Pan-fried to a crisp and drenched in a sweet, savory, sticky sauce, this vegan Mongolian beef is better than takeout, and just about as easy.
Sometimes, after a long weekend, it takes me a bit to get my bearings. After three days off I’m back to work and asking myself how I ever managed to get anything done. At all. Know the feeling?
Sometimes, during weeks like these, you just need some takeout. I actually cooked like crazy over the long weekend (and had fun doing it), but now, I just want something easy. Unfortunately, at the moment, there isn’t a whole lot of vegan takeout in the immediate vicinity. Fortunately, this stuff is almost as easy as takeout. Also, it’s extremely delicious, which is also definitely nice to have during a discombobulated post-holiday week.
I went with seitan for the vegan “beef” in this one. I’m always tempted to go with tofu, and I usually find that readers are more receptive to tofu recipes, but seitan makes such a wickedly amazing stand-in for beef that I just couldn’t help myself for once. If you’re not down with gluten or just really anti-seitan, pan-fry up some tofu instead. In fact, I’ve included a bunch of notes in the recipe for swapping out the seitan, sweetener, or avoiding the oil. While I totally stick behind the original recipe, I realize there’s a lot going on that could conflict with the various diets of the peeps that visit this site, so switch things up as needed.
Vegan Mongolian Beef
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar turbinado, coconut or organic brown sugar all work
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp. chilled water
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
For the Stir-Fry
- 1-8 oz. package seitan strips or make your own
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 2-3 dried chili peppers halved (optional)
- 2 scallions cut into 1 inch pieces
- Cooked rice or rice noodles
- Make the sauce by stirring soy sauce, sugar and 1/4 cup of water or broth together in a small bowl. Stir cornstarch and chilled water together in a small cup. Set aside.
- Drain the seitan and discard liquid. Place cornstarch into a medium bowl and add seitan strips. Toss to coat.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add seitan in as even a layer as possible. Cook until strips are browned and crisp on bottoms, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook 4-5 minutes more, until strips are crispy on opposite sides. Remove seitan from skillet and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
- Lower heat to medium. Add garlic, ginger and dried chilies, if using, to skillet. Sauté 2 minutes, until very fragrant and chilies begin to darken a bit. Return seitan to skillet with sauce, cornstarch mixture and scallions. Flip a few times to coat, and cook just until sauce becomes very thick, about 2 minutes.
- Divide noodles or rice onto plates and top with seitan. Serve immediately.
Recipe NotesOptions! Because I know this blog sees vegans that follow all kinds of eating patterns:br]If you avoid gluten, sub gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce, and some cubed pan-fried tofu cooked according to [this method.
If you want to reduce or cut down on the oil, you can do that, but I'd suggest skipping the cornstarch and simply pan-searing the seitan. If you're using no oil whatsoever, stir the garlic and ginger right into the sauce, so they don't burn.
Maple syrup or agave can be used in place of granulated sugar, though the flavor will be a bit milder and the sauce might not thicken up quite as much.