• Prep Time: 30 minute(s)
  • Cooking Time: 30 minute(s)
  • Serves: 6 servings

Chinese Vegetarian Chicken with Simple Five-Spice Sauce

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Sauces, Main Dish, Vegetarian, Chicken, Chinese

 Ingredients List

  • 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-root, minced
  • 1 package bean curd sheets (about 12 sheets, 10.5 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (plus 3 tbsp. water)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Five-Spice Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or “unchicken” broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot dissolved in 3 teaspoons water.


Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soak until the mushrooms are totally rehydrated. Remove the stems and chop the caps into small pieces. (If you have fresh shiitake mushrooms, use about 1 cup, sliced, and skip the soaking.)

Heat a non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger along with a couple of drops of sesame oil. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. (If using fresh mushrooms, cook until mushrooms soften.)

Add the soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of water, and the sugar to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the 1/2 cup water and sesame oil.

Remove the thawed bean curd sheets from the package and rinse gently under running water. Set aside the 4 best-looking (not torn) sheets, and cover them with plastic wrap. Tear the others into quarters, and add them to the sauce in the pan. Make sure all sheets are covered and allow to soak for about 15 minutes.

Dry off one of the full sheets, and lay it out on your work surface. Brush both sides of it with some of the sauce (the easiest way is to use a few of the soaking sheets to wipe on the sauce). With a short edge closest to you, place a quarter of the soaking sheets in a line about an inch from the bottom edge, leaving about an inch free on each side. Spoon a line of the mushroom mixture on top of the filling sheets, and cover with another 1/4 of the sheets, tucking them around the mushrooms to enclose.

Bring the bottom edge over the filling, and fold each of the sides over about an inch. Roll up tightly. Place another sheet on the work surface, wipe it down with a little sauce, and put your roll on top of it. Roll it up in this second sheet, sealing the edge with a sprinkling of cornstarch. Set aside and repeat with remaining ingredients to form two rolls. (If you have leftover mushrooms, keep them to use in the Five-Spice Sauce.)

Heat a large non-stick skillet. Spray it lightly with vegetable oil and add the rolls. Brown well on all sides, turning as needed. Use a chopstick to poke holes on two sides of each of the rolls (about 6 holes per side). Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the rolls, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 8 minutes. Turn and cook on other side for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the rolls to cool in the sauce before cutting into slices about 1/2-inch thick and serving.

To make the Five-Spice Sauce:
Put any leftover mushroom mixture into the pan with any remaining sauce. Add all sauce ingredients except for the arrowroot/water mixture. Bring to a simmer, add the arrowroot mixture, and cook, stirring, until thickened. Serve warm with the “chicken” rolls.

Note: If you are making the 5-Spice Sauce by itself, start by sautéing 1 tsp. minced ginger and 1 clove minced garlic in the sesame oil for 30 seconds. Then begin the recipe from there.

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