This was the other main dish at my Chinese New Year's party. Several guests declined a second chopstick load and requested large amounts of water, others went back for thirds. Depends on how much you treasure the continued existence of your taste buds...and don't be scared by the long ingredients list, they're all simple and easy. Serve this alongside something savory, follow with something cool and sweet, and vary the marinade and number of chilies according to taste. I used long, skinny 'pyro peppers' in this version. Oh, and try to resist the temptation to turn the heat down -- high heat is important to a quick stir fry, though it does make the chilies and chili oil quite pungent.
- 12 ounces seitan or 12 ounces diced boneless skinless chicken breasts or 12 ounces diced pressed tofu
- 3 -6 tablespoons water
- 2 red chilies, diced
- 2 yellow chili peppers, diced
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 -4 tablespoons garlic and red chile paste (I've found Sun Luck brand to be the best)
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sherry wine
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 -4 teaspoons szechuan seasoning (Option ( make your own with szechuan peppercorns, anise, etc. But I'm content with the McCormick va)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 -3 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons hot chili oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1⁄2 cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1⁄4 cup bamboo shoot
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
- 3⁄4 cup carrot, diced
- 1 1⁄2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 1⁄2 cups straw mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 6 scallions, lower portions only, diced
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 red chile, diced
- 1 yellow chili pepper, diced
- Mix together the diced chilies, soy sauce, chili garlic paste, vinegars, and honey until well blended.
- Add the szechuan seasoning, ginger, cayenne, and garlic.
- Stir to mix.
- Add the oils, mix, and then water down to desired spiciness.
- Marinate the seitan / chicken / tofu for at least 2 hours, preferably 4-6.
- Shake or turn occasionally to ensure even flavor distribution.
- Heat the oil in your wok.
- Add scallions, garlic, and chilies and stirfry to season, 1-2 minute
- Turn on the fan above your stove.
- Trust me.
- Add the marinated chicken and about 1/3 of the sauce.
- Saute on high heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Add carrots, water chestnuts, and celery; stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
- Add 1/3 more of the marinade sauce.
- Add broccoli, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and bell peppers.
- Saute for 3-5 minutes.
- If you desire, thicken the remaining marinate sauce with 2 tsp cornstarch and stirfry for an additional 1-3 minutes after adding.
- Serve over hot whole wheat spaghetti (trust me, this works) or brown rice.