Monday, July 2, 2012

Nori- and Sesame-Crusted Seitan

This dish has become my greatest work of art thus far. May I present to you Nori- and Sesame-Crusted Seitan from the Candle 79 Cookbook . If you are seeking a rich, savory dish with unexpected flavors that will impress the foodiest of foodies, then you have found the dish. The rich savory cilantro-mint marinated nori- and sesame-crusted seitan is placed atop a bed of gingered snap peas and seasoned soba noodles in an edamame-mint sauce and garnished with scallions. If that doesn't make your taste buds explode just by the sound of it, I don't know what will.

A word of warning: I will admit that to create this dish with all of its pairings it is a serious time commitment. I recommend preparing it over a period of two days (a weekend would be perfect) when you have a considerable amount of time to devote to it. It involves making the seitan cutlets from scratch (3.5 hours), marinating them overnight, then making the crust, gingered snap peas, soba noodles, and edamame-mint sauce (another 2.5 hours or so).  Alright, enough of my warnings, let's get started.

First, make the Seitan Cutlets, then make the marinade.  Note: you could buy seitan cutlets, but they will never taste as good as these and they probably won't soak up the marinade as well as fresh ones will.

  • 2 T plus 3/4 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 T white miso
  • 1 tsp sea salt
To make the marinade, heat the grapeseed oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Put the onion, sesame oil, cilantro, mint, red pepper flakes, water, miso, and salt in a blender and process until smooth.

Place the cutlets in a glass dish. Pour the marinade over the cutlets, coating them well. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Next, make the crust.

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 nori sheets, broken up into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To make the crust, put the flour, nori, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl, making sure the nori is crushed into the mixture.

Drain the seitan, squeeze out the excess liquid, and discard the marinade. Dredge the cutlets in the crust mixture, pressing it into the seitan with your hands to ensure that the seitan is completely covered.

In a large saute pan, heat 4 tablespoons of grapeseed or safflower oil over medium heat until hot. Add the cutlets and cook until golden brown for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Add more oil as needed to cook all of the cutlets.

Drain on paper towels.

To plate, put the Edamame-Mint Sauce in a restaurant bowl or plate, put the Gingered Snap Peas in the middle of the plate on one side, and fold the Soba Noodles on the other side. Cut the seitan cutlets in half and place atop the snap peas and noodles. Garnish with scallions, red pepper, or radish to add some color and/or crunch. And there you have it, a beautiful, delicious meal fit for a king (or queen)! Bon appetit!


  1. That looks very delicious. I have never been to Candle 79 in New York before. For some reason, New York appears to the be last destination I will probably want to visit in terms of vegan eateries. I just love to travel around and explore new vegan places that anyone has never been to or really passed through.

  2. Hi Taiwan Vegan - that sounds like fun! It is always great to discover restaurants on your own without guidance! I hope you'll try my recipe - you'll never want to eat out again!