While it is my intention to focus more on vegan education than vegan recipes going forward with my blog, I had already taken the time to photograph and prepare this recipe, so I’ll go ahead and post it. Also, in 2016 I met a lovely couple, Marianne and Dan, and I have been promising Marianne a copy of my ‘wheat meat’ recipe and so I will upload that before I do any ‘vegan education’ type posts, which will tie in nicely with this recipe.
This recipe is one of my husband’s favourites – seriously he loves stir-fry dishes. I like them too, for their simplicity, their versatility, and the variety of taste possibilities seems endless. It’s a great mid-week meal being one of the quickest to make as everyone can chip in, it’s very satisfying and always delicious!
This recipe calls for the use of seitan, the very high protein meat substitute which is often referred to as ‘wheat meat’. While many of you no doubt already know about seitan, many of you will not. Wheat meat is wheat gluten and when mixed with liquids, herbs and spices and cooked it becomes the closest thing to meat you are likely to find. I am a vegan because I choose not to use animals or animal products, but that is not to say that I don’t like the taste and texture of certain meats – I do. So when I discovered wheat meat it was a wonderful discovery that opened up a world of vegan meals that completely satisfy our family.
Seitan can be purchased in pre-packaged form but I have only ever made my own as it is simple and costs a fraction of the price of the prepared seitan. I really recommend you try making your own wheat meat, I promise you won’t be disappointed. When I make it I make enough to feed a small army, or at least a platoon, and separate it into meal size portions and freeze them so that I have ‘meat’ strips or ground mince to hand at all times. I only need to make it about once a month – 12 times a year, trust me, it’s worth it.
On with the recipe! Gather and prepare your fresh ingredients.
I was cooking for two the evening I took these pictures but the recipe below provides for four people. Of course increase or decrease the amounts to suit the number you are cooking for. I had a lot of wheat meat as I had frozen in batches bigger than for 2, but we ate the extra the next day as a snack.
While the seitan cooks in the oven, put the rice on to cook according to the packet instructions. If you intend eating your stir fry with chop sticks it is better to use the absorption method for cooking your rice and thereby not rinsing the starch off as this allows the rice to stick together a little, making it easier to eat with chop sticks. Alternatively, you can use Arborio rice which is a short grain rice used in risotto which is more starchy and so tends to stick together more.
While I have chosen onions, mushrooms, capsicums/sweet peppers, baby broccoli and carrots as the vegetables for this stir fry, you can use up whatever vegetables you have to hand, just one of the many reasons a stir fry is so versatile!
I made this stir fry and forgot to put the cashews in and just before we sat down to eat my husband spotted the omission – so we quickly roasted a handful of cashews and mixed them in.
- For the Seitan if Store Bought
- 1-2 packets of seitan, cut into strips of 1 inch by ½ inch
- For the Seitan, if Homemade
- 2-3 cups of seitan strips
- 1 Tbsp cornflour
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- For the Stir Fry
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
- 10-12 button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 head of baby broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 red capsicum/sweet pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ cup of cashews, lightly toasted
- For the Sauce
- 3 Tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 150 ml reduced salt vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp arrowroot powder
- To Serve
- Serve over white rice or rice noodles
- If you are using pre-packed seitan, slice the seitan into strips approximately an inch long and half an inch thick. I have not used the pre-packed seitan and suggest that you fry it in a little olive oil in a frying pan prior to adding to the stir fry.
- If you have made your own batch of seitan (which I highly recommend) pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 (reduce temperature to 180C/350F/Gas mark 5 if you have a fan forced oven). Drain the liquid from the seitan by squeezing it in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
- Once the liquid had been removed from the seitan, using your hands, toss the strips in 1 Tbsp of olive oil ensuring all the strips have been coated. Follow this with a light dusting of corn flour and again mix with your hands to ensure the cornflour is soaked by the olive oil and there are no white bits of cornflour remaining.
- Spread the strips of seitan evenly on a baking tray and cook in the centre of the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes. The seitan will become crispy on the edges and remain chewy, but not tough, at the centre. Keep an eye on the seitan as the cooking time will vary depending upon the size of your strips and your oven.
- While the seitan cooks, heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a wok and cook the onion on a medium heat for approximately two minutes, stirring the whole time. Add the garlic and stir for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the other 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the mushrooms to the wok and stir for approximately 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and stir for 1-2 minutes.
- Next add the teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and sugar to the wok and stir the ingredients together.
- Add the 2 tsp of arrowroot powder to a Tbsp of the salt reduced vegetable stock and stir well to ensure no lumps. Add back to the rest of the stock and add the mixture to the wok. Cook for a further 2 minutes until the sauce is thickened.
- Serve over white rice or rice noodles.
I have found that the more I make stir fries the quicker and easier it seems to get, I think it is because the method becomes so familiar that you almost do it on autopilot, although the risk with that is that you may miss the cashews!
I have a handful of stir fry recipes that I tend to rotate, but the basics are the same.
Are you as mad about stir fries as me? If so, what is your favourite stir fry?