Black Bean Seitan Beef with Bittergourd

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 20 Mins

I never really ate beef before I went vegan, so these days vegan beef is kind of an exciting thing. Many traditional Chinese dishes that I used to avoid are now part of the menu! This vegan black bean beef with bittergourd is the lesser-known cousin of beef and broccoli. Broccoli is delicious, but you must try this dish with bittergourd! The slight bitterness adds an extra layer to the entire flavour of the dish and it is sooooo good.

This black bean beef with bittergourd is done in the traditional Cantonese style, where the bittergourd is blanched beforehand. This not only keeps the colour of the bittergourd vibrant, but also helps with removing some of the bitterness. If you skip this step and just fry the bittergourd in the pan, it won’t taste the same!

For this dish, I made my own seitan beef. Obviously, you don’t have to, but I’ve included the instructions below anyway. Ever since I’ve started making my own seitan, it’s become clear that the taste we associate with meat is really just a combination of vegan flavourings. For the beef stock powder, you can use Massel or Edward & Sons, or even generic mushroom seasoning. Seriously, it more or less tastes the same. The fermented black beans and Vegemite add nice umami to it though, so I do recommend using those.

The time in this recipe is for making the dish only. I was chilling and chatting and taking a lot of time making the seitan.

If you want more bittergourd recipes, check out Tofu-Stuffed Bittergourd (素酿苦瓜) and Broccoli Bittergourd Black Bean Noodle.

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0/20 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Seitan Beef Slices


0/8 Instructions
  • IF you are making your own seitan, mix the top 6 seitan ingredients, then mix in potato starch. Lastly, mix in the VWG (and water as needed). Knead to form. I like to make the little slices individually, but you can steam a whole log then slice. For little slices steam 15 minutes. If you are steaming a whole log then steam 25-30 minutes.
  • Flash-fry (3 secs) seitan beef slices in very hot oil to create wrinkly exterior. If you are using store-bought vegan beef slices, this step is optional.
  • Blanch sliced bittergourd in salted boiling water until 80% cooked. Set both aside.
  • Over medium-high heat, fry ginger, garlic, chilli, and black beans.
  • Add the bittergourd and toss to combine.
  • Add the seitan beef slices, Chinese cooking wine, sugar, and vegan oyster sauce, and toss to combine.
  • Make a cornstarch slurry and add to pan, tossing until everything is shiny.
  • Serve hot with rice!

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