Spicy Kung Pao Lentils with a delicious kung pao sauce, veggies and cooked lentils. Easy 30 minute weeknight dinner. Gluten-free Vegan Recipe. Note: If you find lentils too earthy, double the sauce, or use other legumes like chickpeas.
You knew this was coming right. a spicy kung pao sauce and vegetables and lentils!
The whole meal including the brown rice came together in like 40 minutes. The Lentils were put in their saucepan, brown rice in a pressure cooker. then I chopped up veggies, made the sauce, listened to some songs. Then when the lentils were almost done, I heated up the skillet for cooking the vegetables. While the vegetables got cooked, the lentils were ready and the brown rice was off heat and waiting on natural pressure release. Lentils and sauce cooked up for a few minutes then on the table.
Spice from the whole chilies, crunchy red pepper, celery and cashews/peanuts, earthy lentils and brown rice. perfect.
Use pre-cooked lentils, or other cooked beans like green mung beans, use Chickpeas! or seitan or Tofu. Add them at the step to add lentils. Use other vegetables like broccoli, snowpeas, eggplant etc. Double the sauce, add more chilies for more heat! This recipe is inspired my other popular Sweet and sour Lentils with mango.
This recipe is
spicy, sweet and sour
has least processed ingredients
is perfect for weekday meals.
More lentil recipes and asian recipes from the blog.
Kung Pao Lentils
For the Lentils:
- 1/2 cup (96 g) dry brown lentils washed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
- a generous pinch of salt
For the Sauce:
- 2-3 Tbsp (2 to 3 Tbsp) soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp dry sherry or rice wine
- 1 tsp hoisin sauce or use more soy sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2-3 tsp (2 to 3 tsp) raw sugar or use 1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
- a generous dash of lime zest 1/4 tsp
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp water
For the vegetables:
- 2 tsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
- 1/2 cup (75 g) chopped white or red onion
- 4 dried red chilies like arbol or red chinese broken into halfs (or use red pepper flakes to taste)
- 3 Tbsp cashews or peanuts
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch knob of ginger, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3/4 cup (75.75 g) chopped celery
- lemon juice and black pepper, for garnish
- Cook the Lentils: Combine the lentils, water, and salt in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over medium high heat, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender to preference. Let the lentils sit for 5 minutes before using. Drain excess water if needed and keep aside. Or use 1 1/4 cup cooked lentils or beans.
- Make the Sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients into a bowl. Mix well to combine and keep aside.
- Cook the Veggies: Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onion and chilies and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cashews or peanuts and mix for a few seconds. Add garlic and ginger and mix in. Add the peppers and celery and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the sauce and cooked lentils and mix well. Add a few more tbsp water, if you like extra sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce thickens and some is absorbed by the lentils. Taste and adjust spice and sweet. Add red pepper flakes to taste, if needed, and mix in. Garnish with a dash of lemon juice and black pepper. Serve with cooked rice or grains of choice.