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Because everyone deserves to enjoy the pleasures of Chinese takeaway — even the plant-based folks. This sticky, sweet, tangy sauce could make just about anything taste good, but slathered over these veggies and a chopped vegan ‘pork’ — Is anyone else salivating?

You will need

Serves 4

  • 3 cups vegan chicken-style stock
  • 200g TVP (textured vegetable protein) slices
  • Neutral oil (canola, vegetable) for frying
  • 140g cornflour
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 250g mixed capsicums, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 400g tin pineapple pieces in juice, undrained

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  • 1/3 cup apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2-3 drops of vegan red food colouring (optional)

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Directions

30 mins to prep

10 mins to cook

  1. Step 1

    Bring the stock to a rapid boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the TVP slices and boil for 10 minutes or until the pieces are soft and bend to your bidding. Allow to cool.

  2. Step 2

    Heat 1cm of vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, place 1 cup of cornflour in a zip-lock bag and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Step 3

    Fish the TVP slices out of the stock and halve into bite-sized pieces. Reserve 1/4 cup of stock. Place the TVP in the bag, seal, then toss in the seasoned cornflour.

  4. Step 4

    Test if the oil is ready by inserting a wooden skewer or the handle of a wooden spoon into the hot oil; if it begins to bubble quickly, then you’re ready to go. Add the coated TVP and fry for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the pan.

  5. Step 5

    Mix the sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a jug and set aside.

  6. Step 6

    Heat the sesame oil in a wok over medium-high heat then add the capsicum and cook for 2 minutes. Move the capsicum to one side, tip in the sauce and cook for another minute, stirring until it comes to a boil. Add in the pineapple (with juice!) and the TVP and cook, stirring, for another 2 minutes.

Step 7

Whisk the remaining cornflour with the reserved cooled stock and stir into the wok. Remove from the heat. The sauce will thicken further as it cools. Serve hot with noodles or rice.

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