I love Chinese food. I love chow mein, cashew nut chicken, and kung pao chicken. This is why, when I found a recipe for Kung Pao Chick’n in my The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour cookbook, I immediately added the ingredients to my shopping list. First, I made the seitan as described in my previous post. The rest of the recipe follows below.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
½ cups water
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegan chicken-flavored bouillon (I searched for half an hour at Sprouts and ended up finding this at Ralphs)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bell pepper, cored & diced
5 ounces mushrooms, diced
1 can water chestnuts, drained & diced
12 ounces or so of chicken-flavored seitan (I used one small Tupperware full)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Steamed rice, for serving
Chopped peanuts, for serving
The night before: Combine all sauce ingredients and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Prepare the bell pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and seitan, and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
In the morning: Combine the sauce, pepper, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and seitan in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
About 30 minutes before serving: Turn up slow cooker to high. Make a thickener by mixing the cornstarch with some of the sauce from the slow cooker in a small cup, then add it back into the slow cooker and stir. This thickens the sauce amazingly!
Right before serving: Mix in the sesame oil. Serve over steamed rice, and top with peanuts.
I deviated from the recipe a bit because I don’t like mushrooms and we ate the bell pepper before I made this meal, so we did without both. Also, I forgot to add the sesame oil before serving. I added chopped carrots and celery at the 30 minute mark. I added broccoli to the meal and think it was a good addition, but it doesn’t hold up too well in slow cookers, so next time I will add it 30 minutes before serving with the carrots (so that it doesn’t get so soft that it dissolves).
I have to say that this is one of the most successful recipes I have ever tried. It was the most delicious Kung Pao I have ever eaten. Eric loved it… we both went back for seconds. There were leftovers enough for lunch the following day. This will serve as my go-to impressive recipe for quite a while, I imagine.