Honey-soy not-chicken

Honey-soy chicken is probably one of those westernized Chinese favourites that I’m not sure is even a thing in China…

I’d never even thought to try it myself until I saw it on a menu in a vegan Asian restaurant in Sydney, and figured I’d give the not-chicken version a whirl. Well, it was a really fun and flavoursome dish, and it had me champing at the bit to recreate it at home, using seitan, that surprisingly easy-to-make mock meat.

So, here’s my re-styled version of honey-soy not-chicken. Now go play…! 😀

Flavour: Simultaneously sweet and savoury

Serves: 2 as a main mean, or 4-6 as a side dish


  • 300g seitan, cut into strips or bite-sized chunks (see here for seitan recipe)
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon palm sugar
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • pinch of salt
  • sprinkle of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup (as a substitute for honey)
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • quarter cup of water
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced into discs
  • 100g snow peas, sliced diagonally, each one into 2-3 pieces
  • any other vegetable of your choice – I tend to favour asparagus and/or capsicum for this, cut into 3-inch lengths

To garnish:

  • Finely sliced spring onion, green parts only (cut the white parts into 2cm chunks, and toss them into your stir-fry towards the end of the cook)
  • Toasted sesame seeds (you can dry-toast 1 teaspoon sesame seeds in a small skillet – they’ll only take 3-5 minutes to colour up)


Note: you’ll want to make your seitan in advance, as this will take at least an hour of prep time…

  1. Pour 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce into a bowl, add a few drops of sesame oil, and dissolve the palm sugar in the soy-sesame mixture – this is your marinade for the not-chicken
  2. Plop the seitan chunks into your marinade, turning gently to coat the chunks evenly – leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cornflour, salt and white pepper – this is for coating your not-chicken before you fry it
  4. In another separate bowl, mix the other 4 tablespoons of soy sauce with the rice malt syrup, teaspoon of cornflour, rice wine vinegar, and quarter cup of water – this is your honey-soy sauce mixture
  5. Remove your seitan from the marinade, and pat it dry with kitchen paper
  6. Roll your seitan in the cornflour, coating each piece evenly
  7. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok over a high heat – once it’s hot enough to sizzle, gently pop in your cornflour-coated seitan chunks, taking care to keep each piece separate so they don’t stick together
  8. Toss your seitan chunks in the hot oil every 20 seconds or so until they’re golden-brown and crispy all over
  9. Toss your garlic, ginger and vegetables into your wok, and cook, turning every 20 seconds or so, for 2-3 minutes
  10. Stir in honey-soy sauce, and remove from heat immediately
  11. Transfer to a serving dish, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions
  12. Serve immediately with freshly steamed white rice – enjoy! 🙂

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