Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a pioneer of delicious plant-based cuisine, with a ton of cookbooks under her belt. Her recent release has a signature fantastic name: The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook. Everything is as colorful and attractive as it is delicious and hearty, particularly this vegan seitan negimaki.
Beautifully grilled teriyaki rolls stuffed with vibrant scallions — swoon! The characteristics that I wanted to really shine were the charred grilled flavor and, of course, the scallions. The simple marinade of hoisin and mirin really does its job, keeping things juicy with the perfect marriage of sweet and savory. This recipe makes more seitan than you’ll need, but that’s okay — any leftover seitan will be great in a stir-fry. It may take a couple of tries before you get the strips perfectly thin for wrapping.
Tip: If you’re cooking these on an outdoor grill, soak the toothpicks in water for at least 15 minutes beforehand so that they don’t burn too badly.
- 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha, plus extra for optional garnish
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 bunches scallions, green parts only, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
- A few tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 9 1/4 cups vegetable broth, separated
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the flat side of a knife
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
For the seitan broth
Fill a stockpot with 8 cups of vegetable broth, smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves, cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
For the seitan
In the meantime, mix the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, chickpea flour, onion powder, sage and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add 1 1/4 cups broth, tamari and olive oil. Mix with a fork and then use your hands to knead for about 3 minutes, until it's a firm dough and everything looks well incorporated. Divide into eight even pieces. An easy way to do this is to divide the dough in half, then divide those halves in half, and then divide those halves in half. Ta-da! Eight pieces. Stretch each piece into a cutlet, pressing the cutlet into the counter to smooth the surface. Let rest until the broth mixture has come to a full boil.
Once the broth is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. This is important: The broth should not be at a rolling boil or you risk the seitan getting waterlogged (a.k.a. turning into brains). Add the cutlets and partially cover the pot so that steam can escape. Let simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Make sure to keep an eye on the heat, because it may start to boil again, in which case just turn it down a notch to keep at a slow, steady simmer.
When the seitan is done, you can let it cool right in the broth or remove a portion to use right away. Once cooled, store the seitan in a tightly covered container, submerged in its broth.
For the rolls
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the hoisin, mirin, water, Sriracha, sesame oil, and ginger.
Cut the seitan into long strips about ⅛ inch thick. Don’t worry about making them perfectly even. Just make sure that each slice can wrap around your pinkie nicely, without breaking or being unruly. Once you have 16 slices, put them in the bowl with the marinade for an hour, flipping occasionally.
After an hour, move all the seitan to one side of the marinade bowl and add the scallion pieces, coating them in the marinade. Your bowl should now be one side seitan and one side scallion, more or less.
Form the rolls on a large dinner plate to avoid messiness. Place one slice of marinated seitan on the plate. Lay 4 or 5 scallions across, so that the scallions will poke out of the ends by an inch or so. Now roll the seitan around the scallions and secure it with a toothpick or two. Make sure that the toothpicks are going in the same direction, parallel to each other, so that you’ll be able to grill them without toothpick interference.
Once all the rolls are formed, heat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan over medium heat. In an average-size grill pan, you will have to cook the rolls in two batches. Spray or brush the grill with oil and cook the rolls until grill marks appear on one side, about 4 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula to get under the rolls and flip them, spraying with more oil as necessary. Cook on the other side until grill marks appear, another 4 minutes.
Transfer the rolls to a serving plate. When ready to serve, drizzle with any leftover marinade and some more Sriracha if you like it spicy (it’s okay to leave it off) and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve!