Kung Pao Vegetables with Tempeh

1/4 c. minced onion
1/2 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
2-3 cloves of finely minced garlic
6-10 small dried red peppers
3-4 sliced scallions
1/2 cup peanuts
peanut oil for stir frying
Tempeh, cut into slices, approxiamtely 1/4" x 2" 
up to 2t. Szechuan Peppercorns, ground in a motar and pestle (or spice grinder)
1T cornstarch mixed with 2T water (set aside)

Vegetables of your choice:

green beans, cut into 2" sections
green or red bell pepper sliced or cubed
sliced carrot
water chestnuts
mushrooms

Mix together for the sauce:

1/3 c. light soy sauce
2 T vinegar
4 T dry sherry
3t. sugar
3/4 t black pepper

In hot oil stir fry the tempeh until golden brown. Remove from pan and reserve. Add additional oil if needed. Roast the dried red peppers in the oil over medium heat. When they begin to turn black, begin to stir-fry the vegetables, except for the green onions, in the same pan for 2-3 minutes. The vegetables should be crisp. Add the ginger and garlic, being careful not to brown the garlic. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add cornstrach mixture and as the sauce begins to thicken, return the tempeh to the pan. Finish by adding the peanuts, green onions and Szechuan pepper. Stir these in and serve with brown rice.

Variations:

You can adjust the heat on this dish in a few ways. If you like it milder, use only 3-4 dried peppers and reduce the amount of black and Szechuan Pepper. If you like it hot, increase these ingredients. I use about 8 dried peppers and 3/4-1 teaspoon of black pepper which makes it quite spicy but not painful.

If you like this dish, be sure to try the General Tso's Tempeh and Veg

Meat eaters can add stir-fried chicken; shrimp or fish can be added at the end and cooked in the sauce until just done.

Links to fascinating articles about what is in the food you eat. Of course, you may never want to eat fast food again.

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