Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) is the secret to our Vegan Kung Pao. A suitable substitute for Chicken in the classic Chinese meal. It soaks up the flavours perfectly. Also an added bonus to this recipe, it’s ready to serve in 30 minutes!!
This recipe uses Textured Vegetable Protein Chunks, also know as soya chunks, made from 100% soya beans. The perfect substitute for Vegetarians or Vegans who want to create recipes that would usually have meat in. Perfect substitute for chicken and pork. We got gifted Textured Vegetable Protein chunks from Buy Wholefoods Online. A 500g bag is £3.36, we only used 125g which was enough for 4 people. Based on that maths there are 16 portions at 21p each! Who said being a Vegetarian/Vegan needs to be expensive!
This is the first time we have used Textured Vegetable Protein, we will certainly be using it more often. Will also be trying out the mince version, which is the perfect substitute for ground mince.
How to use Textured Vegetable Protein?
Textured Vegetable Protein Chunks comes in dried form, making it a handy storecupboard ingredient. Before adding them to your dish they have to be rehydrated. 1 portion is approx 30g, to which you will need approx 90ml of vegetable stock. This recipe serves 4 people we used 125g with 350ml vegetable stock.
Leave the Textured Vegetable Protein to soak in stock for 10 minutes. Just enough time for you to chop the vegetables and make up the sauce.
Cut up Peppers into 2cm squares and spring Onion into 1cm slices.
How to make Kung Pao sauce?
To make the Vegan Kung Pao sauce. Add Brown Sugar, ground ginger, cornflour, rice wine (or white wine if you can’t find rice wine), rice vinegar, Dark & Light Soy Sauce, vegetable stock. Finally Hoisin Sauce (most Hoisin Sauces are vegan, just double-check & make sure it does not contain fish sauce).
Place the sauce to one side for now. The next step is to coat the rehydrated TVP with cornflour, bicarbonate of soda & light soy sauce. Coating the TVP helps it brown easily on the outside and stay juicy inside. It also helps thicken the sauce when added.
Fry off in sesame oil for 5 mins, until slightly browned. Remove from pan.
Add more oil to the pan, with Garlic, Chilli (pureed or sliced) and peppers. Fry on high for 1 minute before adding the Kung Pao sauce, stir until it boils. Next, add the textured vegetable protein back in. Stir for 3 minutes, add in the spring onions (green onions) and cashew nuts. Stir for a final 2 minutes.
Vegan Kung Pao ready to serve, a great comfort dish. The chilli gives it a fantastic spicy punch, to get your taste buds tingling. Alternatively, if you don’t like it spicy use only 1 chilli (or none!)?
Vegan Kung Pao in 30 minutes
Served our Kung Pao up with basmati rice cooked with star anise to stick with the Asain taste. Alternatively, make some Vegan Noodles to serve with. Why not add some vegan-friendly spring rolls too!
Photo with chopsticks, but don’t be fooled! Once the photos were done we grabbed two forks and tucked straight in together! Our son came and joined us, we didn’t tell him what he was eating, when we asked him he was sure it was chicken!! It is delicious, hope you enjoy as much as we do, let us know in the comments.
Vegan Kung Pao
Textured Vegetable Protein mix
- 125 grams (2 cups) Textured Vegetable Protein Chunks
- 360 ml (1 ¾ cup) Vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
- 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp Cornflour
Kung Pao Sauce
- 2 tbsp Dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Cornflour
- 100 ml (½ cup) Vegetable stock
- 5 tbsp Light soy sauce
- 2 tsp Dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine or Mirin or dry white wine
- 2 tsp Hoisin sauce
- Soak textured vegetable protein in vegetable stock for 10 mins
- Meanwhile, chop vegetables and make Kung Pao sauce
- Mix all Kung pao sauce ingredients (above) together and set to one side
- Coat the now rehydrated textured vegetable protein with cornflour, bicarbonate soda and light soy sauce, set to one side.
- Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a wok/large pan on medium heat, add textured vegetable protein and fry for 5 mins until slightly browned.Remove from pan and place to one side.
- Add 1 tbsp of oil to the wok/ large pan with garlic puree, chilli puree and the peppers.Fry on high heat for 1 min.
- Add Kung Pao sauce you prepared earlier. Stir until boiling, then add the textured vegetable protein back in the pan.
- Stir for 3 mins then add spring onions and cashew nuts for 2 more minutes.Serve with Basmati rice and Enjoy!!
This recipe will also work with prawns, chicken or beef.
Why not take a look at our other recipes for more inspiration of what to cook?