Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken

Chinese vegan chicken, 素鸡 is a soy product. It’s not as popular as tofu, but it’s always been tofu’s neighbor on your Asian grocery shelf. It’s just not as recognizable to most people.

I bet you’ve seen it but just didn’t know how to “handle” it. Vegan chicken is actually one of my mother’s favorite things to eat, and one of my favorites as well. I think it’s about time for us to include it in our vegan recipe archives.

What Is Chinese Vegan Chicken?

Vegan “chicken” is shaped by pressing soft tofu sheets together, bundling them, and cooking them. Like tofu, it’s edible out of package and cooks rather fast.

Sometimes you will find this vegan chicken in the freezer section. Other than tofu, all soy products freeze well. BTW, you can freeze tofu too. It’s actually a “thing” called frozen tofu––they love it in Northern China. We will save it for another post!

I usually slice the bundle into 3/8” thick pieces, pan-fry both sides, add one star-anise, a couple of ginger slices, a little light soy sauce, sugar and water, and quickly braise it for a few minutes.

To finish off the dish, I top it off with some chopped scallions. The flavor is delicate and taste of home for us Southerners (Southern Chinese, that is).

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Pumping Up the Flavor

But for this recipe, I thought I’d stray from the usual a bit and let the vegans have a taste of our Shanghai Braised Pork Belly, an idea that has been brewing for awhile now.

Like tofu, vegan chicken has little flavor on its own, so it’s usually braised in soy sauce and/or with stock. I also added ginger and scallions to “pump” up the flavor.

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken: Recipe Instructions

Place a wok over high heat until it starts to smoke slightly. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to coat the wok. Add the sliced vegan chicken, and arrange it in a single layer.

If you have a smaller wok, you can do this step in two batches, adding more oil if needed (this is also a good time to use your non-stick pan if you have one, which will require less oil). Turn the heat down to medium. Lightly brown both sides of the vegan chicken. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the wok along with the sugar, using low heat to slowly melt the rock sugar until it completely dissolves. Next, add in the ginger and white parts of the scallions and cook for a minute.

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Add in Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the lid, and simmer over low heat for 5-8 minutes. You don’t want too much of the liquid to cook off, so check it every so often.

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Now add the pan-fried vegan chicken slices to the sauce.

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Gently mix together, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Uncover, add the green parts of the scallions, stir gently, and serve.

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

This dish is tasty when hot, at room temperature, or cold right out of the refrigerator! I made this recipe a couple of times to test it, and I almost ate a whole plate by myself. I hope you fall in love with it too!

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

Braised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.comBraised Chinese Vegan Chicken, by thewoksoflife.com

发表评论

您的电子邮箱地址不会被公开。