Monday, October 22, 2012

Kung Pao Chick'n

This recipe is from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester.

Recipe: see page 117 of The Vegan Slow Cooker.
Here is another very good recipe from Kathy Hester's book The Vegan Slow Cooker. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks.

The 'chick'n' in this Kung Pao recipe is vegan chicken-flavored seitan. There is a recipe for this in the book, but I've never had much luck making my own seitan, so I just went with Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips, which is seitan by another name. In case you are new to veganism, seitan is a vegan alternative to meat that is made from vital wheat gluten and spices. It is very high in protein and fiber, and low in fat. And unlike meat, there is no cholesterol. I've never seen it in the major grocery stores, but Trader Joes has chicken and beef flavored versions, and both are vegan.

The sauce on this Kung Pao is thick like a gravy, and the spiciness is very mild. There is only a little bit of heat added, and the recipe lets you choose between a little bit of red pepper flakes or Sriracha (Mmmmm, Sriracha.). I went with the red pepper flakes and it wasn't nearly has hot as I remember Kung Pao from my days as an omni. I added a shot of cayenne when I went to heat up the leftovers, and that made my eyes water, so I made a note to punch the recipe up a little when I make it in the future.

And of course, there are some wonderful textures here. The chewiness of the seitan-chick'n, and the crunchiness of the water chestnuts and peanuts. Very nice recipe, and very quick to prepare.

Ingredients: bell pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts, vegan chicken-flavored seitan (Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips used here), vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (recipe for this is in the book and ingredients are onion carrots, thyme, parsley, water, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, celery), cornstarch, sesame oil, peanuts, steamed rice, (Sauce): ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water, red pepper flakes (or sriracha), rice vinegar.