Kung Pao Tempeh

Yes, that’s right. Kung Pao Tempeh.

Our meatless take on the Chinese take-out standby, the spicy Kung Pao Chicken, this dish is perfect for those jonesing for a better meat substitute. Tempeh is high in protein and absorbs flavors very readily, making it the perfect candidate for this flavorful dish (tofu may be used as well with very good results!)

What You’ll Need
– 1 block (1/2 lb.) tempeh, blanched, sliced and marinated in:

– 1/4 c. water
– 1 T. tamari
– 1 T. sherry
– 1 t. vegetable oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 T. dark soy sauce
– 1 T. tamari
– 2 T. dry sherry
– 1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
– 2 T. raw sugar
– 1 T. cornstarch
– 1/4 t. sea salt
– 1/4 c. vegetable oil, for frying
– 5 to 10 dried red chilies, crushed (we used ancho chilies, but any kind will do)
– 2 to 3 T. garlic, minced
– 2 to 3 T. ginger root, minced
– 1/2 c. green onions, chopped
– 1/2 c. cashews, whole or chopped
– 1 t. sesame oil

Preparation
Blanch your tempeh for a few minutes to reduce its bitterness, slice into thin strips and marinate at least one hour, or up to an entire day. Prepare your kung pao sauce by combining in a small bowl soy sauce, tamari, sherry, vinegar, sugar and cornstarch and mixing very well until smooth.

In a small pan, heat half of your frying oil over medium heat. Add dried chilies, garlic, ginger and green onions and fry until fragrant, about 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large heavy skillet or wok, heat the remainder of your frying oil over medium heat. Add the tempeh slices in a single layer to cover the bottom of the pan. Try not to overcrowd. Fry the tempeh until each side is golden brown and crispy, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Add the chili/garlic/ginger/onion mixture to the skillet, as well as cashews and a sprinkle of sesame oil. Now add your bowl of sauce, which will begin to thicken up immediately on contact with the hot pan. Give all the ingredients a toss and remove the skillet from the heat. Let sit a minute or so until sauce is thickened and tempeh is well coated.

Serve kung pao tempeh very hot over a bed of rice.


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About shesdoingagreatjob

A veteran vegan and her omnivorous companion deliver punchy vegan versions of epicurean classics, from homestyle favourites to exotic beyonds.
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