Weirdly enough, we are kind of spoiled here in Alberta with vegan western-ized Chinese food. Even while in Vancouver last week with a ton of vegan options available to me, I still found myself pining for all of my favourites.
One of my favourite places growing up in our small town happened to double as a Chinese food restaurant, burger joint, and the town’s only ice cream parlour at the time because BALANCE, I guess. Before going vegetarian, one of my earliest Chinese food memories was eating so much ginger beef (apparently invented in Calgary! ‘berta pride!) that I threw up all over the carpet and it was a disaster. IT WAS JUST MY FAVOURITE THING THAT I ATE SO MUCH I LITERALLY EXPLODED. I later moved on to Shanghai Noodles with vegetables only and no oyster sauce, and spring rolls and we don’t talk about the GINGER BEEF INCIDENT ANYMORE.
When I got srs about the vegan thing though, my parents would sometimes take me to a vegetarian place in Calgary (Buddha’s before they started serving meat on the menu, blegh), where they made ALL THE FAUX MEATS. And again, Ginger “Beef” was my favourite ever thing on the menu. While I can get similar items here in Edmonton, I guess I just kind of pine over my first ever ginger beef, prepared in its homeland of Calgary. So, one day as I was staring at a package of soy curls, I resolved to recreate the ginger beef I’ve always known and loved. Here is that recipe. Sorry if you had to read through all that rambling, especially the gross parts.
2 cups dry soy curls
1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
oil, for frying (canola, vegetable, sunflower, something light tasting)
2 carrots, julienned
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup broccoli
1 bell pepper, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup light soy sauce+ 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (just use the whole thing light if you only have the option, I won’t tell. *~Mushroom flavoured*~ is also good if you’re into that)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp white vinegar
crushed chilies to taste (because I am not taking accountability for your SENSITIVE PALATES)
Soy Curl Prep
1. Prep the soy curls by allowing to soak in boiling hot water or veggie broth, covered, for 10 minutes. Once rehydrated, drain them, and pat dry.
2. Toss soy curls in cornstarch or arrowroot powder, until each is lightly but thoroughly coated.
3. On medium heat, pan fry in enough oil, that you are able to cook through each side until crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
1. Whisk all ingredients in medium sized bowl and wait for further instruction.
1. In large saucepan on medium heat, heat oil, and sautee garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds.
2. Stirfry carrots, cabbage, bell pepper.
3. ADD SAUCE. THIS IS THE FURTHER INSTRUCTION YOU WERE WAITING FOR. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes so that it bubbles amongst your babely, perfectly cooked vegetables, then remove from heat.
4. Add in your perfectly crispy soy curls and toss until everything is coated.
Now, if you want to dig in right away, go ahead. However, I found that covering the saucepan full of noms, and cleaning up my kitchen allowed it time to really sit in that sweet, sticky sauce and tasted A++. I served mine on coconut rice and it was pretty much perfect. I am not giving you a recipe for coconut rice because I’m assuming we’re all adults here. USE GOOGLE.
Please note also, that you can really interchange the veggies I chose with any you would like! ❤