Happy Year of the Snake! Recipes #1

100_4704Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Cooking club this time set out with a whole new challenge. Fat-free vegan Chinese celebration food- how’s that for a tall order? I think we did a great job, with some good recipes and some innovative techniques. Check out some of the fun recipes we tried:

Fat Free Stir-Fried Asparagus and Mushrooms With Black Bean Sauce
This was a basic stirfry recipe that Marg contributed, made even quicker by using a pre-made black bean sauce.


  • 2 bunches asparagus (500g-1Kg)
  • 250-500g mushrooms
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 3-5 Tablespoons black bean sauce, or to taste

-Break woody ends off asparagus, clean and slice into diagonal slices.
-Clean and slice mushrooms.
-Mince or crush garlic.
-Put a small amount of vegetable stock in the bottom of a hot wok. Add garlic and cook quickly for 1 minute or so.
-Add asparagus and cook for 4-5 minutes, until dark green and crispy. Add a bit more stock as necessary to keep vegetables from sticking.
-Add mushrooms and black bean sauce and cook one or two more minutes.
-If necessary, add a bit more stock and put lid on, steaming for an extra minute, or to taste.


Fat Free Vegetarian Potstickers
Marg’s second contribution was a lot more labour-intensive, but it was very much worth the effort. These were delicious! She modified the recipe from an About.com Vegetarian Potstickers recipe.


  • 1/2 pound firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic chives
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package potsticker or gyoza wrappers
  • vegetable stock for cooking


-Drain the tofu and mash.
-Wash the vegetables and cut into thin straws.
-Combine the tofu with the rest of the ingredients.
-Lay out one of the gyoza wrappers in front of you. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges of the wrapper.
-Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper.
-Fold the gyoza wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges to seal it shut. (You may want to use a cornstarch/water mixture to make this easier).
-Add 1/2 to 1 cup of vegetable stock to a hot wok or large frypan. Put in potstickers in a single layer. Cook, covered, for one minute at high heat to cook vegetables through. -Remove lid and check, adding more liquid if necessary to stop sticking. Turn heat down and let liquid evaporate.
-It can be tricky to keep potstickers from sticking without oil (they are well-named!), so you may be eating quite a few broken ones before you get your technique down pat. Ah, the sacrifices must make, hey? A well-seasoned cast iron pan may help.
-Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Stay tuned for more of our recipes in my next post!


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