Some days you just feel like getting weird with it and on those days, well, you get weird with it.
I recently bought some new hot sauce, Crazy Bastard brand hot sauce, and so you know I had to indulge my love of all things spicy and delicious. I couldn’t go completely crazy because my partner does not handle the super hot foods all that well and I love him, so I guess I have to take it easy on the fella.
We still had some really good looking oyster mushrooms in the fridge and I knew exactly what I wanted, something simple so the hot sauce could be the star of the meal, and something to take the heat off if necessary. (It was totally necessary, btw)
So, if you’re ready to get hot & spicy, grab your favorite vegan meat alternative, mushrooms, bulgur and bok choy leaves and let’s do this! Oh, and let’s not forget the hot sauce.
Let’s start with the mushrooms because I like to put mine in the oven and let them get crispy on the edges while keeping the moisture in the big part of the cap. Dust off the dirt and grime with a wet napkin or towel, and trim them before you weigh them (if that’s your jam, but it’s totally mine).
Coat with a few grams of olive or peanut oil, and add seasoning. For this meal, I used: smoky & hot paprika, garlic granules, turmeric, salt and white pepper. Use your hands to rub it all end but be gentle. Pop in a preheated oven (200C/400F) for 20 to 30 minutes, checking about half way through and turning if necessary.
Next, grab a bunch or two of bok choy and chop the greens off the top. Don’t throw away the stems because they are great in soups, stocks, stir-fry dishes and pretty much any Asian style dish. Slice the leaves finely and pop’em in a bowl with salt, black pepper, lime juice, rice vinegar, agave (just 1 to 5 drops) and a drop or two of hot sauce. Coat it thoroughly and set aside.
Whatever vegan protein you use, here is where you’ll deal with it. I used TVP so I got it started before the mushrooms so it had plenty of time to lose the extra water and it was still moist but not dripping by the time I got to this point.
Chop onions and bell peppers, anyway you like, and add to a hot skillet/pan along with the vegan protein. Cook until it’s sizzling and starting to brown on the edges, or you know, cook it however you prefer the texture of your vegetables and proteins. The choice is yours. When it’s just about ready, mix together harissa paste, barbecue sauce, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, and Crazy Bastard Chipotle hot sauce until blended. Dump in the skillet. You’ll need to add water or broth to loosen it up a bit, and don’t forget we still need to toss the mushrooms when the oven timer beeps, so don’t be afraid to make this dish SAUCY!
And the best part? This brand is vegan! Check out the ingredients list!
I made bulgur on the side but keep rotating your grains and use whatever you like.
Toss the mushrooms and cook a little longer if you didn’t time it right–because sure as hell didn’t–and you need the mushrooms to warm up again. Plate it and top with the pickled bok choy, or serve it on the side on an ‘as needed’ basis.
And, as they say here in Romania, pofta buna!