Friday, July 9, 2010

Peruvian Seitan and Potato Skewers ( Seitan Anticuchos )

Wow this recipe was amazing! So so amazing! And as you can probably tell from the recipe, a lot of work to make. Today is not a special occasion but I just had to try these skewers from my Viva Vegan cookbook. The So Good, So Green sauce is not necessary to make but it does add a nice touch. The seitan was like nothing I've ever tried before. Probably because I always buy my seitan from the market and only attempted at making my own once, when I really didn't know what I was doing in the kitchen. This meal is great for all the upcoming outdoor summer parties. I hope you all have the chance to try it. Again, so worth all the extra work!

Printer Friendly Recipe Here

Steamed Red Seitan
Makes 4 seitan "loaves," each loaf serving 2, generously incorporated into entrees and other dishes
Time : Less than 45 minutes

( I found that the liquid was too much for the flour mixture. My seitan got drenched in liquid and I had to try to save it by adding more wheat gluten and chickpea flour. So please add a little liquid at a time and not just pour the entire thing in the bowl. )

* 1 1/2 cups cold vegetable broth
* 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed or grated with a Microplane grater
* 3 Tb mild soy sauce
* 4 Tb tomato paste
* 2 Tb olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
* 1/4 cup chickpea ( garbanzo ) flour
* 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1. In a measuring cup, whisk together the broth, garlic, soy sauce, tomato paste, and olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, oregano, and cumin and form a well in the center. Pour the liquid ingredients ( remember a little at a time )into the well and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes to develop the gluten. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes; knead again for 30 seconds. Place the dough on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and lightly knead each piece a few times. Shape each into a roughly oblong loaf shape.

2. Tear off four 12 inch square sheets of aluminum foil. Place a piece of dough in the center of a piece of foil. Fold the short sides of foil over the loaf, then fold over the ends. The foil should be secure but there should be some loose space around the dough to allow it to expand during steaming. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough. Place the wrapped dough in a steamer basket and steam for 30 minutes. Allow the dough to cool to the touch before chilling in the fridge for an hour or overnight.

3. Store the seitan in the fridge, tightly sealed in a plastic bag or airtight container, for up to 2 weeks. Seitan can also be frozen ( wrapped tightly ), then thawed in the fridge for later use.

So Good, So Green Dipping Sauce ( Green Aji Sauce )
Makes about 2 cups sauce
Time : Less than 10 minutes, not including chilling time

* 1 to 3 fresh green chilies, such as jalapeno, or serrano, seeds removed for less heat, if desired
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
* 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
* 2 Tb olive oil
* 3 Tb lime juice
* 1/4 pound romaine lettuce ( about 1/4 of a large head ), thick base removed, leaves chopped coarsely
* 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed
* 3 whole green onions, trimmed and chopped
* 3/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
* 2 to 4 Tb water

1. In a food processor or blender, blend all the ingredients except the water until smooth and creamy; stopping occasionally to scrape the sides or the processor bowl with a rubber spatula. Add a Tb of water at a time to thin the sauce to your desired consistency, if at all necessary. Taste the sauce and season with more lime juice or salt, if you like. Chill the sauce in a tightly covered container for 30 minutes or overnight before using. Keep chilled when not using.

Peruvian Seitan and Potato Skewers
Serves 2 to 3 generously as a main dish, or 4 as an appetizer
Time : About 45 minutes, including assembling the kebabs

* 1/2 recipe ( two loaves ) Steamed Red Seitan, or 3/4 pound seitan

Marinade :
* 5 cloves garlic
* 3 Tb aji panca paste or 3 tsp mild ground red chile powder, such as ancho
* 1/4 red wine vinegar
* 3 Tb peanut oil or vegetable oil
* 1 Tb agave syrup or brown sugar
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper, or to taste

* 1 pound waxy potatoes, preferably very small new potatoes ( about the size of a Bing cherry or smaller )
* 1 bell pepper, red or green, seeded and sliced into 1 inch pieces ( optional )
* 1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1 inch pieces ( optional )
* 12 to 14 bamboo or metal skewers ( if using bamboo, presoak skewers according to the package directions )

1. Slice the seitan into bite-size cubes, about 1/2 inch across, and place in a large mixing bowl. If using onion or pepper slices, add along with the seitan. In another mixing bowl, use the Microplane grater to grate the garlic into the bowl. Add the aji panca paste, red wine vinegar, peanut oil, agave syrup, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper and stir until smooth with a whisk or fork. Pour the mixture over the seitan cubes and veggies ( if using ) and toss to coat completely with marinade.

2. While the seitan is marinating, cook the potatoes. Thoroughly clean the potatoes first, leaving the skins on. If you're using potatoes other than small new ones, cut them into bite size chunks; leave small new potatoes whole. Place in a large, heavy pot and add enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are tender but still hold their shape, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain and spread the potatoes on a dish to cool enough to handle.

3. When the potatoes have finished cooling, preheat your grill according to the manufacturer's directions. Since these are quick-cooking ingredients, you want your grill to have an evenly hot, not blazing, heat that can crisp the outside of these skewers without over drying the seitan. If you're using a grill pan, you'll probably need 6 to 8 minutes to get your grill ready to go over medium-high heat. Make sure to oil your grill well, as seitan and veggies ( even the marinade ) doesn't contain loads of fat to keep things from sticking. I like to use those new high-smoking-point cooking sprays ( including ones designed for grilling ) just for this.

4. Prepare your anticucho by alternating pieces of marinated seitan with onions, peppers, and an occasional potato piece on the skewers. Brush with additional marinade, taking care to especially coat the potatoes. place the kebabs on the preheated grill. Don't crowd the pan; leave enough room so the edges of the ingredients can cook evenly. Occasionally brush the cooking kebabs with leftover marinade. Cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, until the seitan and vegetables are browned on the edges and look juicy. If the ingredients stick to the grill, spray more oil onto the grilling surface. Take care not to overcook the skewers. Remove from the heat and serve immediately with a cold beer, any potato dish, and So Good, So Green Sauce, if desired.


  1. Nice job. Great picture, too. You made them look very appetizing!

  2. These look scarily "real", but knowing they aren't I have to say they look delicious. Props to you for taking the time to make this recipe, my Viva Vegan book has been collecting dust because I'm too lazy to get all complicated. Oops!

  3. Hey Jacklyn, I want to make this green sauce-it sounds awesome! You really do post the best vegan food. Really nice...
    Happy Weekend, Jacklyn.

  4. Thank you Vegan Aide!

    Amanda, I know! They do look a lot like meat but where a lot softer in texture than meat. You should try some recipes from Viva Vegan. The Taquitos were really good and didn't require much work..oh the flan was also really good!

    Thank you Stella! Wishing you a great weekend as well : ]

  5. Next time someone has BBQ party, I will make this!
    Looks so good!

    Some people still think Vegan/Vegetarian food is boring. But it is NOT!

  6. Hi there,

    I'm excited to let you know that we will be using one of the great photos of the Peruvian Seitan and Potato Skewers in an iVillage slideshow about amazing vegetarian recipes for the grill and will link back to your website. If you do NOT want us to use this photo, please get back to me as soon as possible.

    The photo we are using is from this post:

    If you have a high-res image you could provide, could you email it to me at

    Thank you so much for your time!


    Ellen Niz
    iVillage Contributor