Monday, May 7, 2012

Mongolian Beefless Beef and Szechuan Snow Peas with Shiitake Mushrooms

One of my favorite dishes at Chinese restaurants is Mongolian Tofu (formerly it was Mongolian Beef). If it's an option on the menu, I usually get it. VegeUSA makes these dehydrated beefless beef strips that I thought would be spot on for a mock Mongolian Beef recipe. They also make dehydrated chicken and duck slices. I found these products at my local Asian groceries over in the Uptown area of Chicago. I usually go to Broadway Supermarket, but Tai Nam Food Market has a large amount of faux meat products as well. I'm not sure where you could get these otherwise. I found some of their other products like the duck and pork slices on Amazon. You could probably use just slices of seitan from West Soy or LightLife Steak Style Strips. You could even do this recipe with just slices of tofu or tempeh if you have a wheat allergy or just don't dig on that much gluten.

Mongolian Beefless Beef

* Prep Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour
* Cook Time: 20 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp hoison sauce*
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar*
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine*
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cups vegetarian beef slices
  • peanut oil, for frying
  • 1-2 oz. saifun
* Recipe:
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  1. Rehydrate the beefless beef slices (if you are using VegeUSA - otherwise skip this step) in boiling water. Strain.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients (first 9 ingredients) in a baking dish. Add the rehydrated beef slices (or seitan, tofu, tempeh, etc.). Cover all slices in marinade completely.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour.
  4. In a large frying pan or wok, add the peanut oil over medium heat. Cook the onions until translucent. Add in the marinated beef slices with the marinade sauce to the wok.
  5. Cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for another few minutes.
  6. Remove the Mongolian beef from the wok. Add a tiny bit of peanut oil and then the saifun. It should immediately puff up and get crispy. It only needs to be on the oil for seconds. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  7. Serve the Mongolian Beefless Beef over the saifun and with rice. Top with a few extra green onion slices.
* Note: Dark soy sauce is a thicker soy sauce often used in marinades. You don't need a lot of it. I found mine at my local Asian grocery. I got my vegetarian hoison sauce at Whole Foods. Make sure your sugar is vegan! Chinese sherry is basically cooking wine. You could sub regular cooking sherry instead. 

Szechuan Snow Peas with Shiitake Mushrooms

* Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
* Cook Time: 20 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce*
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp five spice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
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* Recipe:
  1. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, snow peas, and mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes.
  2. In a bowl, combine the vegetable broth and cornstarch until no clumps remain. Add to the pan.
  3. Let the broth reduce for another few minutes. Then add the cooking wine, red pepper flakes, chili garlic sauce, sugar, five spice, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Cook until the sauce is thick.
* Note: Chili garlic sauce is often found at Asian restaurants and grocery stores. You can usually find it in the Asian section of your grocery store.

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