With a household full of hungry teenagers I often get into situations where even large pans are filled to the brim when making dinner. Annoying, because I’d constantly have to be careful stirring and mixing, otherwise I’d end up with a stovetop covered in food. To combat that, I recently bought myself a HUGE wok (well, huge for home cooking) – and decided to try my hand at a classical stir fry to break it in.
This recipe is the result! A vibrant dish full of texture and flavour. It makes a delicious and healthy dinner done in the time it takes to cook some rice, quite literally.
And on top of that it’s vegan, cholesterol free, low in saturated fat, and high protein (almost 30g protein per serve). Make sure you have a large wok though, because you may need to double this recipe – my kids all went back for seconds!
The recipe uses soy chunks which are a meat substitute and can be found in the Indian aisle of most large grocery stores. Cooking the moisture out (in step 3) is not strictly speaking necessary, but it improves the texture – making it more chewy and less soggy.
If you can’t find any soy chunks, feel free to use any vegan beef substitute (or even real beef, if you must) – just add them to the wok after the onion and garlic have been cooked.
This recipe is a great way to use any veggies you want to get rid of though keep an eye on water content – too many additions can make the dish a bit soggy, turning it into more of a soup than a stir fry!
Lastly, be careful not to overcook this dish. It works so much better when the veggies are still crunchy and barely cooked – trust the times written below and you’ll have a delicious meal to add to your regular meal plan at home.
Vegan “Beef” Stir Fry
- 120 g dry soy chunks see notes
- 6 tsp corn flour
- 200 ml water
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp vegan oyster sauce
- 1/4 cup Chinese cooking wine or mirin
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp sesame oil optional
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil optional
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 brown onion sliced
- 1 red capsicum sliced
- 2 carrot julienned
- 4 cup baby spinach
- 4 spring onions sliced
- Sesame seeds to serve
- Fresh coriander to serve
- Rice to serve
- Cover the soy chunks in boiled water, and set aside to rehydrate for 10 minutes.
- To make the sauce, combine the corn flour and water in a bowl and whisk until completely smooth, then mix in the remaining sauce ingredients.
- Once rehydrated, drain the soy chunks and add them to a large wok over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, until all free moisture has evaporated. Stir frequently to prevent burning or sticking.
- Turn the wok to high heat, then add the garlic, onion, and sesame oil (if using) and cook for about two minutes. If you're not using oil you may need to add a few dashes of water to prevent burning or sticking.
- Add the carrot and capsicum, and cook for about a minute.
- Stir the sauce, then add it to the wok. Cook for another minute.
- Add the spinach and spring onion, and cook until the sauce has thickened – about another minute or two.
- Serve immediately over rice, garnished with sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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Gabrielle is an evidence-based vegan coach who believes that health transformation begins when you switch to a plant-based diet. Her mission is to help midlife women eat in alignment with who they are and what they value so that they can lead a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.
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