Do you ever just
always all the time every waking minute more often than not want some Crispy Shredded Beef from a Chinese restaurant? I definitely don’t. Nope. Not sure what gave you that impression.
I think about Crispy Shredded Beef from Chinese restaurants a lot.
Last night was my breaking point.
Vegan Crispy Shredded “Beef” Spring Rolls
makes 6 appetizer size spring rolls
To make the greatest thing ever, you’ll need
- 8 ounces seitan, thinly sliced into strips
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch for coating purposes
- 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar Lite
- 1 tbsp Chili Vinegar Dipping Sauce
- 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 packet Truvia
- 6 cabbage leaves
- 3 large collard green leaves, de-ribbed to make 6 pieces
- 1 – 1/2 cups red cabbage and veggie slaw
You should tell your friends you’re doing this
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Prepare the crispy shredded “beef”: Toss your seitan strips with a 1/2 tbsp cornstarch and set aside. Combine the garlic, rice vinegar, chili vinegar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, the cornstarch/water mixture and truvia in a food processor or a Ninja Chopper-like thing and pulse a few times, mostly for the sake of the garlic. (I just got a Ninja Chopper today, can you tell? It’s the greatest thing you can buy for $20 in the entire world next to a $20 plate of crispy shredded “beef.”) Set the sauce aside.
Heat up the coconut oil in a wok hot enough that a drop of water makes it sizzle. Add the seitan to the pan and fry for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. I was sort of counting but also not at all. You’ll want it to brown a good amount.
Now add the sauce you slaved over (slaved over) earlier to your hot wok. Cook. A lot. It’s going to get thick and sticky and amazing. I cooked mine at least another 6 minutes, I think (I’m sorry, I have no sense of time. And I was even trying to time it. Ridiculous.) but most likely a lot longer. Basically, I stopped when the pieces were good and browned and, well, crispy. It kinda has to be crispy, ya know? Transfer the crispy shredded “beef” to a bowl and set aside. Let it sit and get even awesome-er.
Prepare the wrapping leaves: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Toss the cabbage and collard greens in there and cook them for about 6 minutes. Remove and drain in a colander. Let them cool a bit so you can handle them without crying.
Assemble: Lay your collard green leaf horizontally along a cutting board. Place a cabbage leaf in the middle like a little cup. Take about a 1/6th of your crispy seitan (around 38g from what I got, after the nibbling as I was cooking, of course) and set it in the cabbage cup. Top with some red cabbage slaw (go nuts if you want, it’s harmless) and roll the sides of the cabbage leaf like a burrito…Or a spring roll. Now take the right side of the collard green leaf and wrap it around the cabbage. Take the left side of the leaf and wrap it around everything. Now you have an adorable spring roll of sorts. Place on your prepared baking sheet.
You can either eat them this way or do what I did and bake them for about 15 minutes. If you don’t bake them, for God’s sake turn off your preheated oven and stop burning down your house already.
So many exciting things about this recipe. First off, I finally bit the bullet and bought some coconut oil. And it’s awesome. A little goes a lot further than olive/canola/vegetable/anything else oil, it’s better for you and better for high heat cooking, and smells good. I approve. I also used a new kind of seitan, Upton’s Traditional, for no particular reason and it was tasty. Plus the packaging is ADORABLE.
Secondly, this actually, for reals and for keeps, tastes incredibly like real crispy shredded beef straight from a Chinese restaurant that may or may not serve things you’re afraid to eat. Except you don’t have to be afraid of this recipe. Unless you fear awesome. (I occasionally fear awesome.)
Whether you choose to bake your spring rolls or not, you’re getting a delicious bite that mixes spicy, tangy, and sweet flavors from the seitan with the vinegar acidity and crunch from the red cabbage slaw. When baked, you get just a little extra crisp from your collard greens and cabbage.
I’m going to hire someone to make this for me at all times. Speaking of which, you look like you need a job. Or is browsing vegan crispy shredded beef recipes mid-day a full time gig?