BRAISED CHINESE CHICKEN: VEGAN VERSION
It is a soy-based Chinese vegan chicken. If you shop for Asian groceries, you will see this product alongside the ubiquitous tofu. It’s just that the majority of people aren’t familiar with it.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before but were unsure how to approach it. My mother and I both enjoy vegan chicken, and it’s one of my go-to recipes. It’s about time we added it to our collection of vegan recipes.
How Do You Describe Chinese VEGAN CHICKEN, and What Is It?
Tofu sheets are pressed together, wrapped, and baked to create a vegan “chicken.” Like tofu, it’s ready to eat right out of the package and only takes a few minutes to prepare in the microwave.
This vegan chicken can be found in the freezer section from time to time. All soy products, except for tofu, can be frozen. Tofu, by the way, can be frozen. Frozen tofu is a popular delicacy in northern China, where it is known as a “thing.” Later in the week, we’ll discuss it more thoroughly.
3/8″ thick slices are normally pan-fried on both sides, with one star anise, a few ginger slices, and some mild soy sauce, sugar, and water added, and quickly braise for a few minutes.
I like to sprinkle some sliced scallions on top before serving. It has a subtle flavor that reminds Southerners of home (Southern Chinese, that is).
INTRODUCING MORE FLAVOR
As an experiment for this meal, I decided to try our Shanghai Braised Pork Belly on the vegans, something I’ve been considering for a while.
Vegan chicken, like tofu, has a mild flavor that necessitates braising it in soy sauce or stock. To “boost” the flavor, I also included ginger and onions.
- 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil(plus 1 tablespoon, divided)
- 500 g of vegan chicken (sliced 1/4-inch thick)
- 12 g of rock sugar (or 1 tablespoon granulated sugar)
- 3 slices of ginger
- 3 scallions (white and green parts separated)
- 1 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
- 2 ½ tbsp. of light soy sauce
- ½ tbsp. of dark soy sauce
- 1 ½ cups of water
- Stir-fry the ingredients in a hot wok until they begin to sizzle and smoke. Oil the wok with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Make a single layer with the vegan chicken slices. This stage can be done in two batches if your wok is smaller, with additional oil added as necessary (this is also a good time to use your non-stick pan if you have one, which will require less oil). Medium is a good setting. The vegan chicken should be lightly browned on both sides. Toss the ingredients into a bowl and put them away.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil and sugar to a wok, and cook over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once the ginger and scallion greens have been added, cook for a further one minute. Soy sauces (light and dark) should be mixed in with the water, and the wine should be added last. For 5-8 minutes, bring the mixture to a low boil, cover, and simmer. It’s important to keep an eye on how much of the liquid has evaporated while the dish is in the oven.
- To finish the dish, add the pan-fried vegan chicken to the sauce—Cook for five minutes with a lid on after gently mixing everything. Remove the lid, add the scallions’ green pieces, and gently mix before serving.
- You can eat this dish hot, warm at room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. I made this dish several times for testing purposes and nearly devoured the entire serving. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!