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A easy & flavourful vegetarian recipe - Kung Pao Sweet Potatoes

Updated: 25 Jul 2015
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Now, many people think that in Chinese cooking, in order to have a vegetarian main course, you need to use tofu, tempeh, seitan, or another protein substitute. So many Chinese restaurants do, so it seems like an easy default. But sometimes it's nice to get a little creative with your ingredients and find other vegetables that work well in the wok.

Kung pao is a Szechwan Chinese method of preparing meats or tofu--it includes peanuts, and spicy red peppers. Today I wanted to try my method with these really nice sweet potatoes.

 

 

Kung Pao Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
8 to 10 dried red chilis
5 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
Sauce:

1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar, or substitute good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons chili oil, homemade or store-bought
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper

 
Instructions

Cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces about 1/2-inch around.
Prepare the sauce: In another bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, sugar, and Sichuan pepper. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.
You may need to turn on your stove’s exhaust fan, because stir-frying dried chilis on high heat can get a little smoky. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil and swirl to coat the base. Add the chilis and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until the chilis have just begun to blacken and the oil is slightly fragrant. Add the sweet potatoes and stir-fry for 5 to 6 minutes, continuously stirring, until the outsides are golden brown.
By now the sweet potatoes should be golden brown on the outside, and the pan a little dry. Create a well in the middle of the pan and pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the sauce and mix to coat the other ingredients. Allow the mixture to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken. Stir in the peanuts or cashews and cook for another 1 minute. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle the scallion greens on top, and serve.

 

SOURCE: appetiteforchina.com  

 

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