A vegan version of my favorite Chinese take out! This Mongolian “Beef” is tender, saucy and perfectly savory. All of the flavor and you can feel good about eating a great plant based meal!
When I decided to go plant based , I decided that instead of trying to substitute my meat proteins with foods that imitated meat proteins, I would eat different foods that were fulfilling but were not trying to be something they were not. Because let’s be frank… it’s pretty hard to create a medium rare NY strip out of anything other than…well a NY Strip.
Let’s be frank here, meat protein substitutes has gotten a really nasty rep. Even poor tofu is treated like an ugly red headed step child. And I get it. It’s tough to make this stuff taste good. And it’s easier to just take a piece of meat, cook it up and call it a day.
But sometimes just a tad of creativity and determination can go a very long way.
See while I am plant based, my hubs is not. And he does not plan to be. Unless, I trick him…for hubs it’s all about taste. If it tastes good and it’s healthy he is open to it. When I first went plant based, he saw me chowing down on a veggie burger with chipotle and black beans and requested I make him one too. He was so in love with it that he actually requests it for dinner. HA! I win! Small victories make me smile.
A few months ago I was planning on making my Skinny PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef for dinner for the hubs. And as it cooked, I tasted the sauce…inhaled the incredible aromas and practically cried…because I knew my love affair with Mongolian Beef was over.
I sighed and went into the fridge to grab some scallions for the dish and that’s when I saw it. There stashed deep in the back of my fridge was an unopened package of seitan.
Seitan is a meat substitute made of vital wheat gluten. Yes THAT gluten. The one everyone and their grandchild claims to be allergic to. (I am sure some of you are. I know Celiac disease sucks because I have many people I have worked with who suffer tremendously from it. But overall…sorry to say…gluten-free is a trend.)
Simply put, gluten is a protein. It’s THE protein in flour that gives our bread that chewy, spiderweb like appearance. And this wheat gluten is transformed to create a meat substitute. And it has a great deal more protein than animal products. Almost triple the amount. There is a great deal more detail about this on the web, however for now we are going to stick with these details.
Moving on… I had bought the seitan the week prior with huge plans for it. And naturally, as I often do, I forgot I bought it and lay there staring at me blankly.
So I did what I do best, I decided to trick the hubs. I prepared the seitan in EXACTLY the same way as I did the beef. And then before giving it to him, I had him taste a piece of beef. He liked it and requested I make him a plate. So I did…I made him a plate of mostly seiten Mongolian “Beef” with a few pieces of real beef thrown in.
He inhaled it! Said it was great and asked for more. When I told him that he just had a mostly vegan meal that had more protein in it than beef…he stared at me blankly and called me a con artist.
Con artist or not…this is the ultimate meal for a meat eater and non-meater alike.
I tested it the next day again with my very favorite friend Laura. I let her taste it and she was in love.
“I would never EVER think this isn’t meat Mila. You rock!”
I guess I do rock…as will you when you throw this dish into your repertoire.
PF Chang's Vegan Mongolian "Beef"
- 2 pounds of seitan
- 6 large green onions sliced on the bias
- 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 cups of water
- 1 tbsp of minced ginger
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp of corn starch OR 3 tbsp of flour
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- Vegetable oil for sauteeing
- Cooked rice
- Combine soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, corn starch and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Over high heat, add vegetable oil to a large sautee pan or wok. Allow oil to heat up, about 2 minutes.
- Slice seitan into 1 inch slices.
- Add seitan slices and sautee for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
- Add soy mixture to seitan and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add in scallions, toss everything together and serve immediately over rice.