compostwoman (compostwormbin) wrote in vegancooking,

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Recipe help needed - stir fry with Chinese black bean sauce

I attempted to modify a non-vegan recipe I found online and was modestly successful. But this recipe, while perfectly ok, isn't good enough for me to want to make it on a regular basis. Can any of you cooks out there help me to tweak this to make it more yummy next time? Thanks for any input you have.

Stir Fry With Chinese Black Bean Sauce
serves 2

firm or extra firm tofu, 8 oz
vegetables of your choice - I used carrots, broccoli, snow peas, and water chestnuts
1 T sesame oil
spring onions

3 T dried black beans (I used canned and dehydrated them over the stove to reduce the salt content instead of buying packaged dehydrated beans)
1 clove garlic
1/2 t sambal olek
1 T Braggs (or you can use soy sauce)
1 T rice vinegar (this may have been too much and why it was so sour)
1/2 c veggie stock
1-2 t arrowroot powder

I took the tofu, froze it, thawed it, pressed it to remove excess liquid, then cut into triangles and fried it up until brown with a little of the oil. This part turned out pretty well. I then sauteed the vegetables in the oil until crisp tender, adding the spring onions a bit later. This was also good. I then combined all sauce ingredients, adding the arrowroot powder gradually and cooking for about 10 minutes on medium until the sauce thickened, and served the dish with rice.

It was the sauce that was the weak point. It tasted too salty and sour. I am confused by the saltiness, since Braggs has less sodium than soy sauce and I didn't use the pre-dehydrated beans. I suspect that the rice vinegar made it too sour, maybe using less would help, or a different ingredient in its place? But there was something missing too. I am trying to avoid sugar but figured stevia would be overpowering. But I am not sure if there is a way to sweeten it a little to offset the sourness? I also wondered if ginger would work in this sauce or if it would fight with the other ingredients, particularly the sambal olek (sort of a hot chili relish for those of you unfamiliar).

Tags: ethnic food-chinese-stir fry
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