The Green Elephant in Your Home


This is a variation of one of my favorite recipes (“Slivered Seitan and Vegetable Stir-Fry”) in the China section of Fire & Spice by Robin Robertson. The recipe was completely tweaked to accommodate the ingredients in my fridge that I needed to use, but that just shows how versatile a dish like this can be. This recipe truly makes me feel like I’m eating at The Green Elephant,  which is one of my absolute favorite restaurants--simply because of the wide array of delicious vegetarian Asian food. Always delicious. 



1/3  cup water 

3 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp agave nectar (or any natural sweetener, such as light brown sugar)

1/4 cup shoyu (tamari or soy sauce)

1 1/2 tsp tomato paste

2 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 tbsp hoison sauce

1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbsp water

2 tbsp sesame oil (canola, safflower, or coconut oil are also good choices)

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced or minced

1 head broccoli, lightly steamed (to steam place a broccoli in a covered pan over medium heat with a small amount of water. Steam just a couple minutes and the broccoli will turn bright green) 

2 carrots, sliced 

1 (8 oz.) package of tempeh, cut into 1-inch slices

2 baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise and diced up if you choose 


*I left out the spicy ingredient naturally cause I’m not a big fan, but if you want to spice it up add 1/2 tsp of hot red pepper flakes to the sauce. 

*Mix up the veggies--try bell pepper, asparagus, kale, brussel sprouts...whatever you like and is in season! Or in your fridge : )



  1. In a small sauce pan, poach the tempeh in a pan of simmer water for 30 minutes. Pat the tempeh dry and set aside. 
  2. In a saucepan, combine the water vinegar, agave, shoyu, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, and hoison sauce, and bring to a boil, stirring until well mixed. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer until the sauce is thickened and translucent. Set aside. 
  5. In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and stir fry for a couple minutes. 
  6. Add the broccoli and tempeh and stir-fry until crisp and tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  7. Add the sauce mixture and stir to coat the veggies. 
  8. Add the bok choy and stir-fry for a couple more minutes, until the veggies are all coated and the bok choy is wilted. 

Serve with brown rice. I used Jade Pearl Rice, which was a nice alternative to plain old brown rice. 

Serves ~ 4