Friday, April 3, 2009

Grilled Ginger-Spiced Seitan with Red Peppers, Scallions, Pea Shoots and Sesame Seeds Stuffed in Lettuce Leaves

I got this idea from a Chinese pork dish I saw in a culinary magazine and used the recipe for a Vegetarian Picnic class I taught at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health. Seitan is a good source of protein especially for vegetarians who are trying to have something that has chew to it. It is made by making a simple dough and extracting the protein from it by running the dough under water. The protein strands that are left are formed into a ball then simmered in a flavored broth.

The seitan works really well on the grill but if you are cooking indoors and have no stove top or electric grill pan you can broil the seitan. I am not a huge sprouts person but I do love pea shoots. They are also delicous gently sauteed either with extra-virgin olive oil and garlic or you could use fresh ginger and sesame oil. Using the lettuce leaves as the wrap makes it a light entree. You could substitute a tortilla, naan or wrap for more heft.

Grilled Ginger-Spiced Seitan with Red Peppers, Scallions, Pea Shoots and Sesame Seeds Stuffed in Lettuce Leaves

Makes 6 Stuffed Lettuce Rolls

1 pound Seitan, large chunks
1 tablespoon minced ginger
¼ cup tamari
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon thai toasted chili paste
1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces
8 scallions, washed and trimmed
6 large, crisp romaine lettuce leaves, washed
½ ounce (approximately) pea shoots, cut into thirds
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
hot sauce, optional

1. Place seitan in a medium bowl. In a small bowl blend the ginger, tamari, rice wine vinegar, oils and chili paste. Pour marinade over the seitan, stir and set aside.
2. Meanwhile light grill to medium heat. Grill the peppers and scallions until cooked well and nicely charred. Let cool, chop the scallions, and cut peppers into strips and set aside.
3. Meanwhile remove seitan from marinade and place on the grill. Strain and reserve the marinade. Turn seitan every once in a while until all sides are crisp and have nice char marks. When seitan is just about cooked, baste the seitan with the reserved marinade. Take seitan off the grill, allow the seitan to cool a bit, slice and set aside.
4. Take the lettuce leaves, place some pea shoots on each, divide the seitan and place on each leaf, top with bell peppers and scallions. Garnish with sesame seeds and a few drops of hot sauce if using. Roll up and enjoy!

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