Asian-Styled Seitan and Vegetable Stew

Asian-Styled Seitan and Vegetable Stew

Last week, we finally got some much needed rain here in Northern California – perfect weather for making a stew. Something that’s hearty and full of flavor, something warm and comforting, something with star anise, perhaps?

I love the very distinct licorice taste and aroma of star anise, it’s one of the very few spices used in Chinese cooking. You may recognize the taste as it’s the primary flavoring in Chinese 5-spice powder.

Normally used in slow cooked meat dishes, I decided to try star anise with seitan and root vegetables in a kind of red-cooked dish. Red cooking or Chinese stewing is a Chinese cooking technique that turns ingredients a deep red-brown color by braising in a dark soy sauce flavored broth.

With no meat, it cooks fairly quickly, basically it’s done when the veggies are soft. Makes for a quick, satisfying weekday meal and like most stews, it’s even better the next day when the flavors combine even more.

Asian-Styled Seitan and Vegetable Stew

Asian-Styled Seitan and Vegetable Stew
Serves 2

2-3 pieces whole star anise
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cinnamon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2″ piece of fresh ginger, minced
8 ounces seitan chunks
3 medium red potatoes
1 medium carrot
1/2 medium daikon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 green onion stalk, chopped

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl, mix well and set aside. Peel and slice the carrot at a diagonal, peel and cut the potatoes and daikon into 1″ chunks, add to the sauce bowl along with the seitan. Mix, making sure everything is well covered in the sauce.

Heat a wok until it’s hot, add the oil, swirl to coat the wok. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the bowl ingredients, give it a few quick tosses and add water to just barely covering. Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and the vegetables are done, about 20 – 25 minutes. To serve, discard the star anise pieces and garnish with the chopped green onions.

16 Comments so far

  1. Carrie on March 7th, 2009

    Your pictures are gorgeous!! That soup looks like it would be fantastic on a cold winter day.

  2. veggievixen on March 7th, 2009

    omg looks so good! i want to eat it up.

  3. HoneyB on March 8th, 2009

    Looks very delicious! Love your photo!

  4. Tami (Vegan Appetite) on March 8th, 2009

    Wow, that looks amazing.

  5. dreaminitvegan on March 8th, 2009

    That looks so good!!!

  6. lisa (show me vegan) on March 8th, 2009

    SO gorgeous! I would totally buy a coffee table book of your vegan food photos.

  7. Philippa O on March 9th, 2009

    mmmm this looks so good! really warming and i LOVE 5 spice flavour

  8. chow on March 9th, 2009

    Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! :-)

  9. Jessica on March 10th, 2009

    This looks very warming and delicous. Would this count as a Japanese style “oden” dish?

  10. Jodye on March 10th, 2009

    Lovely pictures, and the stew looks delicious!

  11. chow on March 11th, 2009

    Jessica – Thanks! I don’t think it counts as a Japanese style oden dish. It’s more Chinese inspired than anything else.

    Jodye – Thank you!

  12. Liz² on March 14th, 2009

    intrigued !!
    especially by the daikon, yum. :P

  13. Keri on January 23rd, 2012

    What kind of seitan did you use? Looks delicious and would love to try and make this recipe!

  14. chow on January 23rd, 2012

    Keri – I used WestSoy cubed seitan, I usually find it at Whole Foods. Someday I would love to use homemade seitan but I never seem to find the time so store-bought it is. :-)

  15. Weekend Eats V.9 » on March 3rd, 2014

    […] Asian Style Seitan and Veggie Stew […]

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