This is a mash-up of my French and Japanese influences, with a very American meat-and-pasta sensibility. “Scaloppini” refers, of course, to a thin cut of meat, which here is gardein™, a vegan substitute that’s a great transitional food for meat-eaters (see page 135). Instead of European wine, this sauce calls for sake, and shiitakes are swapped in for traditional button mushrooms. The udon noodle cakes and pea shoots are another Asian touch, but the overall complexity and lushness of the dish give it a French feel.

For the udon noodle cakes:

  • 4 (7-ounce single-serving) packs precooked udon noodles, still in their packages (see note)
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the pea shoots:

  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup faux chicken stock
  • 2 cups packed pea shoots
  • Microgreens

For the chicken:

  • 4 gardein™ chick’n scallopini or
  • 8 gardein™ chick’n filets
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into ¼-inch slices

  • 1 cup dry sake
  • ½ cup faux chicken stock
  • ½ cup Earth Balance
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  1. Make the udon noodle cakes: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Remove the plastic from each pack of noodles, keeping the noodles tightly packed. Using a 3-inch round cutter or ring mold, cut one round of noodles from each pack.
  2. Place a large sauté pan over high heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.
  3. Add the noodle cakes and fry until browned and crisp on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as they cook, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and put in the oven to keep warm.
  4. Make the chicken: Flatten the gardein™ filets with your hand to ½ inch thick, then cut each one into 3 pieces. Season the pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour.
  5. Wipe out the pan you used for the noodle cakes and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Heat over medium heat, then add the chicken pieces and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, heat over medium heat, then add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Deglaze the pan with the sake and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock and cook for 2 more minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Earth Balance 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly so that the sauce doesn’t separate. Return the gardein™ to the pan and toss to coat it with the sauce. Cover to keep warm while you make the pea shoots.
  8. Make the pea shoots: Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke.
  9. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the stock and pea shoots and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until wilted. Drain the excess liquid.
  10. Place a noodle cake in the center of each plate. Top each cake with a spoonful of pea shoots, then top the pea shoots with 3 pieces of the gardein™. Spoon a little of the sake and mushroom sauce over the gardein™ and drizzle it around the inside of the plate. Garnish with microgreens and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 45 minutes

meatless chicken scaloppini