I am going to be honest, Chris and I have been on our vegan journey for long enough that neither of us can really remember what kung pao tastes like… at least not enough for me to confidently call this kung pao–hence the “Kind of.” However, I can say that it is absolutely a tasty Asian meal worthy of a little white take-out box!
Instead of putting peanuts in the stir-fry, I added peanut butter to the sauce. It spreads the flavor around and provides the most flavor for your fat (content).
This dish provides all the sweet and savory decadence as your favorite Chinese take-out, but instead of a meal full of fat and sodium, you’ll get one full of flavor and vegetables! The cauliflower and the chickpeas together offer a meaty texture, while the sauce and other veggies make for a dynamic flavor combination!
This recipe also allows for you to choose your level of heat. Choose the smaller amount of recommended chili sauce and red pepper flakes for a medium heat, or go for the maximum recommended (or more, if you’re daring!) for a more kung-POW kind of heat! Enjoy!
Kind of Kung Pao
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 1 14.5 oz can chickpeas
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 sweet white onion
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1-2 whole carrots
- 4-8 cloves of garlic FOR THE SAUCE
- 1/2 c rice vinegar
- 1/4 c vegetable broth
- 5 tbsp hoisen sauce
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp liquid aminos (or more soy sauce)
- 4-8 tsp Asian Chili sauce (a.k.a. rooster sauce)
- 2 tsp organic peanut butter
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1-3 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder OPTIONAL GARNISH
- 6 stalks of green onion, sliced
- 1/2 c cilantro leaves
1. Mix together all sauce ingredients except for the arrowroot powder. Drain and rinse chickpeas and marinate in the sauce for 30 min-8 hours (the longer the better) in the refrigerator.
2. Cook rice according to package.
3. While rice is cooking, chop the cauliflower into small floretts, and chop the onion, celery, carrots and bell peppers. Mince the garlic. Place ingredients in a large non-stick pot or wok and cook over medium heat, stirring often (adding vegetable broth 1 tbsp at a time, as needed, to prevent sticking) for 15 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and a bit translucent.
4. Use a slotted spoon to scoop chickpeas out of marinade and add to the pot. Stir.
5. In a small pot, warm up the marinade over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. While marinade is warming, mix arrowroot powder and 1-2 tbsp of water in a small bowl until fully dissolved. Add to the marinade and stir with a whisk until sauce thickens. Poor sauce over vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
6. Serve over rice and garnish with green onion and cilantro as desired.