Saturday, September 28, 2013

I Can't Believe It's Not Chicken

No, really.  This dish is totally meatless.  Vegetarian, yes.  Vegan, no.  But it can be.

Just to make things clear.  I have not become a vegetarian.  I'm too sissy stubborn for that.  But someone I know has.  And I totally regret not finding this recipe when she was here for a visit.  Perhaps the next time you're here?  Or when I'm there?  Whatever.  But I'll definitely make this again for you.

This recipe is from Marc Matsumoto, the genius behind the blog No Recipes.  In order for tofu to achieve texture like ground meat, freeze the tofu overnight then thaw it and squeeze the liquid out of it.  Read how to make vegetarian meat here.

Anyway, the original recipe is vegan which calls for white soy sauce instead of fish sauce.  No chance of me finding white soy sauce here so.....

Vegetarian Basil "Chicken" recipe (adapted from Marc Matsumoto's Vegan Basil "Chicken"):

1 pack firm tofu (about 400 grams)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 bird's eye chilies (siling labuyo)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons fish sauce (or white soy sauce, if making a vegan dish)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
Basil leaves (about 25 grams)
  1. Freeze, thaw and wash the tofu. See the post on vegetarian ground meat for the detailed process.
  2. Heat a pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the oil and then add the mushrooms and garlic, sautéing until most of the moisture has evaporated and the mixture is very crumbly (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the chili peppers, bell peppers, and onions and stir-fry until the onions and bell peppers are almost cooked.
  4. Add the vegan ground meat and stir-fry until the tofu has slightly browned.
  5. Add the sugar, white soy sauce and dark soy sauce, and continue stir-frying until all the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is an even tan color.
Finish by adding the basil and frying until bright green. 

I spooned the "meat" on lettuce leaves to serve.