I’ve been a lover of Asian food ever since I was a child. I think that it started with the semi-fancy Chinese restaurant that was near my house that my parents used to take my sister and I to pretty often. Over the years the servers and managers came to know us and greet my family with big smiles and great service. A few years ago, the restaurant moved due to construction and even though they are not far away, it has been a long time since I’ve been and I haven’t really bothered to see if they have any options for me.
There were many dishes that I enjoyed, but when I was thinking up Citruslove posts for this month, the Lemon Chicken dish that I used to order came to mind. The plate was simple, because it was family style dining, with a large boneless chicken filet covered in bread crumbs and pan-fried so that the crust was extra crispy. The filet had a healthy dose of lemon juice squeezed over it to add some acidity to what was basically a large chicken strip, but I loved it. The thought of eating chicken now is a bit appalling, but this seitan version is even better! Because the seitan is baked, there is no need for frying and I’ve added some more herbs and spices to punch up the flavor.
There are a few different ways that you can alter the preparation of the seitan. I only baked it originally, but the recipe is written as to how I recommend that you cook it so that you get a better texture from your wheat meat. You also don’t have to use Panko Crumbs specifically, you may also use a bread crumb/sesame seed crust, but I like using Panko because of the large size of the crumbs and the crunchiness it has once baked.
- 1 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
- 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Lemon Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1 Cup Vegetable Broth, I use Rapunzel No Salt Added
- 1 Quarts Boiling Water
- 1/2 Cup Panko Crumbs
- 4 tsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
- 2 Cups Leeks, Diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
- 3 Cups Baby Chinese Cabbage, Sliced into large pieces
- 1/2 tsp. Sesame Seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp. Liquid Aminos
- 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
- In a medium-sized bowl mix together vital wheat gluten, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper and salt. Pour the vegetable broth into the dry mixture and stir together until it is fully absorbed. Knead seitan for 2 minutes, and add just a bit more VWG flour if it seems too soggy to you.
- Bring water to a boil in a small-medium pot. Flatten the seitan to be roughly 3/4″ thick, and slice into 3 equal pieces. Place seitan pieces into the boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes, making sure that the pieces do not stick to each other.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F, pour the Panko Crumbs onto a small plate and get a small baking sheet ready (lined with foil if you want a quick clean up). Once, the seitan is done boiling, drip dry it so that the outside is still damp and glistening.
- Press the seitan pieces gently into the Panko crumbs so that they are fully covered, then place them onto the baking sheet. Squeeze roughly 1 teaspoon of lemon juice onto each piece then bake the seitan for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until the crumbs get a little golden. The seitan my puff up a little, but will settle back down after you take it out of the oven.
- While the crusted seitan is in the oven, warm the sesame in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Introduce the leeks to the hot oil and sauté for 1 minute, add in the garlic and cook for an additional two minutes.
- Add the Chinese cabbage, sesame seeds and liquid aminos to the pan, cover and let simmer over low-medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir the sauté and add in red pepper, cook until the cabbage is mostly wilted.
- Once the seitan is out of the oven, slice and serve with a slice of lemon plus a portion of the cabbage. I like to use sriracha on nearly anything remotely Asian-inspired, and with this it tasted great!
The amount of steps may look a little overwhelming, but I promise you that this is a super easy recipe to make and if you plan out the timing you can get it done in under an hour! The baking adds a nice firmness to the seitan and makes the Panko nice and crunchy, when combined with the cabbage sauté you really have a meal worth sharing with your friends and family.
Please join in on the #citruslove fun by linking up any citrus recipe from the month of January 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #citruslove event! The twitter hashtag is #citruslove :).