Shanghai-based foodie and restaurateur Lindsey Fine (aka Veggie Mama) has been creating all sorts of delicious vegan recipes since moving to China eight years ago. You can read all about the perks of eating a plant-based diet via her blog Veggie Mama and sample recipes on this series, Cooking with Veggie Mama. In this edition, Lindsey shares her recipe for Maple Sesame Mian Jin.
This recipe is my vegan take on Korean sesame honey chicken wings. The generous sauce base makes this dish extremely delicious and best of all, it's simple to make.
For this recipe, I used a kind of mian jin I found at a local wet market in Shanghai. Mian jin (面筋) is made of wheat gluten and has a nice, chewy texture. There are all sorts of versions of it available, as it was created by Buddhist monks in China thousands of years ago.
An example of mian jin (image courtesy of Lindsey Fine)
I love using mian jin for this recipe because of its texture, but you can use any kind of vegan protein. Additionally, you can easily make this dish gluten free by using cauliflower or tofu. If you aren't vegan, you can substitute the maple syrup for honey.
Maple Sesame Mian Jin
Image courtesy of Lindsey Fine
for the protein - 500 grams mian jin or other vegan protein
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup corn starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or white pepper if you prefer)
oil for frying
For the sauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
sesame seeds for garnish
1. Get two bowls ready for dredging and coating the mian jin. Use one bowl for the corn starch, salt and pepper and one for the ground flaxseed and water. Mix the ground flaxseed and water and it let gel for 5-8 minutes.
2. While the mixture is gelling, mix together your sauce ingredients.
3. Heat around 3/4 cups of frying oil in a wok.
4. Working quickly in batches, dredge the mian jin in the cornstarch mixture. Then coat in the flaxseed mixture.
5. When the oil is hot enough for frying, add five or so pieces to the wok. After about 2-3 minutes, or when golden brown, turn and cook the other side. Place fried pieces on a paper towel-covered plate to soak up excess oil.
6. After all pieces are fried, in a new pan, or the same wok that's been emptied of oil, heat the sauce until it becomes bubbly and begins to thicken. Add the fried mian jin and mix well, fully coating all pieces.
7. Serve on a bed of steamed rice and top with extra sesame seeds.
Read more Cooking with Veggie Mama
[Cover image courtesy of Veggie Mama]