Last weekend I was in a bar doing what I do best (throwing back beers like CO2 bubbles were oxygen and I was about to be sucked into outer space à la Clooney in Gravity) and I got into a conversation with someone about why I am vegan. I have explained this about 350,000 times, and at this point I just mumble something about not being a huge fan of factory farming and enjoying vegetables. I used to take the questions people asked as a kind of assault; why would did everyone always need to challenge the way I chose to eat? WHY ARE PEOPLE SO AGGRESSIVE? Who gives a flying fart if I just want to eat my tofu in peace?
In the last couple years I’ve come to terms with the fact that most people ask out of genuine curiosity. I rarely bring veganism up first (see: internet meme “how do you know someone is vegan, don’t worry they’ll tell you”), but when it comes up and people ask, I now get psyched to tell them everything I can about why I choose not to eat the meats. At some point people generally confide that they don’t really know where to begin with vegetarian/vegan cooking.
On that note, I want to rave for a second about America’s Test Kitchen’s new Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. It has 700 recipes (250 of which are vegan), tips for cooking veggies to perfection, cutting how-tos, flavor-building tips, and a crazy glossary of pasta. Did you know that papparedelle means “gulp down” and ziti means “bridegrooms”? ME NEITHER.
Anyway, in my not-so-humble opinion the book is an absolute must-have for any cookbook collection, especially for those who want to try eating a little less meat. I read the book cover to cover and liked this recipe in particular because it was super quick (the whole thing look less than 30 minutes), didn’t use any crazy ingredients, and was totally delicious. 10/10 Izzies would make again. One note: I chose to braise the bok choy in the reduced sauce because I don’t love raw bok choy. V. V. GOOD.
Lastly, if you aren’t already planning to buy a copy of this bomb book, you can enter to win a free copy! Follow that link and check out the different ways to win. Good luck!
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 tablespoons water
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 1/12 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 pound tempeh, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips (two 8 oz. packages)
- 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
- 2 heads bok choy
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 3 radishes, trimmed, halved, sliced thin
- 2 scallions, sliced thin
1. Whisk sugar, soy sauce, water, garlic, rice vinegar, Sriracha, and cornstarch together in a bowl; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add half of tempeh and cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining tempeh.
2. Add sugar-soy mixture to now-empty skillet and bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Cook until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup, about 5 minutes. Transfer tempeh to bowl, add half of sauce, and toss to coat. Leave half the sauce in the pan and add the bok choy. Braise 2-3 minutes until it is wilted. Lay tortillas on counter, then divide tempeh evenly among tortillas. Top evenly with braised bok choy, cilantro, radishes, and scallions, then drizzle each wrap with sauce. Fold sides of tortilla over filling, fold bottom of tortilla over sides and filling, and roll tightly. Slice in half and serve.