Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vegan 'Chicken' with Yellow Peppers, Vegan 'Beef' in Chinese Black Beans

After telling the world (or at least all who couldn't escape me) of my dislike for the various fake vegan 'meats' on the market, I finally succumbed to trying them once again. Either they have improved amazingly or my taste buds have changed! Not that I'm suggesting for a moment that they are necessarily a gourmet delight or that they even vaguely approximate the 'real thing' (what a relief!), I found the PC (President's Choice) brand, which is all I could find in my local supermarket, very tasty indeed - tasty enough to try them more than once.



This dish looked prettier on the platter than is apparent from my photography, and had a pleasing texture. It was a simple stir-fry (well, stir-steam) of all the usual things you'd expect to find in such a dish at your local Chinese restaurant, allowing for regional differences: onions, garlic, yellow bell peppers, probably some celery or bok choy stems, etc., the 'chicken' pieces (cut into thirds by me) added towards the very last, and all married in a light soy sauce and cornstarch sauce - enough to glaze the ingredients. I served with wild rice mixed with brown rice. There were no leftovers.

Next I tried the so-called 'beef' strips.



This 'stir-fried' dish had much the same composition as the 'chicken' dish above, except, as you see, for the substitution of green bell peppers for yellow and the addition of mushrooms. The sauce, however, was somewhat different in that Chinese preserved (salted) 'black' soybeans were used (not to be confused with the black turtle beans that are used in some southwestern USA and/or Mexican-style dishes!). After soaking a Tbsp or a little more of the beans in hot water and mashing them in with a few cloves (heh heh we LOVE lots of garlic here, although a couple of cloves is what this recipe usually gets) of garlic, the mixture was stirred into the pan with the vegetables, the 'beef' pieces (cut into bite-size bits) added towards the end.

This also had no leftovers, although imho the fake beef has a texture that is not as appealing as the chicken - but that might be a matter of mood.

[TECHNICAL SIDENOTE: I am still having trouble with adding photos to this blog, so I am doing it through Photobucket. If you encounter any problem whatsoever, please leave a comment to let me know. Many thanks!]


Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Oh I LOVE Chinese Black Bean sauce. What a perfect blend of flavors that would be with the faux "beef"! YUM!

Erin said...

Yummy chinese food! I've never used preserved black beans, but perhaps I ought to try...

River said...

Hi tofu mom! Let me know if you try this - that's the only way I know if my DIRECTIONS for making the recipe (which I know is good) actually work. So often we forget a tiny little bit of the method :( - and of course you could use commercial blackbean sauce here - that'd really expedite the whole thing!

Love and hugs, River

River said...

Hi Erin - nice to you to drop by :)

I wonder if there's a possible way of doing this raw - or at least raw apart from condiments. I'm going to try it soon and will post any successful trials! (We have a whole bunch of things which we try and then quickly turn into smoothies or soup LOL). Funny - it must be the company I keep - but we're going more and more raw these days. Well shucks, who wants to be over a hot stove in this wonderful weather, eh? ;)

Love and hugs, River