Jamaican-Inspired Jerk-Spiced Seitan

Jamaican-Inspired Jerk Seitan

I had always wanted a luscious, reliable (and of course, easy) jerk seitan recipe, with lots of bell peppers and onions, but all the recipes I’d found rely on lengthy lists of spices, Scotch Bonnet peppers, and substantial time for marinating the seitan. After a couple of attempts to follow authentic-style recipes, with so-so results, I decided to throw authenticity to the wind, and take the easy route. This recipe may not be the genuine article, but its bold flavors never disappoint. Photos by Evan Atlas.

Serves: 4

Jerk sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot or organic cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup tropical fruit juice (mango, papaya, or pineapple)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup (see Note)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning mix, or more, to taste
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red or yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into long, narrow strips
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into long narrow strips
  • 1 pound seitan, cut into bite-sized strips
  • Hot cooked rice (or other grain if you prefer — quinoa, millet, etc.), optional

Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons or so of water. Whisk to combine in a small bowl with the remaining sauce ingredients.

Heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add half of the oil and add the onion. Sauté over medium-low heat until translucent.

Add the peppers and continue to cook until the onions and peppers are lightly browned. Transfer to a plate or bowl and set aside.

Jamaican-Inspired Jerk Seitan recipe

Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the seitan and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until golden brown on most sides. Pour in the sauce, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a minute or so longer, until the sauce has thickened and the seitan is nicely glazed.

Stir in the onions and peppers and serve at once, atop or alongside hot cooked grains, if you’d like.

Note: Molasses adds a more assertive flavor to the sauce. I prefer molasses to maple syrup here, but it definitely makes a statement.

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