Sweet and sour seitan

One of my favourite childhood dishes! Traditionally, it’s made with deep-fried, bite-sized pork, but this is a vegan version. The sauce should be sticky and have a tang from the vinegar. Pineapple juice plays a big role here, giving sweetness to the sauce. Serve it alone with plain steamed rice for a perfect one-bowl dinner. You can easily substitute tofu, chicken, or pork for the seitan, but you should precook these proteins before mixing with the rest of the ingredients.

Serves 2 along with 1 additional dish


2 handfuls seitan, cut into bite sized pieces

Half red or green sweet pepper, cut into chunks

2 slices pineapple in can, cut into bite sized pieces

Half yellow onion, cut into bite sized pieces

Small handful scallions, white parts only

2 thick slices ginger, pounded

1 large garlic clove, pounded

Vegetable oil for frying


1/6 cup tomato sauce

1/6 cup pineapple juice

1/6 cup water

2 tbsp ketchup

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp corn starch

2 tbsp rice vinegar

Additional ingredients and preparation if you are using chicken or pork

200g meaty lean pork ribs or chicken thighs, bones removed

For marinade

1 tsp dark soy sauce

2 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp sesame oil

Few shakes of white pepper powder

Pinch of sugar

To coat

1 small egg, lightly whisked

1/4-1/3 cup corn starch

Recipe Preparation

Mix all marinade ingredients in medium bowl, add meat, toss to coat, then let sit for 15 minutes.

Wipe off excess marinade from meat, coat each piece in corn starch, and shake off excess. Put coated pieces in whisked egg, drip off excess, then return egg coated pieces to corn starch. Set aside for deep frying.

Shallow fry meat pieces until golden. They don’t have to be fully cooked through, as they will be returned to the sauce and vegetable mixture later. Set aside cooked meat pieces.

For sauce

Mix all ingredients in small bowl and set aside.


Heat large shallow frying pan or wok with 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high. Fry garlic, ginger, and onion, stirring frequently until onion is soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add sweet pepper and fry for 1 minute further. Add seitan, tossing ingredients and adding 1/4 of water. Let seitan slightly rehydrate while tossing ingredients in pan/wok. Cook until water is mostly soaked up by seitan pieces. (NOTE: if you are using meat, skip 1-4 cup water.)

Add scallion and pineapple and stir gently. Stir sauce before pouring into pan/wok and stir frequently until sauce starts to thicken and coats mixture in pan. Serve warm with steamed rice.

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