Every year on Valentine’s Day, Hubby cooks me dinner. And he never settles for something ordinary, either. The weeks before he searches cookbooks and online recipes until he finds the perfect dishes. It is his one day a year to shine in the kitchen!
For the past two years he has made dishes created by Chef Michael Smith (he’s a favourite around here!) Last year he chose an Asian theme and we feasted on Kung Pao chicken and a cabbage salad with citrus dressing.
And oh the King Pao chicken! Nutty and creamy and spicy and we were tempted to eat all of it in one sitting. It is a recipe I have made again several times…..with a few changes of course!
Our new favourite is a vegetarian version (because we still like to eat meatless several nights a week), but keeps the wonderful sauce and is one of our favourite ways to eat cabbage!
Kung Pao Veggies
- peanut oil
- 1 dried chilli, crumbled (adjust amount to your taste preferences)
- 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped
- 1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, seeded and cut into chunks or strips
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 2 cups of chopped green cabbage
- 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce (for a completely vegetarian version, try substituting with soy sauce or tamari or Braggs and a dash of worcestershire – it won’t be the same, but it will still be good)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 heaping Tbsp natural peanut butter
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a large mason jar and shake until smooth.
Heat some oil in a wok or large frying pan. When it’s hot, add the chili and stir. Then add garlic and ginger and stir again. Toss in the veggies (except bean sprouts) and continue to stir until the veggies are tender. Pour in the sauce and stir until thick and bubbly. (If you want a thicker sauce, simply add cornstarch mixed with water a little at a time until it looks the way you like it. If things get a little too thick, toss in a little more orange juice.) Stir in bean sprouts and serve over rice.