In the past I've avoided Chinese restaurants mainly because of the sauces they use and how it is often wheat-based soy sauce. But I remembered in my early vegan days I tried a local Chinese restaurant with a group of coworkers and just ordered tofu and vegetables and I tolerated it pretty well (when I ordered it plain with no sauce) so I figured I could try it again, since tofu is one of Brandon and I's favorite foods.
So for one of our "date nights in" we dropped the girls off at my parents and we swung by and picked up our Chinese take out order from Master Wok.
|Date Night In!|
It only takes about 10-15 minutes for them to make it for us so we called it in as we're driving home.
Here's what I order:
Here's what we ordered to-go:
2 orders of "Tofu Vegetables" with no sauce and steamed rice.
The description for this dish on their website states: "Fried tofu with broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, and zucchini in a hearty brown sauce." In addition to the veggies listed, it also comes with mushrooms and water chestnuts. These veggies are steamed just in case you're wondering. Grand total: $18. Sometimes we have a coupon for $5 off, making it only $13, bonus.
As you can tell from the description, the tofu is fried...gasp! And as you can tell from the picture the rice is white...double gasp! But this for us is a "sometimes meal". I don't often treat myself to foods that aren't the healthiest, but this meal is one I give a little wiggle room to live a little if you know what I mean.
After picking up our order from Master Wok we take it home to add the finishing touches: the sauce! Plain steamed rice and veggies would be pretty boring in the flavor department, so since we're in the comfort of our own home I make and add our own sauce. This took a little experimenting in the beginning to get it right, and the first couple of batches were a bit off, but once I got it right we struck gold.
|The perfect sauce.|
The recipe we use and love comes from the blog: It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken called, "Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Tofu". And although the recipe calls for tofu, I just use the sauce portion of the recipe. It is made from Sriracha, agave nectar, garlic, water, Braggs Liquid Aminos, sugar (I use Lakanto sweetener), and corn starch (I use potato starch). I usually make this up before we leave to drop the girls off and have it ready when we get back.
My favorite part of making this sauce is when I add the potato starch/water mixture, it's what turns it from a liquid sauce to more of a gel-like, sticky, delicious sauce that will coat every ounce of tofu and vegetables. Just be sure to stir when you add the potato starch/water slurry or it will make one big gel clump.
So now that you know what sauce I use and how I make it, what I do when we get home is to dump all the steamed veggies and tofu into a large wok on a medium-low heat. Then I add the sauce and stir it together to coat all the veggies and tofu.
Then we scoop it out and serve it on top of the perfectly fluffy white rice and eat it up...in the living room (who needs a dining room table when the kids aren't here?) and start our movie of choice.
Word of caution, this Chinese takeout option at Master Wok is perfect for us but when I tried it at another Chinese restaurant it did not go well, and it was my own fault. I ordered the same thing, "2 orders of Tofu and Vegetables with no sauce and steamed rice" and we got just that: steamed veggies, steamed rice...and steamed tofu (aka not cooked and especially not fried tofu). Yuck. I don't know about you, but raw-ish tofu is not my thing. Baked or fried is the only way to go, so the meal was pretty messed up just with that, but it got worse when I saw the veggies included. I'm a picky girl when it comes to my veggies and was used to the veggies of Master Wok which are all my favorites, but at the restaurant we went to, their "vegetables" included were full of cabbage, red peppers and snap peas. So despite our yummy homemade sauce to add to it, it was not good. So in the future, I'll be sure to inquire about the type of veggies included (which were not listed anywhere on the menu) and specify that I want the tofu fried. Gotta love a high matienence customer right?!
So there you have it, how I eat gluten-free, vegan with Chinese Takeout. I'm getting hungry just looking at these pictures and typing about it. I think I know what's for dinner tonight at my house.
|We're not the only ones who love Master Wok, so do these girls!|
Let me know below do you eat vegan or gluten-free at Chinese restaurants? What do you order? Have any tips to make it healthier? Share below.