Tag Archives | meat-free

Braised Tofu and Mushrooms (Dau Hu Kho Nam)

Vegetarian's Delight: Braised Tofu and Mushrooms | recipe from runwayrice.comHealthy eating is made easy with this delicious dish of pan-fried tofu cooked in a light and savory sauce. The firm tofu and assorted fresh mushrooms are full of flavor and texture making this dish really hearty and satisfying. Whether you’re a strict vegetarian or like to enjoy an occasional meat-free meal, this is a recipe to bookmark. Enjoy!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

Firm tofu has a meat-like texture and compliments the mushrooms nicely. If using a softer tofu be gentle when pan-frying and handling so it doesn’t break.

Use any type of mushrooms you like in this dish. If fresh mushrooms are difficult to find, the canned ones work well too. In a pinch, I love the canned straw mushrooms. It’s delish!

When pan-frying, I like to use an oil spray and mister bottle to coat the pan and the tofu. I can coat the tofu evenly without using a lot of oil.

As there’s a lot of tofu in this recipe, you’ll most likely have to pan-fry in 2-3 batches.  Leave room in between the tofu pieces to make them easier to rotate them. I like my tofu to have a crispy, golden brown crust. If you want them less crispy, fry just until they are lightly golden.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Tofu and Eggplant Stir-Fry (Dau Hu Xao Ca Tim) and Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry (Dau Hu Xao Sot Chua Ngot).


2-14 oz packages firm tofu
1 lb Baby Bella mushrooms
8 oz oyster mushrooms
1 shallot
1 cup coconut water
2 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


Remove the tofu from the packaging and gently rinse with cool water. Blot dry using paper towels. Cut the tofu into 3/4-inch cubes.

Separate the oyster mushrooms by cutting close to the root. For the Baby Bella mushrooms, trim off the end of the stem. Cut any larger mushrooms in half or quarters. Rinse the mushrooms with cool water two times. Allow to drain while continuing with the next steps.

Peel and chop the shallots. Set aside in a small bowl for now.

In a measuring cup, add the coconut water, soy sauce and Hoisin sauce. Stir together combining all of the ingredients well.

Heat a large skillet over Medium High heat. Coat the skillet with vegetable oil and then quickly add the tofu cubes leaving some room in between each piece. Cook on the first side for 5 minutes or until golden. Lightly coat the tofu with vegetable oil. Flip the tofu onto the next side and cook for a few minutes or until golden. Continue cooking until all sides are golden. Transfer the tofu to a clean plate.

Heat the same skillet over Medium heat. Add vegetable oil and the shallots and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes drawing out the liquid.

Increase the heat to High and add the sauce. When the sauce comes to a boil, reduce the heat to Medium and add the tofu. Combine together making sure the tofu is evenly coated with the sauce. Cook for 5 more minutes combining occasionally. During this time some of the liquid evaporates and the sauce will thicken. Add freshly ground black pepper.

Serve hot!

Yields: 4 servings

Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Full of flavor and texture: Braised Tofu and Mushrooms (Dau Hu Kho Nam) | recipe from

Love vegetarian food? Here are a few more dishes to try: Lemongrass Tofu and Rice Noodles (Bun Dau Hu Xao), Vegetarian Spring Rolls (Bi Cuon Chay), Curry Lemongrass Seitan Stir Fry (Mi Can Xao Xa Ot)

*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Tofu and Eggplant Stir-Fry (Dau Hu Xao Ca Tim)

This scrumptios dish is super easy to make and will become your go-to stir-fry.A vegetarian’s delight, this dish with pan-fried tofu and eggplant is healthy and delicious.  (Sorry, this is not the deep-fried and overly saucy dish you find in many Asian restaurants.)  It’s a light and flavorful dish that allows you to enjoy the tasty goodness of fresh vegetables without all the oil and heavy sauce.  This basic stir-fry is super versatile and works well with most vegetables.  Feel free to add more veggies or swap out the eggplant for squash, zucchini or whatever you prefer.

Notes on the recipe, tips and tricks

Feel free to substitute the tofu with seitan or tempeh.  Both are great meat-free alternatives.

If you cannot find Chinese eggplant, the classic Black Bell or Italian eggplant works well too.

Soaking in the salt and lemon juice solution is unique to the preparation of the eggplant as it helps to remove the sap from the eggplant.  If you’re using other vegetables, you do not need to soak them.

It you prefer a saucier dish, don’t cook down the stir-fry sauce and this will become more of a braised (kho) dish rather than a stir-fry.

The coconut water is the secret ingredient, so don’t skip it.  It makes the eggplant nice and tender and gives the sauce lots of subtle flavor.

Cook the eggplant to the doneness you like.  Some people like the eggplant really soft (cooked about 10-12 minutes).  I enjoy it more on the crunchy side and so cook for 6-8 minutes.

I mentioned this in the video but will re-iterate:  it’s normal for both the skin and the flesh of the eggplant to turn brown when cooked.  This does not affect the taste and is just the natural oxidation process.

Watch the video below for instructions.


14 oz firm tofu
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 small onion
1 red bell pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
4 Chinese eggplant (approximately 1 lb)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian stir fry sauce
1 cup coconut water
1/8 tsp ground black pepper


Remove the tofu from the packaging and gently rinse with cool water.  Dry the tofu using paper towels.  Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slices.  Cut each slice into 4 equal pieces.  Lay the tofu pieces on a large plate covered with a paper towel.  Allow the tofu to drain further while continuing with the next steps.

Peel the onion and cut into chunks.  Core the red bell pepper and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Trim off ends of the eggplants.  Cut each eggplant at a diagonal into slices approximately 1-inch thick.  In a large bowl, add the sliced eggplant, salt and lemon juice.  Fill up the bowl with cold water.  Place a plate, slightly smaller than the bowl, on top to submerge the eggplant in the water.  Allow the eggplant to soak for 15 minutes.

In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vegetarian stir-fry sauce and coconut water.   Combine together.

Heat a large skillet or wok over Medium heat and when hot add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil.  Add the tofu.  Pan-fry on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  Transfer to a clean plate and set aside for now.

Drain the eggplant using a colander and then rinse with cool water.  Toss the eggplant in the colander to shake off any excess water.

Heat the same skillet over Medium High heat and when hot add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil.  Add the onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Add the tofu and stir-fry sauce.  Increase the heat to High and cook until half of the liquid is evaporated, approximately 4-5 minutes.   Reduce the heat to Low, add the red peppers and eggplant and combine together.   Cover the skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the eggplant is tender.   Top with freshly ground black pepper.

Serve over hot rice with a side of soy sauce and chopped red chilies.

Yields: 4-6 servings

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Curry Lemongrass Seitan Stir-Fry (Mi Can Xao Xa Ot)

It looks like chicken but is actually seitan (mock meat, also called wheat meat).  Seitan is so easy to make and so versatile as a substitute for meat.  In this dish we combine pan fried seitan strips with fresh lemongrass and spicy curry powder to make a super simple and super tasty vegetarian dish.  Whoever said being vegetarian meant eating boring tasteless food never tried this flavorful dish!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

A few notes on the recipe

I shared the recipe for seitan earlier so please be sure to read that recipe.

If you don’t have time to make homemade seitan, you can use the store-bought variety.

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Mock Roast Pork/Seitan Roast Pork (Mi Can Xa Xiu) and Braised Seitan and Vegetables (Mi Can Kho Chay).


8 oz boiled seitan
3 tsp vegetable oil (for pan frying seitan)
2 green onions or leeks
2 red peppers or chilies
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup minced lemongrass
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp curry powder (mild or spicy)
1 Tbsp soy sauce


Cut boiled seitan into thin strips.  Add 1 tsp of vegetable oil into a large wok or nonstick pan and pan fry 1/3 of the seitan over Medium heat until the pieces are golden brown.  Fry the seitan in small batches and leave plenty of room so they don’t stick together.  Set aside in a bowl.

Cut green onions into 2-inch sections and then into thin strips.  Chop the peppers.

Heat the same wok or pan over Medium High heat and add vegetable oil.  Add the lemongrass and stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add the peppers and stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the seitan and stir fry for another minute.  Add the sugar, curry powder and soy sauce and continue stir frying.  Cook for another minute.  Turn off the heat, add the green onions and black pepper and toss together.

Serve while hot.

Yields: 2-3 servings

Seitan, fresh lemongrass and spicy curry powder makes this one fragrant and delicious meat-free dish!

*This page contains affiliate links.*

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Braised Seitan and Vegetables (Mi Can Kho Chay)

More and more of us are choosing to be part-time vegetarians these days including myself.  By this I mean we’ve adopted a day each week, Meatless Mondays, or 1 or 2 days each month when we don’t eat meat.  Whether you’re vegetarian for personal beliefs, health reasons or simply trying to reduce your carbon footprint, kudos to you!  It’s a profound commitment to yourself and to your environment.

For some of us, it would be really tough to go all vegetarian so 1-2 days per week or per month is more realistic and doable.  But on the meat-free days, are you often wondering what to eat?  Well friends, this month I am focusing on several vegetarian friendly recipes.  I shared the first recipe, making Seitan, last week.  This week’s recipe builds on our new skill for making homemade seitan and we use it to make a savory dish loaded with vegetables.  This dish is inspired by the Buddhist monks and is prepared for their way of eating so we do not use onions or garlic.  Instead we use leeks which is much milder.  So for your next meatless day, don’t just have a boring salad, give this recipe a try!  You won’t be left wanting…. 🙂

See the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Curry Lemongrass Seitan Stir-Fry (Mi Can Xao Xa Ot) and Mock Roast Pork/Seitan Roast Pork (Mi Can Xa Xiu).


8 oz pan-fried seitan
8-10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1-15 oz can baby corn
1 leek
2 carrots
1/2 lb green beans
1/2 cup water
2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp ground soy bean sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian stir fry sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of warm water.  Swirl the mushrooms in the water and then allow to soak for 30 minutes.

Drain the baby corn and set aside.

Cut a 4-inch section of the leek starting at the root.  Peel and discard the outer skin.  Cut the leek into 2-inch lengths and then julienne.

Peel carrots and then cut into coins about 1/4-inch thick.

Drain the mushrooms.  Cut in half and then cut off the stems.

Trim ends off the green beans and then cut in half.  Blanch in boiling water for 15 seconds then dunk in a bowl of ice water for 30 seconds.  Drain in a colander.

To make the sauce, combine water, sugar, soy sauce, ground soy bean sauce, and vegetarian stir fry sauce.  Stir together combining all ingredients well.

Heat a large pot or pan over Medium High heat.  When the pan is hot, add the vegetable oil and and leeks.  Stir fry for for 30 seconds.

Add the green beans and stir fry for 2 minutes.  If the green beans seem dry, add 1 Tbsp of water and continue stir frying.

Add the carrots and stir fry for another minute.

Add the mushrooms, baby corn and seitan and toss together.

Drizzle the sauce over the vegetables and seitan.  Combine together  distributing the sauce and coating everything evenly.

Cover the pot and simmer on Low heat for 5 minutes.  Stir the seitan and vegetables again combining with the sauce.

Cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.  Adjust the cooking time depending on how crunchy you like the vegetables.

Finish with freshly ground black pepper.

Serve while hot.

Yields:  4-6 servings

Hearty and satisfying, this is sure to become your favorite vegetarian dish! | recipe from*This post contains affiliate links.*

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Seitan: Mock Meat (Mi Can)

If you’re on the quest for vegetarian options, you may be interested in trying Seitan, a meat alternative made from wheat gluten.  Seitan isn’t new; it’s been around for over two thousand years with origins in China.  With its mild taste, chewy texture and high protein content, it’s a great substitute for meat.  Like tofu, it’s really easy to season because it absorbs the flavors of the foods with which it is cooked.   The best part is: Seitan is a cinch to make at home.  The measurements don’t have to be exact.  The dough’s resting period can vary from 1-3 hours and it’ll be just fine.  In fact, I’ve left it in the fridge overnight and it seemed to be okay.  It was a bit denser but tasted just fine.  The recipe possibilities using Seitan are endless.  Once you master how to make Seitan, let your culinary imagination run wild and replace it with the traditionally meat-filled dishes.  In upcoming videos, I’ll share more recipes using Seitan and a few of my recipe creations.

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

You can season the dough if you’d like.  Replace the water with vegetarian broth for more flavor.  Optionally add soy sauce, seasonings or herbs.

I tried various tools to cut the raw seitan and the easiest way to cut cleanly is with a pizza cutter or a dough knife.

Use the cooked Seitan pieces within the week.  Optionally, you can freeze them.  Sometimes I’ll make several batches, divide them into smaller portions and freeze.  Then when I need Seitan for my vegetarian days, I thaw a small portion and toss into stir frys, noodle soups, etc.

Watch below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this video, you may also like: Mock Roast Pork/Seitan Roast Pork (Mi Can Xa Xiu), Braised Seitan and Vegetables (Mi Can Kho Chay) and Curry Lemongrass Seitan Stir-Fry (Mi Can Xao Xa Ot).


3/4 cup warm water
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten


Sift the vital wheat gluten.

Add warm water, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and stir to dissolve.  Add the sifted wheat gluten and stir quickly combining the gluten with the water.  Fold the dough onto itself a few times and work in any remaining dry gluten.  Knead gently for 1 minute working the dough together.  Place in a small bowl or container.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1-3 hours.

Cut dough into slices and then into smaller pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Drop in seitan pieces leaving space in between so they don’t stick together.  Boil until all pieces float to the top, approximately 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to colander and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pan-Fried Seitan

Heat a skillet over Medium High heat until hot.  Add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and coated the pan evenly.  Place seitan pieces into the skillet leaving some room in-between.  To prevent the pieces from sticking to the pan, move them around the pan during the entire cooking process.  Cook each side until golden brown, approximately 2 minutes.

Yields: 8 oz

Delicious and Healthy Stir-Fried Seitan and Vegetables |*This page contains affiliate links.*

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Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir-Fry (Dau Hu Xao Sot Chua Ngot)

Most of my favorite dishes are sans meat and given the choice, I will pick a meat-free dish the majority of the time.  And so, I am always looking for delicious and easy to make vegetarian dishes.  My love of veggies and stir-frying makes this Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir-Fry one of my go-to dishes.

I had to think long and hard about this recipe because every time I make this dish it’s different.  I vary the veggies based on what I have in my refrigerator and when I stir fry, anything and everything goes!  This dish is probably more aptly named ‘Clean Out the Fridge Stir-Fry’…lol.  So, feel free to use whatever veggies you like.  If you want to save on the prep time, use frozen veggies or the packaged vegetable medleys.

The sweet and sour sauce is what pulls this dish together.  We use pineapple chunks and the juice to make it deliciously sweet.  You may be thinking adding pineapples to a stir-fry is “different”.   Well, I can’t wait until you try it! 🙂  Enjoy!

Watch the video below for instructions.


12 oz extra-firm tofu
2 stalks celery
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 carrot
1/4 sweet onion
1/4 lb cremini mushrooms
8 oz can pineapple chunks
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

for the Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegetarian stir fry sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp sugar


Cut tofu into small pieces approximately 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick.  (Don’t cut it too small or it will fall apart when stir frying.)

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Gently drop in tofu, a few pieces at a time.  Allow the water to come to a boil again.  Transfer tofu to colander and allow to drain.

Cut celery, bell peppers, carrots, onions and mushrooms to a similar size and thickness.

Drain pineapple juice into a measuring cup.  Add in all ingredients for sweet and sour sauce and stir until smooth and well combined.

Heat a wok over high heat until hot.  Add vegetable oil and minced garlic.  Stir fry quickly for a few seconds.  Reduce heat to Medium.  Add carrots.  Add 2 Tbsp of water and stir fry for 3 minutes.  Add celery and stir fry for 1 minute.  Add both kinds of peppers and onions and toss together.  Add 2-3 Tbsp of water to help soften the vegetables.  Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and stir fry for another minute.  Add tofu and pineapple chunks and gently toss together.  Season with black and red pepper.  Spread tofu and veggies evenly in wok making a thin layer.  Drizzle sweet and sour sauce on tofu coating it well then pour the remaining marinade into the stir fry.  Gently toss together.  Cook until sauce thickens, approximately 3-4 more minutes.

Serve hot over white or brown rice or as a side dish.

Yields: 2-4 servings

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