Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Seitan stew (bò kho chay)

I finally learned how to make seitan to have the right taste and texture. I have tried many ways: steam, bake, boil; they turned out to be okay, but the best way is to cook it in the crock pot overnight. This is from a very famous Vietnamese dish, beef stew, that I used seitan to substitue for the beef.

Makes 4 servings

3 lemon grass stalks, use the handle of a knife or something heavy to crust each stalk, cut into inch-long
6 bay leaves
6 anise stars
2 cloves
10 pepper corns
1 4-inch long cinnamon stick

1 m table spoon canola oil

4 carrot, cut in half length wise then cut into 2-inch long
4 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch long
1 red bell pepper, cut into 2x2 inch pieces

1 gallon water
5 table spoons sugar or equivalent sweetener
2 1/2 table spoon salt
3 oz tomato paste

1 box of 10 oz vital wheat gluten (can be bought in whole foods in flour section)

1. Toast all the spices on medium in the toaster oven.
2. In a 6 quart pot, add oil, then add spices, stir until fragrant.
3. Add carrots, saute 1 minute.
4. Add celery, saute 1 minute.
5. Add pepper, saute 1 minute.
6. Add salt, sugar, stir well for about 2 minutes.
7. Add water, bring to a boil, transfer to a crock pot cook on high.
8. Take about 2 1/2 cups of the broth above, cool to touch to make seitan.
9. In a big bowl, add gluten flour, pour the broth to the bowl, mix well. Make into a roll, let it rest for 30 minutes.
10. From one end of the seitan roll, pull out a very thin piece, roll it to size of a thumb, cut it off from the seitan roll, add to the crock pot. Continue to do so for the rest of the seitan. Stir frequently.
11. Add tomato paste, cook on low over night or 8 hours.
12. Served with toasted French bread or with flat rice noodles, bean sprouts and basil leaves.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wrap-it-yourself brown rice

I made fried brown rice for work and at the spur of the moment, decided to bring in some roasted seaweed sheets for us to make wraps. It turned out to be a surprisingly delicious treat!

Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 carrots, peeled, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green summer squash, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
5 roasted seaweed sheets, cut into 2 to 4 pieces

1. On high heat, add oil to a pan or wok, add ginger, stir until brown.
2. Add carrots, saute 1 minute.
3. Do the same for squash, corn, peas.
4. Add salt, soy sauce and black pepper.
5. Turn off the stove, mix in pre-cooked brown rice.
6. Wrap 1/4 of seaweed sheet with 2 tablespoons of rice, tie with a string of cilantro.

7. Serve with soy sauce.
8. Enjoy!