Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kung Pao Seitan

Do you Kung Pao? I do, whenever possible, and with whatever protein I'm eating at the time. Tofu is my favorite but seitan is fantastic and even tempeh will work in a pinch as well.

You may have believed that this delicious dish was only obtainable in an authentic Chinese restaurant, but think again. With a few key ingredients, you too can Kung Pao with the best of them!

Kung Pao is the reason that I keep Szchewan peppercorns and dark soy sauce in my pantry. You'll find them in an Asian or Chinese market. Don't fret if you can't find the peppercorns, it's not the end of the world. But they do add a nice authenticity.

Don't let the long list intimidate you, this is really a simple dish and well worth the effort for the amazing finished dish!

Kung Pao Seitan
(Serves 3-4)

2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons Mirin (rice wine)
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 package seitan, broken into bite size pieces

1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons high heat cooking oil (sunflower, peanut, coconut)
10 dried red chilies, cut in half
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns, toasted (to taste)
1 tablespoon garlic, grated
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
4 green onions, sliced in 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup peanuts

Mix the soy sauce, Mirin, corn starch, and sesame oil and marinate the seitan in it for at least 20 minutes. Mix the light and dark soy sauces, sugar and corn starch and set aside. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large saute pan over high heat, add the seitan and saute until the seitan is just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the chilies and peppercorns and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about a minute. Add the sauce mixture, bring to a boil, add the seitan, green onions and peanuts and toss for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and serve over rice.


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