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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Thai Curry Soup

A Thai-inspired soup. Not at all authentic, but still tasty! Slightly spicy, full of vegetables, and served with noodles. You could easily serve this soup with rice instead of noodles, if that’s what you’d prefer.

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp sesame oil.
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced.
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed/minced.
  • 1 large carrot, peeled if desired, sliced into thin, long ovals.
  • 1 large Chinese eggplant (sometimes called Japanese eggplant), sliced into long ovals.
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into thin, long ovals.
  • 1-2 Thai chilis, thinly sliced.
  • 2 large handfuls bean sprouts.
  • 1 bunch coriander, stalks and leaves separated, stalks finely sliced.
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce (make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce if cooking for someone who can’t have gluten!)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder.
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock/water.
  • 1 handful per person rice/sweet potato noodles.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium heat with the oil in the bottom. When hot, toss in the onion. Stir often until it begins to soften, then add the garlic.

Once the onion is soft and translucent and the garlic is fragrant, add the carrot, coriander stalks, and Thai chilis. Reduce the heat slightly and cook, stirring frequently, until the carrot begins to soften, then add the zucchini. When the zucchini starts to soften, add the eggplant.

Once all the vegetables are softened, add the soy sauce, coconut milk, and curry powder. Stir well, until the curry powder is fully mixed with everything else, then add the vegetable stock/water. I recommend using the stock/water to rinse the coconut milk can out, so you get everything you can out of it.

Bring the soup up to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently until all the flavours are acquainted. Taste, and season accordingly, adding more soy sauce if needed.

While the soup simmers, cook your rice/sweet potato noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and set aside.

To serve, place the noodles at the bottom of a bowl, then layer some bean sprouts on top. pour in the soup, then garnish with a generous sprinkling of green onions and coriander leaves.