I've told you before about my unhealthy start as a vegetarian ( check that blog here ). Well, yeah, as a vegemeatarian, thanks for the correction.
So during my first year of mostly soy meat in my diet, I learned different ways of cooking soy meat. Fried, barbecued, stewed, boiled in soup, stir fried with vegetables, stir fried with Chinese noodles, simmered in sauces for spaghetti and lasagna. I knew without soy meat (and frozen goods like soy ham and soysages), I would have ended up eating just rice seasoned with citrusy soy sauce for a looooong time.
Luckily, my mom loves buying vegetarian goods for us despite the vegetarian stores being at least three hours away from home. Yes, she carried kilograms of frozen goods and always a kilogram of Meat Magic (back in 2001, it was the only brand of soy meat available).
Soy meat is light in weight and a kilogram of it lasts several dishes for a family of four to five. However, my, my brother and my sister's favorite way of cooking it was as spicy vegan fried chicken, or karaage. We loved eating it with ketchup or spicy vinegar and a mountain of rice.
However much we cook spicy vegan karaage, it was never enough. It's just too good and addictive that we just munch on it piece after piece. But it is also a very versatile dish, that's why we always try not to eat everything we fried so that we can transform it into another dish for the following meal.
Unfortunately, my husband was never interested in soy meat. For that reason, I find it bothersome to cook this dish because I know I'll end up eating it alone (and I hate cooking for one if it's myself). Probably, when my daughter is big enough to eat soy meat too, I'll be happy again to cook this and many other dishes, and I'll share their recipes with you!
Prepare soy meat for cooking: Soak soy meat in water with vinegar. Once it's soft, squeeze out water and rinse several times. (Watch three different ways of preparing soy meat for cooking or read the blog I wrote about soy meat.)
Squeeze off water from soy meat very well. Add mushroom and/or kombu powder, chili powder and black pepper. Mix well while squeezing in between to let the soy meat absorb the flavors.
Add cornstarch and a bit of water if needed. Mix well.
Fry soy meat in a pan over medium high heat.
Serve with ketchup or spicy vinegar (vinegar, mushroom powder, black pepper, chili powder, a small drop of soy sauce, minced cucumber).