Vegan Chow Mein

This is a Cantonese-style chow mein, served on a bed of crispy fried noodles. Traditionally, one would use egg noodles, but here I’ve replaced that with thin rice noodles, to keep it vegan! As usual, not exactly authentic, but not too far off either.

Prep Time: ~45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp garlic, peeled and minced.
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced.
  • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers.
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets.
  • 1 large handful snow peas, washed, with the ends trimmed off.
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy (or a small handful of cabbage), cut into thin strips, leaves separate from the stems.
  • 1 small handful water chestnuts, sliced if desired.
  • small handful green onions, finely sliced.
  • 3 tbsp vegan oyster sauce – this can be bought at some supermarkets, or if you’re feeling adventurous, make it yourself! Here is a pretty good recipe with ingredients that are pretty easy to get ahold of.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • pinch of white pepper.
  • splash of water.
  • thin rice noodles (such as vermicelli).

Cooking Instructions:

Place a large frying pan or wok over medium heat with some vegetable oil in the bottom. When hot, toss in the ginger, garlic, and crushed chilis. Fry those for a few minutes, stirring often, until they become fragrant.

Next, add in the carrots and the broccoli, and cook until they begin to soften slightly. Add in the peas and bok choy stems, fry for a minute, then the bok choy leaves, water chestnuts, and green onions. Fry everything for a minute or two, then add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and water. Stir to coat, then reduce the heat slightly until your noodles are ready.

Heat up another frying pan on medium-high heat with a splash of oil in it to fry off the noodles (you don’t have to fry them, but it makes the dish so much better!) Boil the noodles until just cooked, then drain them and splash them with a bit of cold water to prevent them from going soggy. Toss them in the frying pan and stir them often, cooking until they begin to go nice and crispy.

Scoop some noodles into a bowl, then top with the vegetables, and enjoy!

 

 

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Vegan Hot Pot

There are loads of great hot pot restaurants where I live, but you might not be so lucky. If you want to re-create that experience at home, here’s a recipe! If you have a hot plate or something similar that allows you to keep the broth bubbling at the table, then everyone can take turns cooking their ingredients, which is a lot of fun. If, like me, you don’t have a hot plate, just cook it all on the stove. Less fun, but just as tasty.

This is a really quick dish, great for a weeknight.

Prep time: ~30 minutes.
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 package rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 200 grams mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, and chanterelle mushrooms are all nice), stems discarded, with the caps sliced thinly.
  • at least 6 cups vegetable stock, more if you’re doing it at the table.
  • 2/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce/gluten-free soy sauce.
  • 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated (pro tip – peel your ginger using a small spoon, it makes it super easy!).
  • hot sauce, to taste.
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced.
  • 4 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 200 grams green beans, cut into ~4 cm pieces.
  • 1 small bunch coriander (also called cilantro), leaves removed from the stalks.
  • 4 small bunches bok choy, leaves removed from the roots.
  • 1 lime

Cooking Instructions:

Heat the sesame oil in a large pot on medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Add the stock, soy sauce, hot sauce, and ginger, and stir well. Bring to a boil.

Once the stock is boiling, add the green onions, carrots, and green beans. Turn the heat down, and simmer the vegetables for about 4 minutes. Next, add the rice noodles, the coriander, and the bok choy. Simmer until the noodles are just cooked.

Ladle the soup into bowls, and squeeze a little bit of lime juice over the top of each. Enjoy!

Vegetable Fried Rice

My very own recipe! Took some trial and error to get to a point that I liked, but pretty yummy. Fair warning: this is not at all authentic Asian cuisine. I won’t even pretend that it is. This is very much “fusion food”. And much like many of my other recipes, this one starts out with frying onion and garlic. You could also add some tofu if you like, for some extra protein.

Prep time: ~30-40 minutes
Gluten-free (if gluten-free soy sauce is used)
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice, pre-cooked and cooled.
  • 2 tsp sesame oil.
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced.
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets.
  • 1 cup snow peas or green peas.
  • 4 heads of bok choy, leaves separated from the stems.
  • Dash soy sauce/gluten-free soy sauce.
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice.
  • Fresh ginger, grated, to taste.
  • Hot sauce, to taste.
  • Black pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large frying pan or wok on medium heat with the oil in the bottom. When hot, add the onion, cook for a few minutes. Then add the garlic, and, shortly afterwards, the carrots. Cook until carrots begin to soften.

Next add the broccoli, and cook until it begins to soften. Toss in the peas and the bok choy stems, and when warmed through, add the leaves as well. Allow them to cook for a minute, then stir in the rice, soy sauce, five spice, ginger, pepper, and hot sauce, and continue stirring until everything is coated properly and the rice is hot. Serve immediately.

Garlic Bok Choy

After having this dish many a time at the wonderful restaurant Mother’s Dumplings (if you live in the GTA, go there! The food is amazing), Elaine and decided to I create our own version of it. Delicious on its own, you can also add mushrooms to it for a little more substance. Serve with any number of Asian dishes, or fancy it up with other additions (noodles, rice, etc) to make it into a more substantial meal.

Bok choy is quite high in vitamin A and C, and some studies have shown that it is highly nutrient-dense, citing it as a “powerhouse” vegetable. It also contains glucosinolates, which can prevent certain kinds of cancer in small doses. That doesn’t mean eat 2 kilos of the stuff a day, but adding a little more to your diet can definitely help your health!

Prep time: ~15 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • At least 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed.
  • 2 tsp oil (sesame and olive oil are nice).
  • Several heads of Shanghai bok choy, at least 2 per person.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat up a large pan (that a lid fits on comfortably) with the oil in it. Saute the garlic until soft and fragrant. Next, add in the bok choy, stir well, and place the lid on to allow the greens to steam and become soft. Stir occasionally, making sure the bok choy is fully cooked, but don’t leave the lid off for too long.

Serve piping hot, and enjoy!