DH: Hey! What's for dinner?
ME: Don't know. We need to use some peppers, how about a sweet and sour?
DH: We have mushrooms, too. Why don't we use some of those?
ME: Don't usually put mushrooms in Sweet and Sour.
DH: What about that dish with the oranges?
ME: Uh, maybe.
DH (waxing nostalgic): Remember that great Chicken Bird's Nest we used to get with the lemon and mushrooms? Can you do something like that?
ME: Sure. Just so you know it won't have either chicken or a bird's nest
So you see why my husband wanted to call this post "Chicken Bird's Nest without the Chicken....or the bird's nest".
I based this dish on another favorite, an orange-y General Tang style tempeh dish.
Lemony Asian Tempeh
4 oz of tempeh, sliced
6 hot dried red peppers
the zest from 1 lemon- I used a microplane for a finely grated zest
2 cloves of minced garlic
About 3/4-1 cup of roughly chopped onion
one red pepper and one green pepper chopped in large bite sized pieces
2-3 carrots sliced
Optional, but good, broccoli florets
One large jalapeno, finely chopped
Mushrooms, sliced. I used three very large ones which yielded at least a cup sliced
Juice of one (juicy) lemon
2-4 T Chopped cilantro
For the sauce, mix together:
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1 T sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
1 T dry sherry
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 T sugar
Set aside 1 T cornstarch mixed with 2 T water
This will be served over rice, so start your rice. Parboil and drain the broccoli if using. It should be al dente.
Saute the tempeh in a very large pan or wok until nicely browned. Remove from heat. In the hot oil, cook the dried hot peppers until they look black, but do not burn them. Reduce the heat if they seem to be burning.
Throw the onions and mushrooms into the hot pan and cook them until the onions start to go translucent. Toss in the jalapenos and the carrots, cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the garlic, and finally the peppers. Keep stir frying until the veg is nearly tender.
Give the sauce ingredients (from veg stock through sugar) a stir, and throw in the pan. Bring it to a bubble. Add the lemon juice.
Stir in the cornstarch mixture and let the sauce thicken a little, throw in the broccoli to heat it up. Before serving, stir in the lemon zest and top with cilantro. Serve over rice.
Notes: Do use a washed organic lemon when you are making your lemon zest.
Also use organic cornstarch in order to avoid GMO corn products.
I try to use organic everything because I don't like eating pesticides and frankenfoods.