘chicken’ to the wok, stir and blend well with the other ingredients, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the sauce and stir until the ‘chicken’ is cooked through – approx. 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  9. Transfer to a serving dish then dish up into bowls on top of steamed rice.


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    • Sebastian
    • 29th September 2013

    Looks absolutely gorgeous and very appetising. I will definitely try to make my own Vegetarian ‘Chicken’ in Chilli and Black Bean Sauce.

    • Helen
    • 30th September 2013

    Looks lovely – will definately be trying this on the folks at home!

    • Stuart
    • 3rd October 2013

    This looks great! I’ll have to give this a try soon.

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