Memories on the Menu

Bad Saint's Tom Cunanan learned Filipino cooking in his mom’s kitchen

 

By Erin Williams, Photography by Kurt Powers, Space Division Photography                            

As the sixth of seven children, Bad Saint Head Chef Tom Cunanan was the kid in his family who found the most enjoyment in the kitchen. This fact was not lost on his mom, who, in addition to raising her large family in Prince George’s County, MD, was also a nurse.

“My mom, she spoiled me and my baby sister more than the others,” he remembers of her indulgences. Cunanan was born in the Philippines and moved to the States when he was 3. When it came to helping out with the cooking or tagging along in the garden, “I was the go-to son.”

For his birthday and holidays, he always requested his favorite dish: “Filipino spaghetti. It’s ground pork and hot dogs and tomato sauce, but it was awesome. She was really good at it.” Add a lot of store-bought Parmesan cheese—“the Kirkland brand”—and you’d have a meal, he says.

His mother also made dinugugan (pork blood stew) and kare kare, a meal of braised oxtail and peanut butter. “That was actually her signature dish, and that is one of my most fond memories of my mom: cooking that together,” he remembers. “She would make that dish all the time.”

When he grew up and became a professional chef, Cunanan spent time in kitchens that led him far away from his home cuisine, places like the Southern-focused Vidalia, seafood-filled DC Coast and the French restaurant La Chaumerie. But Cunanan shied away from making his beloved Filipino food.

“I didn’t get it how I could make it work. I thought the food didn’t look pleasing at all. The presentation was going to look very brown and I didn’t think people would actually like this food. Pork blood stew—who’s going to eat that?”

He didn’t find his focus on the food of his native country until around five years ago, when his mom was diagnosed with cancer.

“She wanted to write down her recipes. So I gave her composition books, Moleskine books. While she was on the couch, [she’d] watch TV, write down recipes.” Like most handwritten family recipes, her writing pattern was a stream of consciousness, with margin notes on where to get the best deals on ingredients. She included directions, but few concrete measurements.

“Most of the recipes are Filipino; some of them are stuff that she made up. Like ‘fish dish with tomatoes’—nothing crazy. I just kept telling her, ‘Keep writing recipes.’ And the stuff that I really wanted to know was there, she wrote it all down in those notebooks.”

 

As she wrote, he worked to replicate them with her by his side. But it wasn’t easy for him to get it right on those first tries. “I just remember she’d always yell at me,” he laughs. Pandesel, a traditional Filipino bread recipe, was one in particular that he kept trying to tweak—mostly because the measurements were inconsistent with the ingredients listed. “I made it, like, every single day. Her recipes would consist of using a thumb-sized amount of butter ... just take a handful of flour and put it into a bowl. She just did everything by feel.”

That trial and error was key for him being able to understand the methods behind not only his mother’s cooking but Filipino cuisine as a whole. Cunanan’s mom lost her battle to cancer in 2012, but she had given Cunanan the foundation he needed to find himself—and his culinary stride.

He started by launching a small Filipino catering company, Tarsier Catering, where he focused on the basics: pork sandwiches, topped with chicarone and served on pandesel with dumplings, a perfect intro to Filipino food for DC eaters. His name made its way to Nick Pimentel, who was co-owner of the restaurant Room 11 at the time and was seeking a new head chef. While Cunanan didn’t get hired at Room 11, he did gain the support of Pimentel and started doing Filipino pop-ups where he developed a following for his pork blood stew, lumpia (fried spring rolls) and ukoy (shrimp fritters).

In 2015, the transition from pop-up to permanent location became official with the opening of Bad Saint. The tiny restaurant has remained packed ever since, winning national acclaim and a James Beard Award nomination for Chef Cunanan. On the menu you will find ginisang ampalaya, a vegetarian dish that translates to “bitter melon.” It was one of the dishes he prepared for Pimentel years ago during his tryout, and it’s also one of Cunanan’s most personal meals. Known to help fight cancer, he remembers his mom eating it every single day.

“That’s never leaving the menu. It’s like the only memory I have left—when I look at it, I always think about her.”

In addition to the bitter melon, the restaurant’s pork blood stew and kare kare dish originated with his mom’s recipes and countless traces of her teachings are evident in Cunanan’s food. In creating dishes for the menu, he each dish must pass this test: “I make sure the Filipino flavors are there, and then ‘Would my mom eat this?’ If she wouldn’t eat it then I wouldn’t put it on the menu.”

“I feel like she gave me direction to my life. Before cooking Filipino food I had no idea what I was doing,” he says of his culinary career path.

Now, it’s clear.

“She taught me to cook her food. It’s the best gift that she ever gave me.”

From our 2017 Spring Issue.

Top 10 Cinco De Mayo Plans in DC

by AJ Dronkers

Super fun recipes from past issues mean that you can have a zesty fiesta at home! We love making all of them, but in case you don't feel like ordering sombrero straws on Amazon and waking up Saturday morning full of tequila and regret only to clean up your fiesta mess -- we've got you. We also have our top ten places to celebrate Cinco De Mayo in DC, by neighborhood. So let's start with recipes.

We recommend making these delicious tacos for friends...

Chicken Tacos (Photo by Bailiey Weaver) 

Chicken Tacos (Photo by Bailiey Weaver) 

Sipping on these El Camino cucumber margaritas at home...

El Camino Cucumber Margarita (Photo by Kurt Powers) 

El Camino Cucumber Margarita (Photo by Kurt Powers) 

Or wowing family with sorrel + jalepeno salsa and moroccan carrots with chèvre and mint

Roasted carrots with chèvre and mint (Photo by Hannah Hudson Photography)

Roasted carrots with chèvre and mint (Photo by Hannah Hudson Photography)

Our by Neighborhood List of Cinco de Mayo favorites:

Georgetown - One of our favorite local taco companies that just also happens to be vegan and committed to sustainability is celebrating their annual Chaia de Mayo with sangria drink specials and paletas. 

Glover Park - Rooftops + half price margarita pitchers, and $20 mix-and-match beer buckets at Surfside.

Dupont Circle - It will likely be chaotic, but isn't that half the fun? Why not try the iconic swirl margaritas on one of the three levels of Lauriol Plaza in Dupont Circle? It is hard to pass up.

Mt. Pleasant - If you are looking for a more casual, dare we say "dive" experience, swing by one of our favorite places, Haydee's Restaurant (their website is giving us life) where they proudly display Christmas lights year round.

Pro tip order the fajitas at Haydee's Restaurant -- they also have a location in Takoma Park (Photo by AJ Dronkers)

Pro tip order the fajitas at Haydee's Restaurant -- they also have a location in Takoma Park (Photo by AJ Dronkers)

Downtown DC - If you want to be more chic as you "de Mayo" around town, the "be seen" vibe Pinea patio is for you. They will be serving Patron margaritas, DJ-hosted music and fun lawn games like bocce. 

Shaw - if you don't love tequila then how about Mezcal? Espita Mezcal will also be releasing a special collaboration Chamomile Saisaon with Three Stars Brewing. 

Come for the mezcal stay for the amazing food (Photo by David Santori)

Come for the mezcal stay for the amazing food (Photo by David Santori)

U St - don't let the giant steel moving containers confuse you; once you enter El Rey you'll be greeted by mariachi music and an amazing retractable roof. For their Cinco de Mayo celebration they will also have an ice luge, a DJ and the ever important snapchat filters.

Petworth - Newcomer Taqueria del Barrio is offering an all-inclusive bottomless bites + drinks event from 5-9 pm for $65. 

Taqueria del Barrio (Photo by Jai Williams)

Taqueria del Barrio (Photo by Jai Williams)

Ivy City - La Puerta Verde has been getting stellar reviews and as a fail-safe back up, even better, it is near two distilleries: Republic Restoratives and One Eight Distilling.

La Puerta Verde (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

La Puerta Verde (Photo by Raisa Aziz)

Waterfront - What could be better than drinking on DC's Southwest waterfront? Watch the boats sail by and enjoy $10 flights of tequila at Cantina Marina.  


AJ Dronkers is the Associate Publisher and Digital Editor for EdibleDC Magazine. When he's not eating and drinking he's usually making up for it at spin. @aj_dc

Drink and Dine for Wildlife on May 18th at ZooFari!

One of EdibleDC's favorite events, ZooFari offers a fantastic night of unforgettable dining, drinking, live music and exotic animal entertainment. Join more than 100 of Washington, D.C.'s best restaurants as they gather at the Smithsonian's National Zoo for the area's biggest and longest-running food and drink tasting event.

ZooFari.jpg

At ZooFari you'll be able to sample delicious food, wine, and cocktails, participate in live and silent auctions (with prizes including a ticket package to "Hamilton" on Broadway!) and much more—all while supporting critical conservation work around the globe.

We go every year and it is always a blast-definitely one of the most food and drink events in the city.

So save the date for May 18, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. to celebrate and enjoy unique animal and dining encounters. 

** All proceeds from this fabulous evening support the Zoo’s mission to save species!

Seylou, DC's First All Whole Grain Bakery to Open in Shaw's Blagden Alley

We're in Love Already: A Wood-Fired Oven, Flour Milled Fresh Onsite and Local Grain from Local Farmers

Jessica Azeez and Jonathan Bethony of Seylou Bakery and Mill. Their bakery will open late summer in Shaw on N Street NW. Photograph by AJ Dronkers.

Jessica Azeez and Jonathan Bethony of Seylou Bakery and Mill. Their bakery will open late summer in Shaw on N Street NW. Photograph by AJ Dronkers.

By Susan Able, Edible DC

Jonathan Bethony is one of the country’s top bakers at the forefront of the whole grain bread movement. And in a stroke of luck for all of us in the DMV, he and his wife, Jessica Azeez, will be opening their first bakery here. Seylou Bakery and Mill (named after the word "eagle" in the African language Mandinka) is beginning to take shape in a storefront space on N Street NW, around the corner from buzzy Blagden Alley and the restaurant scene in Shaw. If the deliciously full-flavored, rustic, fermented and moist loaves we sampled are any indication of the bread Seylou will be turning out, this is your new addiction. We just wanted to give you fair warning.

Milling takes skill, so I’ll have to be as good a miller as I am baker—and now I need to be good at fire.
— Jonathan Bethony

As Bethony and Azeez decided where their first solo bakery would be, DC emerged as the top choice because of deep family connections for the them on the East Coast. And equally important, the couple felt DC’s growing food scene would welcome a bakery that ferments its dough and sources heritage and local grains.

Bethony brings a singular portfolio of baking experience to DC. Before his move, he was Baker-in-Residence at the reknowned Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York, working with Chef Dan Barber to expand the baking program. He was also on the team that developed a deeply flavorful wheat for Dan Barber, now called "Barber Wheat." Bethony met Barber through the Bread Lab, but before that he grew his chops as a baker through training at the San Francisco Baking Institute and then by working at several top California bakeries.

Bethony's reputation as a whole grain expert was firmly established by his three years as the resident baker and bread researcher at Washington State University’s famed Bread Lab, where the mission is to make regional grain farming viable again by creating and baking with new wheat varieties with the taste and nutrition of ancient grains but grown in today’s climate. Building on his knowledge from The Bread Lab (where he still consults), Bethony will use local grains and work with area farmers, like Heinz Thomet from Next Step Produce in Maryland, to grow more of what he will need at Seylou.

No white flour to be found at Seylou, Bethony cares so much about his product that he will be milling his own flours, one of only a handful of places on the East Coast that have a mill operation.

“At Bread Lab, we research and planted different grains that hadn’t been used, and I worked with each one as a baker to find out about them because each one is different. And when you mill grain yourself it is a wild card—it the opposite of standardized. White flour is dead, it isn’t living anymore. And what most people really don’t know is that most processed flour, even whole grain, isn't fresh. Flour gets rancid, it doesn’t last. Even culinary students can’t tell the difference when they smell fresh flour from old, rancid flour. We haven’t been educated on what fresh flour is because we have moved so far away from experiencing it or eating bread made from it.”

The commitment Seylou has made to producing good whole grain bread will be obvious on entry. Plans call for a very large, multi-ton stone mill from New American Stone Mills to be located near the front door of the shop, near pallets of grain and wood for the wood-fired rotating deck oven.

 “Milling takes skill, so I’ll have to be as good a miller as I am baker—and now I need to be good at fire,” Bethony explained as he showed where his rotating deck wood oven will be built by craftsmen from Spain. Jessica is also his partner in the business and will be working on marketing and social media. She'll also be developing a line of herbal teas, turmeric matcha and a hot chai tea we sampled that is wonderful.

Bethony explains that the menu will be short but that everything he makes will have a story, be healthy, nourishing and he promises it will taste amazing. Everything at Seylou will be made with flour that has been milled within 24-48 hours. You'll find the standards: Pain levain and basic whole wheat sourdough made with local flour. A single origin 100% fresh milled bread.

But expect surprises—maybe waffles. Maybe tartine sandwiches. Definitely pizza nights. Pastries? There will be croissants, canneles, financiers, other French-inspired pastries and Lebanese pastries from Charbel Abrache, whom Bethony met at Blue Hill and brought down to DC to lead the pastry program at Seylou.

Bethony expects that as Seylou grows to supplying restaurants and stores, there will be ripple effects through the supply chain. “A dream would be that our second phase might be opening a bigger place that is a mill, so once that we’ve built the appreciation for how great fresh flour is, we can do a bigger mill to supply bakers and home bakers. And we'll work with area farmers to grow more heritage grains to fuel our growth.”

A soft opening is planned for this August, but follow Seylou on social media to find out about their pop-ups which are happening until the opening. Seylou will be participating in Edible DC’s Eat/Drink Local event on May 22, by creating a “breadscape” of their goods. Tickets are available at edibledc.evenbrite.com

Follow Seylou at www.seylou.com or on social media @seyloubakery.

Susan Able is publisher and editor-in-chief at EdibleDC. A farmers market junkie, home cook and story chaser, she's a big fan of whole grain bread. Read more of her work at edibledc.com

 

 

 

 

Who’s on Furst?

Mark Furstenberg brings classic bread back with Bread Furst

Words and photographs by Shulie Madnick

Editors note -- this story first appeared in our Fall 2014 issue of EdibleDC Magazine. 

“I was a home baker,” says Mark Furstenberg, a local culinary icon who literally helped shape the artisan bread scene back in 1990 when he opened the first Marvelous Market. D.C.’s own version of Julia Child, Furstenberg launched his professional culinary career later in life, at age 50, bringing the craft of European bread and pastry making to the nation’s capital at a time when there were few—if any—bakeries providing freshly baked baguettes and croissants.

Twenty-five years later, Furstenberg, a James Beard Award nominee who sold Marvelous Market back in 1996 and then went on to open the bread-focused restaurant BreadLine, is now back behind the counter at his new bakery, Bread Furst. Located on Connecticut Avenue, this new shop is just down the street from his very first bakery, which had been right next to Politics and Prose, the venerable book store that was co-owned by his late sister.

Bread Furst is “timeless” in Furstenberg’s vision, focusing on classic baked goods, from sourdough Palladin to hand-cut Danish to perfectly moist blueberry almond muffins.

“Nature makes the decision” is the philosophy behind the food that comes out of the Bread Furst kitchen, with Furstenberg firmly repeating a “local first” mantra that he recently expounded upon on the Bread Furst website, saying “I believe in local ingredients most of all because they taste better, because if tomatoes are left to ripen on the vine as they should, they are incomparably better than those picked and packed before they are ripe. That’s why I want tomatoes from Virginia, not Florida.”

Still, the ever-practical Furstenberg also acknowledges that “pineapples and artichokes don’t grow here and canned tomatoes have their place.”

Now 75, Furstenberg has been ahead of his time throughout his career, despite getting a late start: two years after opening his first Marvelous Market storefront, and decades before the food truck craze began to take hold of the city, he began a Marvelous Market truck that traveled to neighborhoods across northwest D.C., selling hot loaves of bread and handmade pastries. Today those same patrons who have followed Furstenberg through his various enterprises over the years enjoy fresh brioche at Bread Furst with their grandchildren, while reminiscing about the rye bread they used to buy right off the truck.

Bread Furst, 4434 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-765-1200. BreadFurst.com

 

Mission Accomplished: Creating Gathering Spaces that Celebrate Diversity, Arts and Activism

In Conversation with Andy Shallal, the Immigrant Who Founded Busboys and Poets

By Raisa Aziz, EdibleDC

President Barack Obama greets restaurant staff after a lunch time meeting with formerly incarcerated individuals who have received commutations, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., March 30, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

President Barack Obama greets restaurant staff after a lunch time meeting with formerly incarcerated individuals who have received commutations, at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., March 30, 2016. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) 

I arrive a few minutes early for my meeting with Andy Shallal, founder and owner of Busboys and Poets, a well loved chain of community gathering places in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. 

I’m slightly nervous, perhaps because this assignment hits close to home. I too am an immigrant here, and telling this story feels like a responsibility beyond this single narrative. 

Andy - born Anas Shallal - walks in a few minutes after me, calm and charismatic but with a clear sense of ownership and purpose in this space. He smiles, says he is looking forward to talking to me and suddenly the ball is in my court. 

Andy Shallal, founder and owner of Busboys and Poets. Photo courtesy of Busboys and Poets.

Andy Shallal, founder and owner of Busboys and Poets. Photo courtesy of Busboys and Poets.

“What brought you to the U.S.?” I ask, “what do you remember about your first food experiences when you moved here?”

Andy shares that he is from Iraq and that his father was a diplomat.They moved to the U.S. in 1966 when he was 10 years old. 

This feels like something he has explained many times before. But then he pauses, and shares a story about how his mother tried to bargain with the lady at the checkout counter at the supermarket for two days in a row when they first moved to the U.S. 

“We were used to bargaining and it was so strange to her that the prices were fixed,” he says with a smile.  

I can’t keep back my laughter.  After almost ten years in the U.S., I can understand both sides of that funny exchange,

I want to know more about his childhood kitchen - “how has your upbringing influenced the way you cook and think about food?,” I ask. 

He goes on to share that they didn’t go out to eat much when he was younger, his mom always cooked. He shares that there was always rice with every meal - “if you didn’t have rice, it’s like you didn’t eat,” he says. 

Andy has always loved the smell of cardamom. He recalls the aromatic flavors brewed with tea that would fill up the kitchen. He remembers liking bananas when he first arrived in the country but thinking that peanut butter was weird and that combining it with jelly in a sandwich was even stranger. 

Things have changed since then.

“As a restaurateur,  I can’t only serve food that I like,” he explains. “I keep a very open mind with food now because people have different tastes and needs”
 

We return to the interview and I ask, “for those not familiar with your restaurant, how would you describe it?” 

Diversity does not happen by accident. It happens through signals like location, price and menu options that tell us whether we are welcome.
— Andy Shallal

“It’s a neighborhood gathering place,” he says. “There is something about having a space where people comes together and break bread. We pride ourselves on diversity and accessibility to a variety of people.” 

I bring up the $450 tip incident over inauguration weekend and ask why he thought it gained such attention.  He explains that places like Busboys allow us to recognize that it’s possible for people from varied backgrounds to be in one place and share a common experience despite the differences between them. The tip incident was an example of that. 

“Diversity does not happen by accident, “ he argues. “It happens through signals like location, price and menu options that tell us whether we are welcome. For example, we serve halal chicken because we have Muslim customers, and we want a variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes on our menu because we have customers with those preferences.“ 

He goes on to add that there are so many more possibilities when a diversity of people feel welcome in a space. It allows for people who may never interact with each other to do so. That is potential for social change.

Common, an American hip-hop artist, actor, activist and author, stopped by 14th & V for some grub while doing an interview for the Washington Post. Photo courtesy of Busboys and Poets.

Common, an American hip-hop artist, actor, activist and author, stopped by 14th & V for some grub while doing an interview for the Washington Post. Photo courtesy of Busboys and Poets.

I am curious about Andy’s history in the restaurant industry in DC and how Busboys and Poets fits into this. “What unique perspective do you bring to the DC restaurant industry?,” I ask. 

Andy’s first few restaurants were all in a DC townhouse - Cafe Luna which did pasta and pizza was on the first floor; Skewers, a Middle Eastern restaurant, was on the middle floor; and a bookstore was on the third. 

“The bookstore was a place for activism - that has always been there, and a part of what I do.” 

I am intrigued by this intersection of social activism and the food industry. I ask Andy why this is a focus for him and he shares that this has always been a part of the business model. 

“I love food and the restaurant business and I especially appreciate the power that such spaces have to convene people, bringing them together to break bread. There is so much opportunity and potential in that moment. They are all here - now what? I don’t want to squander that opportunity to engage.”

He recounts one of the first actions, which was against the damaging of underwater reefs as a result of French nuclear testing. “We wanted to make a point,” he says, “so we crossed out the French wines on our menu and dumped French wine out in Dupont Circle.” 

I especially appreciate the power that such spaces have to convene people, bringing them together to break bread. There is so much opportunity and potential in that moment. They are all here - now what? I don’t want to squander that opportunity to engage.
— Andy Shallal

There are several other examples of this, including that in the first Obama campaign, he hosted fundraisers and bussed people out to canvas in Virginia and Ohio during the campaign. 

Now that we are more squarely on the topic of social justice, I want to know what led to the decision to close Busboys and Poets for #ADayWithoutImmigrants. 

Andy explains that it came together very quickly. A Busboys staff member initially approached him about standing in solidarity with the movement . Given that Andy is also an immigrant, it made sense to do. However, they did not want to simply close the doors without explanation and so, in addition to a press release, there were a few Busboys managers that were present on the day to explain the purpose behind the movement. 

I ask Andy what it is that he wants people to know about immigrants in DC, and in the U.S. more broadly. “What is it that’s misunderstood?,” I ask.  

Andy provides important historical perspective, sharing that we are currently in the midst of a massive global displacement of people and that issues of immigration and refugees are not just a product of this one point in time.

“Immigrants are seeking refuge and opportunity. Most people don’t want to move, they want to stay in the what’s familiar - their language, culture and families. They leave because they feel like they have to get out - they are looking for safety so imagine when they find the doors closed to them.” 

We are nearing the end of our hour together and I still have so much to ask. I know it is an unfair question - who likes to pick favorites but I ask anyway. 

“How has DC dining shifted over the years - what are some of your favorite trends?”

Andy shares that he loves the international food options in this city. While there has always been a variety of ethnic food in DC, it is growing and has moved beyond just being a corner store phenomenon. 

He stops, smiles and adds - “and of course, good coffee.” 

“When I first opened Cafe Luna in 1999, you couldn’t get a decent espresso drink in DC. People are demanding it now and have more sophisticated and international palettes.”

Andy adds that DC has always had a small town feel but it seems that we have recently realized that we are the capital of the USA and want to come into our role more clearly. “We recognize the potential for the DC food industry and that we can actually have an impact.”

Sensing that we are winding down, I ask, “what keeps you in DC? Where do you go for inspiration?”

Andy has a quick and clear response - he talks about his excitement for the flourishing arts scene, especially that culture-makers and influencers have become less institutionalized over the years. He also notes that the amount of activism he sees is inspiring and contagious. 
It has always been a part of this city but it is coming together as part of the cultural fabric of DC now. 

“More and more people are demanding changes that are better for everybody. Movements like #ADayWithoutImmigrants could only take off that quickly because the foundation had already been established. We know we have a city that is safe and welcoming and we are particularly primed to stand in solidarity with causes like that. I am encouraged by the engagement of young people  who are very committed to issues of social justice and ensuring they are not ignored. We are all realizing our power - both as individuals and as a collective."


Vegan Stir Fry

DSC_4895.jpg

Ingredients

  • Vegan chickenless strips-4 oz (Gardein Vegan Products) 
  • Brown rice-4 oz cooked and warm
  • Snow peas-1 oz
  • Red onion/julienned-.05 oz
  • Shitake mushroom/sliced-.05oz
  • Baby carrots-2 pieces blanched and sliced lengthwise into three  
  • Garlic/minced 1 teaspoon
  • Olive oil 1 tablespoon for sautéing
  • Sesame ginger orange soy sauce 2 oz for sautéing 

Cook Time: 3 minutes   
Preparation: 20 minutes  


 

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil to a medium sized ‘hot’ saute pan. Stir frying is quick so make sure all of the ingredients are ready for action. Add the red onion, shitake mushroom and garlic to the pan. 
  • Briefly allow the garlic to ‘bloom’ as this will help to flavor the dish. Add the ‘chicken’, snow peas and baby carrots and allow to heat through, then add the sauce. 
  • Place the rice in the middle of a bowl, then assemble with all of the pan ingredients.
  • Garnish with scallions or a sprig of cilantro. Enjoy!! 

Notes

  • The sauce can be a variety of many ingredients. We used sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, orange marmalade, ginger, cornstarch, water, sugar and peach nectar. You can make your version with crushed red pepper flakes, pineapple juice, etc. to make it your own. 
  • The vegan chickenless strips are soy protein and available in stores (Gardein Vegan Products). 
  • The veggies listed are suggested but feel free to use whatever you have such as broccoli, red peppers, asparagus, etc. The key is having everything cut approximately the same size for even and fast cooking. 

Raisa Aziz (@raisaaziz) is a food stylist, photographer and writer in the DC Area. When not cooking, baking or eating, you can find her bopping about town in search of local adventures.