Thursday, April 23, 2009

Vegan Fen Zheng Rou

First things first: I love my mom. Why? Aside from all the obvious reasons, she took it upon herself to veganize one of my favourite recipes this weekend. Fen Zheng Rou (Beef) or Fen Zheng Pai Gou (Pork) has always been one of my favourite dishes growing up and I was kind of sad to have to let it go when I became vegan (this is despite the fact that I loved the dish despite the meat). BUT, because my mom is awesome and loves me lots, I introduced her to seitan and she decided to attempt to veganize her age old recipe for me and it turned out better than ever! I can’t tell you enough how much I love this woman.

Considering what I said about “Cooking is like Piracy”, I apparently learned that from my mom. This is all based on me watching her and having to estimate a recipe she now does more by memory and reflex than ever needing to measure things out:

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled
4 small taros, peeled (don't forget to wear gloves or your hands get itchy!)
1 lb of seitan (west soy chicken style)
2 boxes of Chinese steam powder (you can find it at any Chinese grocery store, check that the only ingredients are rice, anise, cumin, pepper, or that it doesn't have added 'stuff' in it like MSG)
1 big chunk of ginger, cut as my mom just said in the shape of “whatever mood you are feeling”
8 tbsps of rice wine
8 tbsps of light soy saucesea salt (to taste)

1. Soak Seitan with 8 tbsp of rice wine + 8 tbsp light soy sauce + ground sea salt (a three or four turns of the grinder or a couple 2 tsp.) + ginger for about 10 minutes The way my mom puts this dish together is kind of like making lasagna in the sense that it’s layer upon layer of ingredients
2. Lightly line the bottom of a medium-sized corning ware (or something you will uses for a double boiler) with olive oil
3. Line the corning ware with one layer of the peeled sweet potatoes chopped into rounds
4. Evenly spread half of one of the boxes of Chinese steam powder over the rounds
5. Pour in half the seitan and 1/4 of the sauce over that
6. Line that with one layer of the peeled taro chopped into rounds
7. Pour the other half of the seitan and half of the sauce left (try to keep at least the sauce for the end)
8. Evenly spread the other half of the box of Chinese steam powder
9. Place half of the rest of taro and sweet potatoes
10. Sprinkle half of the second box of Chinese steam powder
11. Repeat 9 and 10
12. Add rest of sauce on top of everything (you want to try to keep everything pretty moist so that when everything cooks in the taro and sweet potato really take in the sauce)
13. If you have a steamer, you should just place the corning ware in it. Otherwise, if you don't have one (which we don't) put 2 cups of water into a pot and place the corning ware in it creating your own steamer/double boiler. Steam over medium-high heat for about 30 minutes and make sure there is also water in your steamer/made up steamer!

The dish is ready when the rice powder puffs up like couscous and the sweet potatoes and taros are soft all the way through!
As always, email me or message me if you have questions and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I bet my hubby will love this dish. He loves anything made of taros. Thanks for sharing the recipe!