Seitan Unseen: Vegan Dumplings a la Goop.com

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At Gastrokid HQ LA (and Gastrokid HQ UK for that matter) we tend to be into your old fashioned whole foods like rice, beans, fresh vegetables, and ethically raised/sourced animal protein. So seitan, that meatlike soy-based substitute was a bit of a stretch the other day when we made some Asian-ish dumplings with the stuff. Inspired by a recent post on Goop.com about Gwyneth Paltrow’s friend and culinary sophisticated veganish pal Tamra Davis we thought we’d treat seitan like pork and riffed a gyoza-ish, wonton-wrappered dumpling with it and, yeegads it was good! I’m a big fan of cuisines that don’t substitute soy for meat (Japan. Hello.). So I felt good about this (at Gkid we tend to call fish fish and soy soy; we’re kinda crazy that way. Unlike Jessica Seinfeld.).

I didn’t measure a thing and don’t expect you too either. We bought a package (was it 8 ounces?) of seitan at Trader Joe’s and super finely chopped it all up (lots and lots of chopping to get it like a minced meat) with some garlic, fresh ginger, swiss chard, cilantro and mixed it up with a dash of salt and pepper and a teaspoon of corn starch. We gave it a jot of sesame oil for seasoning and fat and sealed it up in wonton wrappers. We steamed it. We ate it. We loved it. 7 year old Violet is a budding vegan (okay, she loves meat as long as it’s cured, so that doesn’t quite count) but is in full philosophical and palette support of such vegetarianish explorations, as much as we carnivores are too (we also made some pork dumplings which garnered favor too, but that’s another post altogether).
—Hugh

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