Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tastes like Chicken, But is It Chicken?...Heck No! Vegan "Chicken Soong"

It is scary how much this looks and tastes like actual chicken soong.  To make this vegan and soy free, I used diced mushroom and chopped walnuts to emulate the look of crumbled chicken.  This recipe is popular in Chinese cuisine and is a vegan tribute to my good friend and amazing chef,  Paul Wildermuth, who sadly passed a few years ago.  Although he always teased me "you don't make friends with salads", I think my vegan version would make him smile.

In simple, laymen's terms, chicken soong is simply a lettuce cup filled with goodness.  And of course, there are always sauces to dress it with!!!  The combination of sweet, savory and spice really makes this dish burst with flavor.  And, the lettuce cup is a perfect counterpart.  It brings a clean, fresh element and nice crunch to counterbalance all those bustling flavors.

Vegan "Chicken" Soong

You can easily make this dish RAW by marinating the diced mushrooms and walnuts in soy sauce, raw brown sugar and sriracha for a few hrs until soft.

Ingredients: (serves 3-4)
leaves of iceburg lettuce, cut into cup form
2 c chopped mushrooms
1/2 c chopped raw walnuts
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sriracha
2 tsp evoo
1 minced garlic clove
sweet soy
hoisen (store bought)
1 scallions chopped (garnish/optional)
1/2 lime (optional)

For creating your lettuce cups follow directions here and set aside.  In a bowl, combine chopped mushrooms/walnuts with soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, red wine vinegar and sriracha.  Heat sauce pan with evoo and saute garlic until brown.  Add your mushroom/walnut mixture and saute until soft.  Drizzle in a touch of sweet soy.

To serve, you have two options:  Make your own or already prepared.  For make your own, stack lettuce cups on one side of plate/platter and put the "chicken" mixture in a bowl.  For prepared version, spoon in mixture into each cup.

Drizzle with your favorite Asian sauce and garnish with scallions.  Don't be shy!  Pick that baby up and crunch in!

No comments:

Post a Comment