Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Orange Sesame Not-Chicken

½ C Cornstarch (plus 2 Tablespoons reserved for sauce)
2 C dried soy chunks  - reconstituted in 4 C seasoned water (instructions follow)
Grapeseed oil
1T Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 inch piece of fresh ginger – peeled, sliced thinly and then cut into fine matchsticks
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t onion powder
1T nutritional yeast (optional)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
4 T brown sugar
4  oranges – juiced - use the juice and some fine pulp only
1 T  finely grated orange zest (from aforementioned oranges)
1 ½ T Honey
1 ½ T light molasses
3 T rice wine vinegar
4 carrots – peeled, thinly sliced and blanched
I head of broccoli – trimmed, cut into large bite-size pieces and blanched
2 t Sesame seeds
Cooked brown or jasmine rice
Step 1 - Prepare the Not-Chicken -Heat ¼ inch grapeseed oil in a large frying pan, over medium high heat. Drain the reconstituted soy chunks really well. Dust liberally using the ½ C cornstarch ( I dip the pieces in the cornstarch) and fry until golden. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.
Step 2 - Prepare the sauce – First, combine the orange juice, zest and the 2T of cornstarch – mix well and set aside. Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat (or use the doggone dirty frying pan from making the not-chicken, like I do) add the garlic and stir for a minute. Now add the ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and cayenne – stirring continuously for about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar – give it a couple of stirs. Next give that orange juice mixture a couple of stirs and then add that to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the honey, molasses and vinegar. The mixture should thicken slowly due to the addition of the cornstarch. (if you have an allergy to cornstarch – you may use kudzu for the sauce and skip the whole frying process in step 1)
Step 3 – Once the sauce has thickened add the not-chicken, carrots and broccoli and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice.
NOTE: you will notice from my photo….. we were out of broccoli. Hey! What are you, anyway? The Food Fashion Police? It was a little monochromatic, but still delicious.

Reconstituting Dried Soy Products
There are a variety of dried soy products (also known as TVP or textured vegetable protein) on the market that are available at health food stores or generally for a much lower price at Asian specialty markets.
The basic method is to cover the dried soy product with boiling water: 1 part TVP to 2 parts water and let it stand for at least a half an hour.

You can add more flavor to your meals by flavoring the water with the appropriate seasonings and simmering for a few minutes prior to letting it sit. For this recipe I added fresh garlic, fresh ginger and soy sauce to the water, simmered for 5 minutes, put the lid on it and let in sit for half an hour.

TVP is similar in texture to meat - it has virtually no flavor, so it is WAY tastier when you take the time to hydrate it in a seasoned broth rather than plain water. Always drain the TVP and gently squeeze out the excess water before using it in your recipe.

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