Seitan Cutlets: Pan Fried

Seitan (wheat gluten) is very versatile. I usually make deli logs of it, but today “steaks” were made!

Served with parsley "butter".

This is a quick and easy recipe from Vegweb. I used a bouqet garni for “red meat” in the broth.

    2 quarts hot water
    3 onions, sliced, not chopped
    3/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup brown sugar, molasses or other sweetner of your choice
    3 cloves garlic, minced

    1 cup water
    1 cup vital gluten flour


1. Place broth ingredients in 4 to 6 quart kettle.  Bring to a rolling boil.  

2. Meanwhile, place water in large bowl for the gluten, add the vital gluten flour and mix with hands or wire whisk, until mixture is smooth. Take handfuls and squeeze and massage until you have removed the excess water and have a relatively smooth, rubbery ball.  Set aside.  

Steak balls

3. Continue with remaining mixture until all the water has been squeezed out of the entire batch. Put the balls together to form a log, smooth and shape about 3″ across.  Slice and flatten each steak, drop into boiling broth.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.  

Boiling steaks
Getting bigger! Watch that pot!

4. Remove steaks and bread and fry or bake.  If you choose to fry them, fry on one side in a small amount of oil, turn and add 1/2 cup of the broth they were boiled in to simmer the other side in.  Pouring the broth over all to moisten.
Serves: 8, Preparation time: 1 hour 

Breaded, and ready for action!
Cutlet deliciousness


Served with BBQ sauce

Another vegan omelet

This Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipe from Vegan Brunch. This is my go-to for omelet and it also makes great egg for any Japanese “tamago” roll/yaki/sushi recipes!

Vegan Omelet

from Vegan Brunch by I.C.M.

  • 2 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 pound silken tofu, lightly drained (not the vacuum packed kind) or soft tofu; Nasoya brand is recommended
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • ½ t turmeric
  • 1 t fine black salt, plus extra for sprinkling (optional)
  • ½ C chickpea flour
  • 1 T arrowroot or cornstarch

I have not used black salt with this recipe, but I have had it in the past and it does give it that sulphuric,eggy taste/smell

“Chop up the garlic, if using, in a food processor.
Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric, and salt. Puree until smooth.
Add the chickpea flour and arrowroot and puree again for about 10 seconds, until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides so that everything is well incorporated.

Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Well seasoned cast iron works great or use a regular nonstick skillet. Lightly grease the pan with either cooking spray or a very thin layer of oil. (The less oil the better for
the nice brown speckles we’re going for.) Also, make sure that you use a large skillet, as you need room to spread out the omelet and to get your spatula under there to flip. Don’t use an 8-inch omelet pan or anything like that. Here you’ll need at least 12 inches (tee hee).

Getting those brown flecks trial

In ½-cup increments, pour the omelet batter into the skillet. Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to spread the batter out into about 6-inch circles. (It’s okay if it isn’t a perfect circle.) Be gentle—if there are any rips or holes, that is fine, just gently fill them in as you spread the batter.
Let the batter cook for about 3 to 5 minutes before flipping. The top of the omelet should dry and become a matte yellow when
it’s ready to be flipped. If you try and it seems like it might fall apart, give it a little more time. When the omelet is ready to be flipped,
the underside should be flecked light to dark brown. Flip the omelet and cook for about a minute on the other side. Keep warm on a
plate covered with tinfoil as you make the remaining omelets.
Fill omelet with the fi lling of your choice, then fold it. Once the omelet has been filled, sprinkle with a little extra black salt, since some of its flavor disappears when cooked.

TIP If using soft tofu, some trial and error may be required because the water content varies so drastically from brand to brand. Some of my recipe testers added up to ½ cup of water and it worked beautifully. I find it’s best to start by adding ¼ cup of water to the batter. Do a mini omelet test by pouring 2 tablespoons into the pan. If the batter spreads out on its own and firms up when cooking, then you are good to go. If it just sits there in a mound and doesn’t move, then add up to ¼ cup more water to the batter.”

Fillings are whatever you want, just cook them ahead of time. I used the classic onion, pepper, mushroom, soy sausage, and Daiya cheese shreds as a nice weekend treat.

Vegan Omelet & home fries
mmmmmmm gooey goodness

If you have extra omelet, use the thinner, not so pretty pieces to roll up, sushi style.

Roll & slice

Before you roll it up, brush with soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Also great with sushi rice with a little nori (toasted seaweed).
It also get’s the seal of approval from the fellow ex-Japan inhabitant, Omni Monkey, who was confused as to why I would put egg in his lunch. Win!

Underground supper clubs

You may have heard of them. Secret get-togethers of foodies and sous chefs. More than a few are in London. A handful may be vegan. But what about when it comes to the ultimate pig-out day:


A lot of us Americans do not like the history of Thanksgiving and most of us aren’t going to be eating the traditional fare. Thankfully, Thanksgiving has evolved to actually being thankful for everything, being with loved ones (not necessarily your family), and entering food comas. And we all know: Vegans Do It Best.

There will be so much vegan food with new friends on 26 November, what’s not to like?! Click the picture for more info! Get your ticket while you can!

Shoujin Ryouri 精進料理 & Mock Eel

I posted before about Shoujin Ryouri (also seen as shōjin ryōri or shojin ryori), over three years ago when I stayed in a temple at Koya-san in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan (GO!). I’m very fond and passionate about it, being a vegan foodie Buddhist and all; though I don’t make it as often as I would like!

Shoujin Ryouri is a Buddhist temple food from Japan (brought back from China by Dogen, founder of Soto Zen Buddhism. A basic history can be found here).

One of the things I love is the balance and rules of the cuisine. Every dish must have:

5 colors: black, white, red, yellow, green
5 tastes: sweet, spicy, sour, salty, bitter
5 preparations: raw, boiled, steamed, fried, grilled
Psst- Google “精進料理” and the food will literally pop your eyeballs out of your head it’s so amazing. @o@

One of the things I love about my city life is the opportunities that are available. And a couple of those opportunities arose when The Enlightened Kitchen author Mrs. Mari Fujii came to town: an invitation to the Embassy of Japan and a hands-on cooking class from Atsuko’s Kitchen. My head nearly exploded twice I was so excited!

Oh my gosh, a “for your consideration” page break? Yes! It’s a long and photogenic post. Don’t worry there is a RECIPE for MOCK EEL in there too! Click MORE!

Continue reading “Shoujin Ryouri 精進料理 & Mock Eel”

Oil-free, perfectly-popped popcorn

Popcorn is promoted as a healthy snack. Well, on its own! When you start adding margarine and salt and chocolate and nuts, well… not so much =) But those types are more treats I think. Everyday popcorn, that’s what I want!

You may be thinking, “Duh Ronin, I know that. I’ll just throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave-” Whoa stop right there! Did you know there is all sorts of nasty chemicals in pop corn bags? I think I’ve see compostable organic popcorn bags, but seriously, bulk is so much cheaper and you know everything that’s in it.

You can still pop bulk corns in a paper bag, but it’s not reusable and you still need oil/margarine.

1. Bulk popcorn is SUPER CHEAP

2. You can control what goes in it

3.  No oils

4. Takes about 5 minutes. Fast!

I’ve fine tuned this method so I rarely have any unpopped or burnt popcorn. Quite a feat!

Perfect Popcorn

1 Tbsp popcorn kernels = 2 Cups popped popcorn = one regular bowl full, perfect for one person.

Non-stick frying pan*: always choose a pan bigger than you think you need!

Lid to cover frying pan

*FYI: Many non-stick pans use nasty chemicals, too. When the time comes for a new one, please choose an eco PTFE & PFOA-free pan(UK). Go Green (USA) .

1. Heat pan on medium heat.

2. Add kernels. Put lid on pan.

3. Shake every 10 seconds.
Just a quick jiggle of the handle, nothing insane. It’s just to distribute the heat on the kernel and not to burn it on one side.

4. When kernels start to pop, shake every 3-5 seconds.
This distributes heat evenly, and shakes the kernels to the bottom so they all get popped! Likewise, the popped go to the top and do not sit on the bottom to burn.

5. When kernels stop popping rhythmically after three seconds, TAKE OFF HEAT.
Do NOT leave it on thinking, “Oh, just in case there is some more…” NO! Doing this will burn your popcorn!

6. Leave the lid on for another 15 seconds for any residual heat to pop any leftover kernels.

If the first couple pops of your kernels are lackluster and only half way open, turn your heat up just a tiny bit.
If the kernels are becoming worringly black, turn the heat down a bit. *They will normally get a tiny bit black while heating.

Add toppings if you like!

I like curry, or salt and nutritional yeast. To make the yeast stick, add melted margarine, shake, add toppings, gently shake again (or it all ends up at the bottom).

If you do not use margarine, sprinkle your spices/flavourings but do not shake. They will naturally mix as you eat it =)

Homemade Spicy Ketchup

Almost ketchup

So yesterday you started making your spicy mustard. So obviously the next step is to make some ketchup! Spicy ketchup at that! Oh oh oh, did I mention the best part? BONUS SALSA at the end!

This is originally a Jaime Oliver recipe . I only had a few tomatoes so I halved the recipe. I’m sure you could double it as well! Wouldn’t it be great with yellow, orange, or green tomatoes?!

Spicy Ketchup

3 pounds very ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped 
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
1 large clove garlic, minced 
1/4 cup light brown sugar 
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard 
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice 
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 
Pinch ground cinnamon 
1/4 cup cider vinegar 

Puree the tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Strain puree through a medium-mesh sieve, pressing with a rubber spatula to get out all of the juices. Set tomato puree aside.  SAVE the solids for salsa! 

Separating tomato solids and liquid

In a non-reactive saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes; do not allow to color.

Add the tomato puree and all remaining ingredients except the vinegar and salt and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally at the beginning and more often towards the end of the cooking time, for about 1 hour or until thickened.

Add the cider vinegar and salt and cook for 25 to 30 minutes more, until the consistency of ketchup.

Eat me!

Adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Set aside to cool. 

Store in non-reactive airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or USE canning method and this will keep for years.

Seat-of-your-pants Salsa!

Kitchen Sink Salsa

While making the ketchup, I was upset that the original recipe had you discard the leftover solids. I had a “Make it work!” moment, and so I did!

  • Onion or shallot, minced (about the same amount as the tomatoes)
  • garlic powder, or freshly minced (light sprinkling)
  • lime juice (light sprinkling)
  • salt, to taste (light sprinkling)
  • one fresh herb of choice: coriander, chives, basil, etc.
  • Anything else you like! Spring onions, jalapeños, etc.
I haven’t added measurements because your tomato solids will vary, so I have given a rough guide.
Put it in a bowl and mix! You’re done! Enjoy your salsa while your ketchup is simmering away =)

Easy Homemade Spicy Mustard!

Thassa spicy mustard!

That’s right. You can make mustard at home and it’s super simple. Fix it and forget it. And I’m NOT talkin’ the mix-some-mustard-powder-with-water-and-call-it-a-day mustard. Nu-uh. I’m talkin’ about BAD-ASS mustard! Mustard seeds have bite to them when cut, which gives this a natural intensity. Don’t worry- you can handle it!

I’m posting today, so you can make it for the weekend (it takes 2 days to make). I know picnic weather has left a lot of us, but you Southern Hemispherians and some others can enjoy it outside. Why don’t the rest of us have an indoors picnic? (That sounds like a lot of fun actually…)


Spicy Wholegrain Mustard

  • ¼ C + 2 T yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 T black mustard seeds*

What else can I do with Brussels Sprouts?

I’ve made Brussels Sprouts before, even having it listed 3 other times on my little food tag list over there, ———————————–>
I only ever put general ideas, not recipes. Even though I’ve put up plenty of recipes, Vegan Ronin is about the FEEL of food. Letting meals come organically (except desserts; not a lot of improvising with the core science of fats and starches and what not). So here are more ideas for Brussels sprouts! We have them for a few more months in season, so enjoy!

  • Last post for mustard glazed sprouts, as well as how to clean and cook different cuts of them.
  • I like to steam whole BS (hee hee), and add them to a hot pan of margarine with fresh minced garlic and a sprinkle of salt. Stir around until golden.
  • Another treat is halving (or quartering big BS), and putting them in a pan, raw, with a little bit of veggie oil. When nearly cooked, add a big spoonful of Chinese black bean sauce and heat through.
  • I like to wrap BS  in dough and bake them for an extra butter-y treat (no really, look at my Brussels Bites!)

I found this great BS flavor match extensive list at (it has a lot of other BS tips as well!):

Apple Cider Vinegar
Bacon, vegetarian (Eat sparingly — this is not a health food.)
Bread Crumbs
Butter, non-dairy (I like Earth Balance)
Cheese, non-dairy (especially Parmesan, Swiss and Monterey Jack)
Cream, non-dairy
Green Onions
Maple Syrup
Pepper, Black
Peppers, Sweet
Pine Nuts
Sour Cream, non-dairy (Eat sparingly — this is not a health food.)