Caramel Veg "Chicken" Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry
with rice / Asian marinated cucumbers
This is a creative twist on a classic stir-fry that was first featured in May 2014 and remains one of our favorites. A sweet-savory stir-fry sauce coats tofu and tender brussels sprouts for a fast, flavorful weeknight meal. We're giving Gardein Chicken (a meat substitute) a try in this recipe since tofu is being used in Thursday's meal, but feel free to use tofu here as well if you'd prefer.
- Garlic - 3 cloves , minced
- Brussels sprouts - 1 lb , trimmed and halved through root
- Mushrooms, shiitake - 1/2 lb , sliced
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 3 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch - 1/2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Gardein "chicken" - 1 lb , chopped (sub other vegetarian meat substitute or firm tofu)
- Oil, cooking - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Lime or lemon - 1/2 , juice of
- Cucumbers - 1 lb , chopped (Look for Persian or English cucumbers which have fewer seeds)
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 tsp
- Vinegar, rice - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, toasted sesame - 1 tsp
- Rice, white or brown - 1 cup
Garlic / Brussels sprouts / Shiitake mushrooms - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Marinate cucumbers - Chop. Toss with soy sauce (the portion for the cucumbers), rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate until it’s time to eat. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Rice - Double if making Thursday's meal. For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make stir-fry sauce - Mix together minced garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and first part of cornstarch.
Gardein chicken - Defrost in the microwave. Chop into bite-sized pieces (if not already pre-chopped). If using tofu, press out excess water and cube.
Place brussels sprouts in a microwave-safe container. Cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
Toss Gardein chicken with second part of corn starch.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add cooking oil. Add Gardein chicken to heated oil and stir-fry until golden on the outside, ~5 minutes. Use tongs to remove "chicken" from wok, leaving oil in the pan.
Toss mushrooms into the wok and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. If the wok looks too dry, add a splash of water.
Add brussels sprouts to wok and stir-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Return "chicken" to wok, and push all ingredients to the sides forming a hole in the middle. Give stir-fry sauce a stir and pour it into the middle. Once it starts to bubble and darken, toss so that the sauce covers everything. Remove from heat and finish with lime or lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
If rice was made ahead, warm in the microwave.
Serve stir-fry over rice. Enjoy with cucumbers on the side.