Imperial Chinese Wraps
This attractive dish calls for nestling the flavorful minced pigeon fillingtextured vegetable protein (TVP) cooked like ground meatonto a bed of puffy fried noodles. Look for Peking pancakes at Asian markets.
- 1 ½ cups (about 10 oz.) crumbled TVP
- 2 cups vegetarian, chicken-flavored stock
- 16 leaves Bibb or butter lettuce
- 16 Peking pancakes
- 1 small onion, minced (about ½ cup)
- 8 water chestnuts, minced
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked, stemmed and minced
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 2 tsp. regular or low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 4 cups vegetable oil for deep-frying plus 4 Tbs. vegetable oil for stir-frying
- 2 oz. rice noodles
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 1 Tbs. water
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- ½ tsp. sesame oil
- ½ tsp. sugar
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbs. rice wine
- To make Filling: Place TVP in bowl, cover with chicken-flavored stock and set aside for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, separate lettuce leaves, and rinse well. Pat dry, and place in two stacks of 8, putting smaller leaves on top. Use cleaver to shape lettuce leaves into circles about 4 inches round. Stack, and refrigerate until needed. Wrap pancakes in damp towel to prepare for steaming.
- Place onion, water chestnuts, mushrooms and peas in separate piles on large plate, and set aside.
- Drain TVP, squeezing out excess liquid. Combine 2 teaspoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, salt, sugar and egg yolk in mixing bowl. Stir in TVP, and set aside.
- To make Sauce: Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, water, 1 teaspoon cornstarch, sesame oil, sugar, black pepper and rice wine in small bowl, and set aside.
- Heat oil for deep-frying to 400F, or when rice noodle placed in oil instantly puffs up. Separate noodles, and carefully place in oil. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, turn noodles over immediately, and cook for total of 10 seconds. Remove from oil, and drain on paper towels. Place cooked noodles in center of serving platter, and place two stacks of lettuce circles at each end of platter. Place wrapped pancakes in steamer basket, and heat over boiling water for 3 minutes, or until softened. Fold softened pancakes into quarters, and place overlapping around platter.
- Heat wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and stir-fry marinated TVP for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden. Using slotted spoon, remove from oil and place on plate. Add another 2 Tbs. of oil to wok, stir-fry onion until soft and add remaining vegetables.
- Return TVP to wok, and mix. Stir sauce mixture, and add to wok. Stir-fry for 30 seconds, and pour onto noodle nest on platter. Place two Chinese ceramic spoons in mounded “pigeon meat” for serving.
- To serve, top pancake with lettuce round. Spoon noodles and filling onto lettuce, and roll up taco-style to eat.
Chinese-inspired dishes pair well with Riesling. Often these dishes emphasize the use of sesame oil, vinegar, fruit, spicy aromatics and soy-based ingredients, all of which match nicely with Riesling. Try Wagner Vineyards.