Showing posts with label Asian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asian. Show all posts

Oct 3, 2020

kung pao tofu


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large skillet, oven, baking pan or cake pan, measuring cup

Heads Up! teriyaki sauce

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish is an old favorite recipe of ours, but it calls for brown rice syrup. Since that ingredient is hard to come by, I wanted to recreate it with more readily available ingredients and a simpler preparation. This is sweet and as spicy as you like it, but was on the table in 30 minutes, plus an extra 15 for my brown rice. It's always the brown rice holding things back!

If you have time to press the tofu (and you do if you are making brown rice) do so, otherwise, just bake it as is; it'll still be great.

This is such a quick, easy and delicious recipe that I wonder why we don't have it more often. Oh, yeah, the brown rice syrup. With the easy substitution of using molasses and maple, the syrup doesn't have to be searched for any longer. If you have it and prefer that, omit both the molasses and the maple and substitute an equal amount of the brown rice syrup.  


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • If you are serving rice, start that first
  • Press tofu for 10 minutes (optional) while oven preheats
  • Prepare the tofu and bake
  • Prepare the sauce and chop vegetables
  • When tofu is 10 minutes out, start the Vegetables section in the recipe

Kung Pao Tofu

Makes 4 servings 


Preheat oven to 350-F

Serve with Rice and Steamed Broccoli 

1. Tofu: Combine the tofu and teriyaki sauce on a 9X9 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.

1-pound (pressed preferably) tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

2. Sauce: Combine the ingredients in a measuring cup and stir well:

3 tablespoons Blackstrap molasses

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3. Vegetables: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ingredients and cook for 5 minutes, until peanuts are golden, stirring often:

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2/3 cup peanuts

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

4. Add the Tofu and Sauce to the skillet, stir and cook for 2 minutes until thickened. Taste and add salt and pepper. Serve with rice and broccoli.

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Sep 26, 2020

ginger crunch salad


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: skillet, measuring cup, salad spinner

Heads Up! mandarin oranges and chow mein noodles

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

The crunch for this meatless, vegetarian and vegan salad comes in the form of the chow mein noodles, cashews and vegetables. The marinade is made with molasses, which is a good source of iron and the mandarin oranges provides the vitamin C to help absorb the iron. Overall, the ingredients work together not only in flavor, but nutrition, as well.

The molasses offers a slight sweetness and nothing overpowering. If you like a little spice, remember to add the cayenne - it'll give it a little kick! 

If you want to make the dressing have more "body," add a few tablespoons of neutral oil to the marinade. As it is, I left it at a single tablespoon of toasted sesame seed oil because I like my foods with less oil. As always, cook to your own taste! 


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Press the tofu while making the marinade.
  • Marinate the tofu while preparing the salad ingredients.
  • Marinate the cashews while tofu bakes.

Ginger Crunch Salad

Makes 4 servings 


 Preheat air-fryer to 400-F or oven to 450-F

1. Marinade: Combine the marinade ingredients:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon tamari

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)


2. Tofu: Press the tofu for 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to the Marinade. Set aside for 10 minutes.

1-pound regular tofu

3. Bake: Add the Tofu (without the marinade) to the air-fryer basket. Cook for 10 minutes. If baking in the oven, add to a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

4. Cashews: Add the cashews to the marinade while the tofu bakes. When 10 minutes is up, add the cashews to the basket with the Tofu and bake for another 5 minutes (same for the oven). Set the Marinade aside as dressing.

 3/4 cup cashews

5. Salad: Serve Salad ingredients with the Tofu/Cashews and leftover Marinade as dressing:

4 cups shredded lettuce

4 cups baby spinach

1 cup shredded cabbage

3 scallions, sliced

2 carrots, shredded

1 (10-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

2 cups chow mein noodles

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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May 30, 2020

pf chang's-style lettuce wrap

Hello, hello, Dear Raders!

There is so much information out in the web-osphere and I am sure each blog holds a special place in your heart, whether it is for the recipes, the photos, the personal annecdotes or the gabbiness of the site, but I wonder what attracts you to this blog? I would love to focus on the content you care about instead of trying to mind read over the internet. If you wouldn't mind slapping a comment to the bottom with your preference, I will try my best to make you happy.


To get back into blogging, I am sharing an easy meatless, vegetarian, vegan recipe and I want to start ranking the difficulty and time it should take to cook a recipe. With that in mind, I have come up with this visual, which breaks it down by time, ingredients and dishes needed to prepare and cook ...

Of course, I reserve the right (and probably the need) to update or make changes to this chart as the concept evolves, but these are the expectations I look forward to achieving. 


Time: 20 minutes
Dishes: skillet, bowl, measuring cup
Side Recommendations: Cooked rice and steamed vegetables

So, dear readers, here is the first recipe. It is a throw-back to the times when eating out was a thing (pre-pandemic era). Here is my version of PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps, but if you serve it with rice it can become a meal. Heat the wok (or cast iron skillet, as in my case) and get to cooking. 

I list this as an easy recipe, without the optional dipping sauce, cuz let's face it, sauces take forever and a day to make. Skip it, use hot mustard or chili oil instead (or Sriracha) and you're still in good shape.

Speedy Cooking Tips

  • Pull out all ingredients and dishes before you start.
  • Heat the cast iron skillet or wok while you chop the protein.
  • Mince the other ingredients while the protein cooks.
  • Prepare the sauces while the dish cooks.
  • Clean the lettuce while the dish cooks.

Lettuce Wraps

Makes 4 servings 

1. Dipping Sauce (optional): mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Set aside. 

Dipping Sauce (optional):
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon tamari
1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil

2. Stir Fry Sauce: mix all the ingredients and set aside.

Stir Fry Sauce:
3 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

3. Stir Fry: Heat the oil in a large skillet or work over medium-high heat. Add the protein and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the water chestnuts, mushrooms and onions. Cook until the chestnuts are golden, another 5 minutes.

Stir Fry:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 seitan cutlets, 1 package firm tofu or 4 Gardein scallopini, chopped
1 (8-oz) can water chestnuts, minced
1 cup mushrooms, minced (optional)
1/4 small onion, minced
5. Add the Stir Fry Sauce, mix and cook until it evaporates about 1 minute.

6. Serve the Stir Fry with the lettuce leaves and optional Dipping Sauce or chili oil or hot mustard and optional rice. 

For Serving:
Lettuce leaves
Fried rice noodles (optional)
Cooked rice (optional)

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jul 17, 2017

vegan fish cake num pang

There's banh mi and then there's Cambodia's version of the perfect sandwich: num pang.

They both have a lot in common, but there are a few subtle differences, as the owner of New York's Num Pang describes in his interview HERE, including the subtle differences in bread, ingredients (fresh vs. leftover) and toppings.

I wanted to try making it for myself and I chose to make a vegan fish cake for the bulk of this sandwich.

I was inspired by the Jazzy Vegetarian's (Laura Theodore) Not So Crabby Cakes recipe, which I took for a test run last year and simply adored!

For this version of fish cakes I used tofu, bread slices, hearts of palm and dulse.

The toppings are homemade chili mayo, pickled carrots, cilantro and cucumber slices.

If I could have made homemade bread using my Refrigerator Dough aquafaba recipe, this sandwich would have been even better, but as it was, it was pretty fantastic.

You can air fry these babies or pan-fry them, as you wish, but don't skip on the toppings - they really do make this sandwich authentic and amazing.

And now for the winner of the Vegan Air Fryer cookbook, by JL Fields: it is the comment made by....

Natalie Cartledge! Congratulations! Contact me at zsu at zsusveganpantry dot com.

Vegan Fish Cakes Num Pang
Makes 4 sandwiches

Pickled Carrots:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grated carrot

Fish Cakes:
3 slices bread
3/4 container of firm tofu, pressed 10 minutes
1 (14-ounce) can hearts of palm
1/2 cup parsley
2 scallions
2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon dulse
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Zest of 1 lime
Panko crumbs, as needed

Chili May:
1/2 cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce (or sambal oelek)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 crusty burger buns, toasted
Sliced cucumbers

1. Carrots: Combine the sugar, vinegars, water and salt in a mason jar. Mix well until the sugar dissolves. Add the carrot and set aside for at least 20 minutes.
2. Cakes: Add the bread to a food processor. Pulse until ground. Remove and set aside in a large bowl. Add the tofu, hearts of palm, parsley, scallion, ginger, oil, coriander, dulse, cornstarch and zest to the food processor. Pulse into a coarse grind. Add to the bowl with the bread and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside to firm up for 20 minutes. 
3. Sauce: Combine the tofu, water, garlic chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a small blender. Blend until very smooth, adding a little water if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat or preheat the air-fryer. Divide the fish cakes mixture into 4 portions and press into a patty. Dredge the cake in panko crumbs and fry in oil or air-fry until crisp.  
3. Assemble the burgers: bottom bun, sauce, cilantro, cucumber, cake, carrot and top bun. Serve immediately. 

© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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May 25, 2017

larb spring rolls

Heads – up: I’m still on my sandwich kick, but this time without a bread. Folks might argue that spring rolls aren’t “sandwiches” but I strongly believe that anything rolled, wrapped or stuffed into a vessel counts in this arena and I’m quite comfortable with my definition.

I am such a sucker for larb, the Laos minced meat dish, which is traditionally flavored with lots of lime, mint and fish sauce. I love it so much that I include this unique and unusual combination in a bowl version in my book, Vegan Bowls.

These spring rolls are stuffed with the larb mixture (made of seitan, cashews and onion), noodles, herbs, carrots and cabbage. They are pretty quick to make and taste great!

To make eating the rolls easier, slice the seitan or mushrooms instead of mincing them – which is what I should have done as well, but I forgot about my intentions before pulsing the seitan in the food processor and by that time it was too late.

If this one looks good, check out my Bulgogi Spring Rolls from a few months back. That one is a bit more involved, but worth every tasty bite.

Larb Spring Rolls 
Serves 4

¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon oil
2 cups ground seitan or 1 pound minced mushrooms
½ small red onion, cut into thin half moons
½ cup cashews

8 (9-inch) spring roll wrappers
¼ cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
½ cup mint, coarsely chopped
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 medium carrot, julienned
4 ounces dry rice noodles or bean thread, cooked, drained and cooled under running water, reserve the hot water for the spring roll wrappers

1. Sauce: Combine the lime juice, tamari, sugar and salt. Mix well. Set aside. 
2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the seitan and cook until golden, about 4 minutes. If using mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms are golden, about 8 minutes. You might need to cook the mushrooms in batches to avoid steaming them. Add the onion and cashews and cook until the cashews are golden, about 2 minutes. Add half of the sauce and cook until it evaporates, about 30 seconds. Set aside. 
3. Dip a spring roll wrapper into the hot water reserved from the pasta and soak for 5 to 10 seconds, depending on how hot the water is. Soak only until the wrapper is pliable. It will soften once you add the other moist ingredients. To the lower half of the wrapper, add herbs, the filling, cabbage, carrot and noodles. Roll up like a burrito: from the back roll to halfway and then fold in the sides. Finally roll it all the way up.  Serve with the rest of the sauce or store, covered, for later enjoyment. 

© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jan 15, 2017

firecracker chickpeas and vegetables

Meal 2 of Week 4 Prep Ahead menu is Firecracker Chickpeas and Vegetables.  This delicious dish is full of vegetables and beans and is cooked in a spicy chili sauce.

This fiery dish is very versatile because you can adjust the heat level to suit your taste. You can use the called-for jalapeno or not. Or you can use 3 jalapenos. You can increase the garlic chili sauce or reduce it - the choice is yours.

This is a very easy and quick dish to make - made even faster as a Prep Ahead meal, but can still be ready in around 30 minutes, if you make the rice using my Fast and Easy Brown Rice recipe.

The dish is served with steamed broccoli but you can serve it with mustard greens, bok choy or even cauliflower.

Firecracker Chickpeas and Vegetables
Serves 4 to 6 

Firecracker sauce ingredients:
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon sweetener

12 ounces broccoli, cut into florets
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (use gloves if needed)
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (2 cups cooked)
3 cups cooked rice

1. Combine the ketchup, vegetable broth, garlic chili sauce, garlic, tamari, cornstarch and sweetener in a small bowl. Stir very well and set aside. 
2. Steam the broccoli until tender. 
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced peppers and onions. Stir-fry (cook, stirring constantly) until lightly charred. Add the chickpeas, cook to heat. Mix the sauce and add to the vegetables. Cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve the stir-fry with the broccoli and rice.

© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jan 5, 2017

char siu pizza

Meal 4 of the Prep Ahead, Week 3 menu was a unique pizza: Char Siu Pizza.

The pizza dough is homemade, but can certainly be store-bought. My Fridge Dough is made using aquafaba and is wonderfully crisp and tender. I have a video on making the dough, which is incredibly versatile and is ready when needed: HERE.

The toppings are what make this pizza unique. Char Siu is Cantonese barbecue that is a little sweet and a little tangy. My Char Siu is made using hoisin sauce, tomato paste, ginger and Chinese 5-spice.

Cannellini beans, shiitake mushrooms and bell peppers are quick marinated and the pizza is topped with steamed chard and shredded vegan cheese.

We loved this pizza! It is just unique enough to put some pizzazz into pizza night.

Char Siu Pizza
Makes two (12-inch) pizzas 

1/3 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sweetener
1 tablespoon tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans (2 cups cooked beans)

3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon tahini
1-inch knob ginger, grated

1 bunch chard
1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm while the oven preheats. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Place a piece on a parchment paper and push it out into a circle; the size depends on whether you like thin crust or thick crust. 
2. Marinade: Combine the hoisin, vinegar, sweetener, tahini, garlic and 5-spice in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the sliced mushrooms, bell pepper strips and beans. Mix gently and set aside.
3. Sauce: Combine the hoisin sauce, tomato paste, tahini and ginger in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
4. Steam the chard until tender. Cool enough to handle and squeeze out the liquid. Chop the chard and set aside.
5. Spread 1/2 of the pizza sauce on one of the pizza doughs. Add 1/2 cup of cheese on the pizza and 1/2 of the vegetables and beans. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove the paper and continue to bake until crisp about 8 to 10 more minutes.  Add 1/2 the chard. Repeat with the other portion of dough and toppings. Serve.

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Oct 14, 2016

pantry+ thai bbq cauliflower

I adore cauliflower and whoever it was who first thought of making them into "wings" needs a gold star in Hollywood. 

I wanted to throw my spin on this with a Thai flare. This recipe is almost like a red curry, but in crispy appetizer form. Bonus: this is a Pantry+ recipe, requiring only a limited amount of ingredients: 5 pantry ingredients and 6 fresh ingredients. 

Thai BBQ Cauliflower:

air-fryer (or oven)
small blender [such as Magic Bullet]
large bowl

Pantry ingredients:
Coconut milk
Brown sugar

Fresh ingredients:
Curry powder

This recipe really couldn't be simpler: blend the marinade and add to the florets. Set aside for 10 minutes and then bake or air-fry. I used my air-fryer and it came out delicious and crisp.

Get your rice cooking right away if you want this as a meal. Or serve it with raw vegetables and the dip of your choice, if you want it as an appetizer.

Thai BBQ Cauliflower (a Pantry+ recipe)
Serves 4
Pantry list is HERE.

3/4 cup coconut milk
10 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt
2 small or 1 large head cauliflower
1/2 cup pepitas
Hot rice, for serving
Raw vegetables, for serving (optional)

1. Combine the milk, garlic, cornstarch, curry, sriracha, sugar, zests, and salt to taste in a small blender. Blend until smooth. Cut the cauliflower into florets and transfer to a large bowl. Add the marinade and set aside for 10 minutes.
2. Add half the cauliflower to the basket of an air-fryer (or bake in the oven at 375-degrees until tender). Bake at 360-degrees F for 15 minutes, basting every 5 minutes. Increase the heat to 390-degrees and continue to bake until crisp, about 5 to 8 more minutes, adding half the pepitas in the last 2 minutes. Repeat with the other half of cauliflower and pepitas.
3. Serve the cauliflower with hot rice or raw vegetables such as carrot and celery sticks. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.