Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vietnamese Gardein "Beef" Bowl

Way back when, my husband and I were newly on our own, living in a small studio, on a shoestring budget, and life was really good. We used to get takeout from a nearby Vietnamese restraunt and they served a dish with seasoned meat over rice with cold vegetables, crushed peanuts, and herbs on top. The combination was really good, and I sometimes get nostalgic for both that time in our lives, and this dish (but not the meat!).

I set out to veganize it about a year and a half ago and posted the results on my old site. I took a lot of liberties with a recipe from the site Phamfatale, and was thrilled with the results. I am slowly moving my favorite recipes from my old site to this one in order to have them all in one place. This one is definitely worth re-posting.

Vietnamese Gardein "Beef" Bowl

2 cups brown rice or rice noodles
1 package Gardein Beef Tips or seitan
2 green onions sliced into 1" pieces
1 tbsp sesame oil

1 carrot minced
1 inch ginger root minced or shredded
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kelp powder (to replace the fish sauce in traditional recipes)
3 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp oil

1 carrot chopped
1 cucumber chopped
fresh cilantro
1/2 cup coarsely crushed roasted soy nuts (or crushed peanuts)

1 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic chili sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce

Okay, after seeing that list, you may be thinking "too many steps, no thanks" but it really was easy and totally worth the effort.

Basically it breaks down into four parts:

1. Marinate the Gardein
2. Make the rice or rice noodles
3. Saute the onions and Gardein
4. Prep the toppings and the sauce


Start with the marinade and just mash it all together with a mortal and pestle, you can also run it through a food processor. Traditional recipes use green papaya, but I went with a carrot instead. Once the marinade is all combined, add it to the bag of Gardein Beef Tips and seal it back up. Then shake it up and stick it in the fridge.

Put the rice in your rice cooker with 4 cups of water and leave it to do its thing. (Or you can wait and quickly boil the rice noodles right before you are ready to serve).

When it is almost time to eat...throw the onions in a frying pan with the heated sesame oil and then add the Gardein (I took the extra step to thinly slice it before adding it to the pan). As that's cooking, mix the soy sauce, sugar and chili garlic sauce together.

Finally, chop the carrot, cucumber and mince the cilantro. I also decided to crush some soy nuts and then it all came together rather easily. Turn the Gardein once at about 4 minutes into cooking and let it go a few minutes more. To assemble the dish, put rice (or rice noodles) on the bottom and add the sauce. Then put the gardein, veggies and cilantro with the crushed soy nuts on top.

We will definitely be putting this into our regular recipe rotation. It totally satisfied my hankering for that savory Vietnamese dish I remembered so fondly.

For 5 servings:
Nutritional Info from

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 216 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A 90%Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 8%Iron 20%
Nutrition Grade B
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

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