One of the few vegetarian restaurants that is extremely vegan friendly in San Diego is a place my boyfriend took me to shortly after I became vegan. It is called Sipz and they serve Asian style bowls mostly but also make vegetarian sushi. On our first trip there I was not so impressed as at that time I was really trying towards a more whole food, less fake "meat" way of eating and I didn't really want to go back. Luckily for me my boyfriend liked the place so much that he talked me into giving them a second shot. I think the first time I went I got a bowl with mushrooms instead of tofu or "chicken" and it was ok. The second time we went I had a grilled vegetable salad that was delicious. I also tried a bit of my boyfriend's sweet and sour "chicken". At this point I had been a vegan for a number of months and had discovered what seitan was. This was by far the best seitan I have ever tried. The texture was unbelievable. The next time we went we ordered an extra meal to take home with us to eat for leftovers. I gave my mom a piece to try and she told me that the restaurant had tricked us and really served us chicken. I explained that it was a vegetarian restaurant and no chicken to be found and she was blown away. I am so infatuated with the texture of this chicken and am bound and determined to recreate it some day. Here is my first attempt.
First I made seitan
I attempted two different recipes for seitan; one that was boiled and one that was baked. They both turned out fabulous but this boiled version was so flavorful all on its own; I think because it was cooked with ginger.
Then I cut the seitan into bite sized pieces and coated them in ener g egg replacer and corn starch.
Then I fried up the pieces in a little oil. Bonus love points if your boyfriend does the frying and endures the crackling hot oil for you. <3
Then in my wok I stir fried some carrots, onions and bell peppers.
Meanwhile I made a sauce based on a recipe I don't recall now. It was not the best sauce and I am now looking to find a better one.
This one consisted of rice vinegar, pineapple juice, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar and soy sauce.
Once the "chicken" was all fried, I added it to the wok along with the sauce and about half a can of pineapple chunks.
All in all it was very decent. My boyfriend couldn't stop raving about it. I definitely want to make some tweaks and try again but it's nice to know I have the process down pretty well.
This is the bowl from Sipz. I don't know how they get such a red color. Mmmm. Did I mention that when my boyfriend and I went there on Thursday night we each got orders of this on top of our dinners to take home for leftovers? Yeah, I really need to perfect this recipe or we might go broke. Meanwhile, here is what I had for actual dinner when we went.
Caterpillar roll with yams and teriyaki mushrooms. This thing was soo good and I am going to try to recreate it this week. I am always surprised at how filling sushi is. And how cute it can be. This is one instance where it is perfectly ok to eat food with a face.