Mall-Style Vegetable Stir-Fry
The vegan chef Jenné Claiborne grew up in suburban Atlanta, where she developed a love for the teriyaki chicken stir-fry at Panda Express. After she became vegan, she recreated the flavors of her teen-age craving, using dates and soy sauce to produce the flavor of teriyaki sauce. If you don’t have chickpeas on hand to add heft to the vegetables, replace them with tempeh, tofu, edamame, jackfruit or mushrooms. Also, feel free to swap out the broccoli in favor of another green vegetable like kale, cabbage or bok choy. To make a less salty, slightly less mall-like version, use low-sodium soy sauce or 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/4 water or broth. You can also use low-sodium canned chickpeas (or soak and cook your own and salt to taste).
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1teaspoon grapeseed oil
- 1 ½tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2garlic cloves, minced
- ½cup soy sauce
- 3tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 6Medjool or other dried dates, pitted and chopped
- 1tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 1tablespoon grapeseed or coconut oil
- ½cup thinly sliced red onion, or 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1red bell pepper, chopped or julienned
- 1carrot, chopped or julienned
- 1head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets and pieces
- 1 ½cups cooked chickpeas (1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
- Freshly cooked brown rice, for serving
- 1tablespoon sesame seeds (raw or toasted)
- 1to 2 fresh limes, quartered
- ¼cup chopped fresh cilantro
Step 1Make the sauce: In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, just until garlic starts to turn golden, about 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil and dates. Let simmer 5 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, whisk arrowroot with 1/3 cup water until smooth. Slowly stir the mixture into the simmering sauce. When sauce begins to thicken (this will happen very quickly), remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Step 3When cool enough to handle, transfer sauce to a blender, and blend until smooth.
Step 4Make the stir-fry: In a wok or skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add onions. Stir-fry about 1 minute, until softened. Add red pepper and carrots, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli, chickpeas and sauce, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are cooked to your liking, about 10 minutes.
Step 5Serve over rice, garnished with sesame seeds, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.