Saimin with Meatless Char Siu
1 cup dehydrated soy chicken nuggets
2 cups water
2 tablespoons char siu BBQ powder
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup soba buckwheat noodles, cooked
3 tablespoons kabocha squash, diced
1/4 cup collard greens, shredded
1/4 cup red cabbage, sliced
1 cup vegetable broth
Rehydrate the soy chicken nuggets by simmering them in boiling water for about twenty minutes. As a rule when rehydrating soy chicken nuggets, use 1 part product to 2 parts water. The dried nuggets will nearly double in size when rehydrated. The texture of the nugget should be similar to chicken breast. If it is tougher than this, continue simmering in water. Almost all the water should evaporate during this process. If not, pour off excess water leaving a couple of tablespoons of liquid in the pan. It’s best to use a non-stick pan for this dish.
When the nuggets are “chicken” tender, add the char siu bar-b-q powder so each nugget is coated thoroughly. Spread the pieces evenly on the pan so the soy chicken can brown and caramelize. Add the soy sauce and continue to heat. The soy chicken nuggets will now start to dehydrate again so the texture will get chewier and be more like pork. This dish will have the flavors and texture equivalent to char siu, a local favorite dish in Hawaii, but this will be a much healthier alternative. Soy chicken nuggets have zero cholesterol and zero fat! Once the nuggets are caramelized, let them cool, and slice them very thin. If desired, the prepared soy chicken can be frozen and used as needed for future meals.
To make an easy, meatless saimin, put the cooked soba noodles in to a bowl. Add your favorite veggies and the sliced meatless char and pour hot vegetable broth over the entire dish. You can also put this tasty meal into the microwave if you prefer the vegetables to be tenderer.