Spicy Seitan “Pork” with Malt Vinegar and Fried Potatoes

I had one-quarter of my seitan batch left and wanted to make something with it last night, but was missing ingredients for a lot of things. So I got the idea to search my ginormous curry cookbook, 660 Curries, for a meat curry. I chose “Spicy Pork with Cider Vinegar and Fried Potatoes,” or “batata dukkar vindaloo.” I replaced the meat with seitan and used malt vinegar instead of cider, because I did not have enough cider vinegar on hand and the recipe suggested either type. I also left out the fresh chiles. I should have cut the the dried chiles, too, it was sooo spicy. The seitan really absorbs everything, especially heat!

First I cut 5 smallish red potatoes in half and sliced them. I heated canola oil in my wok and put the potatoes as flat as I could and tried to brown both sides as best I could. I wasn’t super successful with that, but it doesn’t really matter since the whole dish ended up being quite brown.

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And then I set them aside on a papertowel on a plate.

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While the potatoes were frying, I got all my spices together: 2 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp black peppercorns, 6 whole cloves, 3 dried red chiles, and 1 cinnamon stick broken into pieces.

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After the potatoes were removed from the wok, I put the spices in to toast them, and then put them into my blender. I added 1/2 cup malt vinegar, some chopped red onion, and 8 whole cloves of garlic.

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I blended that up. Then I heated some more canola oil in my wok and added some thinly sliced red onions. While those fried for a few minutes, I quickly sliced up my chunk of seitan. When the onions began to caramelize, I added the seitan to the wok.

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Once it began to brown nicely, I poured in the sauce I just made in the blender along with a cup of water I had used to wash out the blender jar (USE ALL THE SPICES!).

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After stirring to deglaze the wok, I turned the heat down and covered it. It would simmer for about 20 minutes, which is why I set up some rice to cook at that time. When the rice was done, I turned off the heat and let it sit on its burner while I added potatoes to the seitan in the wok.

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I let it cook for 5 to 10 minutes, and then I dished it up.

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It’s certainly not the prettiest dish, but it was tasty. And HOT. This was definitely spicy, even for me. I ate it with a lot of rice. But I was glad the seitan worked and I think I’ll be trying more meat and poultry recipes from this book. However, I will always cut back the spices because I think animal meat and non-meat alternatives incorporate spice and heat differently.

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