Last night's dinner was based on a stir-fry recipe from this month's Bon Appétit magazine. The original recipe calls for sirloin, which I thought sounded delicious, but my husband doesn't eat beef so I decided to make a vegetarian version. I was a vegetarian for most of my 20s, and while I do eat meat now, I'm still happy to have meatless meals and always try to keep the focus on plant foods. I planned on using tofu in this recipe, but I saw a package of tempeh at the store and decided it would be a good substitute for the beef. If you aren't familiar with it, tempeh is a fermented soy product that's blended with whole grains--if that sounds unappealing, trust me, it has a mild flavor and a nice chewy texture. It's not scary at all, nor is it highly processed like soy-based meat substitutes. Plus it's packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients. Having said that, though, feel free to stick with the sirloin or to use tofu in this recipe if you can't find tempeh.
Overall, this was a good, not great, dish. It calls for hoisin, which is a flavorful sauce but tends to be one of those ingredients that I buy for one particular recipe and then it languishes in the refrigerator for ages. I like the flavor, but I never know what else to do with it. This recipe uses 5 tablespoons of hoisin--yay! It's a nice way to make good use of the sauce if you, like me, have a jar gathering dust. It was on the spicy side due to the chili-garlic sauce, so next time I would use less during cooking and let people add additional at the table to suit personal preferences. The stir-fry was ready in under 30 minutes (that aspect was great!), and I served it over brown rice.
Tempeh, Mushroom, and Snow Pea Stir-Fry
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
10 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, thickly sliced
1 8-ounce package tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
8 ounces snow peas
1 bunch green onions, sliced, divided
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, divided
5 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (or less, to taste)
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and mushrooms; stir-fry until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Add tempeh to skillet; stir-fry until beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add snow peas, half of green onions, and half of cilantro; stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in hoisin and chili-garlic sauce; sauté until peas are crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and cilantro. Serve over brown rice.
Makes 4 servings.