Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vegetarian Pepper Steak (Vegan, Gluten Free)


In China, during the Han Dynasty (about 600 B.C.E) mock meat was born to accommodate the foreigners that visited the Buddhist monasteries. Since respect for all life and abstaining from meat is apart of Buddhist philosophy, the Chinese developed a mock meat that approximates the aesthetic qualities, primarily texture, flavor, and appearance of meat to make their carnivorous guests feel at home.

Today, most mock meats you find in the supermarket are over processed and filled with chemicals and fillers. If you are not eating meat for health reasons, this alternative is not a very good one. That is why it's important to read the labels of any mock meat you buy and just like meat, should be eaten in moderation.


There is a brand of mock meat that I buy that I am very pleased with. It's from a company called May Wah found in China Town, NY. The ship all over the world if you can't find this brand in your local store. Or, you can do what I did and ask you local supermarket to carry it. I went to the local HMART and asked them if they would carry this brand and they were more than happy to carry this mock meat since many of their customers are Asian.

For this Pepper Steak, I used the chicken strips from May Wah called Vegetarian Pepper Steak.  It's ingredient list is:


  • Soybean Fiber
  • Soybean Protein
  • Soybean Sauce
  • Natural Seasoning

As you can read, it does not have anything in it I can't pronounce and don't recognize.
Stir Frying


This Chinese American dish is a variation of the traditional stir-fry, with slices of vegetarian beef strips marinated in soy sauce and rice vinegar. The best part of this dish is it’s cooked in onions, green scallions and ginger with a hint of salsa for a deeper intense flavor. This dish will be a great hit with your meat-eating guests, because it really tastes and feels like the “real” thing.  Serve on a large platter over plain rice or rice noodles.

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package of vegetarian beef strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 green onions (green parts only), chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
 2 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons salsa

Marinade

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1-teaspoon agave syrup
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:
      1      Whisk soy sauce, water, oil, rice vinegar, agave and ground ginger. In a medium size bowl, pour over beef strips and marinate for 10 minutes. Set aside.
      2      Heat oil in wok over high heat; sauté onion, green onions, garlic, and ginger for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn clear.
      3      Stir in green pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until peppers become soft.
      4      Add the vegetarian beef with marinade and stir-fry for an additional 5 minutes.
      5      Stir in the salsa and cook for another 3 minutes blending all ingredients.
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