Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bulgogi Seitan with Garlicky Bok Choy

With Memorial Day, the unofficial start to summer, just around the corner, I'm devoting my next few recipe posts to the essence of summer food- citrus! Citrus perks up any dish, whether you're using a fruit based marinade, cutting up fruit slices into salads, or grilling fruit the way you would a veggie burger.

Since bulgogi- a Japanese dish of thin, marinated steak slices- is not a traditionally veg dish to begin with, I decided to continue shaking things up by adding a citrus element to the marinade. When hasn't a splash of orange juice perked up any dish? Though one would normally cook their bulgogi strips over a little table grill at a Japanese BBQ, super thin slices of seitan probably would not hold up as well- I opted to lightly pan sear them to not only maintain their sweet and savory flavor, but to avoid burning the seitan and of course not have it slip through the grill. If you reserve the extra marinade, you can add it to some sauteed bok choy and noodles, as I have, but you can use your fave veggie instead!

Happy grilling... uh, pan searing! 

The Whats:

* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 2 tbsp. sesame oil
* 1 tsp. garlic powder
* 2 tsp. brown sugar
* 8 oz. pkg. seitan strips, very thinly sliced
* 2 cloves garlic, halved and crushed
* 5 tbsp. olive oil* 2 bunches bok choy, chopped
* 4 oz. buckwheat soba noodles

The Hows:

1) Using paper towels, squeeze excess moisture from seitan strips. Allow strips to dry on a clean towel.

2) While strips dry, whisk together soy sauce, water, orange juice, garlic powder, and sugar in a small bowl. Place seitan strips in a gallon sized baggie; cover with 3/4 of the marinade. Seal bag and shake to coat. Allow seitan to marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours.

3) Heat 3 tbsp. of the olive oil in a heavy skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, sear seitan until just golden and edges are crisp, about a minute; flip seitan and cook opposite side until just golden. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels.

4) When seitan is finished cooking, reduce heat to medium, and add the remaining olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for two minutes. Add the bok choy to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until softened but still crisp. As bok choy cooks, prepare the soba noodles according to package directions; after draining and rinsing, mix the remaining marinade into the noodles. Place the cooked noodles on a plate and top with bok choy and bulgogi seitan. Serves 2.

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