October 5, 2008

Seitan Chops Smothered In Apples And Ginger

by IsaChandra

The stars of the hour, apple and ginger!

You know a dish is a keeper when you don’t want to wash your hands for hours afterwards because they smell so delicious.

When Katie announced this week’s Iron Chef Challenge ingredients I knew that I couldn’t go with the obvious, so I immediately crossed any and all baked goods off my imaginary list. But I’m still a little embarrassed that I came up with my dish because Peter Brady popped into my head, “Pork chops and appleshauche, porkchops and appleshauche…” Obviously, my Peter Brady was a vegan one.

I wanted a tender seitan. Not soft exactly – toothsome but not tough. I’ve been wanting to try chickpea flour in the Veganomicon seitan recipe instead of nutritional yeast and it really did the trick – exactly what I wanted. Simmered seitan was the way to go here because baking or steaming would give too stiff a texture. Once simmered and cooled, I sliced them lengthwise in kind of a diagonal to create a more organic shape because I wasn’t up for eating any right angles or geometry of any sort.

I used whole wheat panko to coat the cutlets, with lots of fresh rosemary and pan fried in olive oil to get a crispy on the outside, tender on the inside bite. You have got to love the aroma or fresh rosemary in the frying pan.

And finally – the star of the evening! Thick slices of rome apples with a little maple syrup and brown sugar and loads and loads of fresh minced ginger. I threw in a handful or dried cranberries and baked until tender and just a little caramelized. I also made a separate pan of crispy sauteed shallots for another dimension of savory with a hint of sweet. And then I smothered it all over the chops. And it was good.

It looks like a hot mess but I didn’t feel like taking a lot of time to set it up, I really wanted to eat it – I served with sweet and salty maple baby carrots, brown basmati and sauteed purple kale

Seitan Chops Smothered In Apples And Ginger

Serves 4

For the Ginger And Apples:

3 Tablespoons fresh minced ginger

2 pounds rome apples (or any crisp red apple), peeled and sliced into 1/3 to 1/2 inch slices

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon olive oil

handful dried cranberries (about 3 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons brown sugar



For the shallots:

2 cups thinly sliced shallots

1 tablespoon olive oil

For the seitan cutlets:

1 recipe Veganomicon seitan (with chickpea flour instead of nutritional yeast, and minus the garlic and lemon), shaped into 4 cutlet shapes (please don’t make me write out that recipe! You have v-con right?) and cooled


Breading ingredients:

3/4 cup panko breadcrumb, preferably whole wheat

3 cloves minced garlic

3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary

1/4 teaspoon salt

Several dashes fresh black pepper

Olive oil for pan frying


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put all the apples on the sheet and toss with maple syrup and olive oil to coat. Spread out into a single layer. Scatter in the cranberries and ginger and then sprinkle on the brown sugar.

Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tin foil and flip the apples. Bake for 15 more minutes or until tender and slightly browned.

While the apples are baking prepare your shallots. I used the same cast iron pan for the shallots and the cutlets to cut down on dish duty. Just saute the shallots in the oil over medium high until shallots are nice and brown and crispy in spots. Transfer them to a bowl and cover with tin foil to keep warm.

Now make the cutlets.

They should be cool to the touch and still damp from the simmering. Slice them lengthwise and at an angle to create 8 pieces.

On a plate, toss together all of the breading ingredients. Preheat your pan to medium heat. Press each pieces into the breading to coat well.

Pour a nice thick layer of oil into the pan. You’re not deep frying so don’t go overboard but 1/4 inch of oil would be just great. Pan fry the seitan for about 3 minutes on each side and then another 2 to 3 minutes or so on each side until nicely browned. Do it in two batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan.

To plate:

Lay each cutlet on the plate, top with some shallots and then smother in lots of apples.

This was so fun, thanks for the great ingredients Katie! And check out all the other entries for this week. Don’t miss the next one!

  • October 5, 2008 at 4:32 pm: Jay

    This dish is so cool!! This is what I had in my head too! I did it with tofu though! I like yours so much better. My apples were really on the savory side. I like your mix of sweet with the apples and savory with the shallots. Awesome Isa! Can’t wait till next week’s iron chef challenge!

  • October 5, 2008 at 4:54 pm: Veg-in-Training

    Nice presentation. Oh the crispy seitan cutlets sound so good.

  • October 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm: AsstroGirl

    Oh my god, Isa. That totally rocks.

  • October 5, 2008 at 5:54 pm: KarynMC

    That looks like what I would do for Thanksgiving dinner. Only better.

  • October 5, 2008 at 5:55 pm: Noel

    Wow, that looks fabulous! Yum nom nom.

  • October 5, 2008 at 6:24 pm: Joni

    like “pork chops and applesauce” but way better!

  • October 5, 2008 at 6:34 pm: River (Wing-it vegan)

    Genius! It doesn’t look like a hot mess, it just looks HOT! :)

  • October 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm: ruby red vegan

    Holy crap! You are amazing, absolutely amazing. (And I looove brown basmati!)

  • October 5, 2008 at 7:04 pm: Monique

    That sounds so effing good! I’m saving this recipe right now.

  • October 5, 2008 at 7:55 pm: Lisa

    Funny… The first thing I thought of was Peter Brady, too! Only I was not clever enough to execute it!

    Totally making this though…

  • October 5, 2008 at 9:30 pm: the little one

    Hey, I like to think great minds think alike! I made a seiten dish too – a veganized Chicken Pot Pie recipe. I totally loved this challenge!

  • October 5, 2008 at 10:46 pm: bex

    this looks a little too yum.

    Now I can hear Peter Brady

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:03 am: Julie Hasson

    Amazing Isa!

  • October 6, 2008 at 11:10 am: Desdemona

    DAMN. I want that!

  • October 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm: Kristi BadYogi

    Holy crap. If I don’t have too many people at Thanksgiving next Monday that may just be on the menu, especially since we’re apple picking the day before…

  • October 6, 2008 at 12:25 pm: jd

    I missed that this was even happening, but clearly you win. Swoony seitan, Isa. Swoony.

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:03 pm: Danielle

    Hi Isa,
    This isn’t about your recipe, but there’s an article in the New Yorker about pets, Leona Helmsley and animal rights. I thought of you! http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/09/29/080929fa_fact_toobin

  • October 6, 2008 at 2:53 pm: Marisa

    Wow, that looks awesome! I’m getting hungry!

  • October 6, 2008 at 3:31 pm: IsaChandra

    Kristi – this would make a great T-giving dish!

    jd – see what you are missing?

    yelly – I already saw that. Nothing gets passed me. NOTHING.

  • October 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm: Bethany

    Those look crisp-ity delicious. Yum!

  • October 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm: eesh

    Omg I’m so making this for my Thanksgiving dinner this Monday (Canadian)! Woo hoo! Thanks for posting this Isa :D

  • October 7, 2008 at 2:20 pm: Luciana

    I really should stop licking my monitor now.

  • October 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm: Abby

    Looks like this is this year’s Thanksgiving dish!

  • October 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm: Zoe

    Sounds wonderful, but I don’t see a temperature for the apples…?

  • October 7, 2008 at 10:48 pm: kp pickles

    well, that anwsers the question of what to make for thanksgiving on monday. Thanks, Isa!

  • October 8, 2008 at 1:27 am: IsaChandra

    zoe, you were right! I added the temp, 350 F. Thanks!

  • October 8, 2008 at 11:37 pm: kold

    Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-licious. When may I stop by? HeeHee — Seriously, if you know our country, you also know the Illuminati is controlling everything (they’re far above our Prez). Got moxie? Most of U.S. don’t. Read the signs of the times, dude: God’s a concrete, kick-ass reality. ?A must read if youse wanna live? -Fr. Sarducci, SNL

    tok2me. comment on anything.

  • October 9, 2008 at 4:34 am: Melisser

    Daaaaamn, that sounds good.

  • October 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm: Ziba

    Very psyched to try this after picking up some great apples from the farmers market, but a question: which V-Con seitan recipe? Assume the one for cutlets, but there is no nutritional yeast in that one.

    “1 recipe Veganomicon seitan (with chickpea flour instead of nutritional yeast, and minus the garlic and lemon), shaped into 4 cutlet shapes (please don?t make me write out that recipe! You have v-con right?) and cooled”

    Thanks, Isa!

  • October 12, 2008 at 8:38 am: Quark

    I made this last night and served it with the maple mustard potatoes and beans from VwaV. It took a long time to make everything (no knife skills here!), but it was sooooo good! The shallots, the ginger, the rosemary, the delcious fried panko….

    Okay, I’ll stop raving now:o)

  • October 14, 2008 at 5:00 am: IsaChandra

    Ziba, the Simple Seitan in veganomicon.

  • October 15, 2008 at 6:31 pm: Ziba

    Thanks, Isa. I did it wrong–used the cutlets recipe–but it was still great. One more reason to do it again!

  • November 10, 2008 at 6:04 pm: ruby red vegan

    Isa, may I sing your praises? Lalalala…

    I just made this for dinner (with brown basmati & broccoli for my sides) and OH MY GOSH it was incredible! I was strongly considering making it for a little vegan Thanksgiving dinner my friend and I are having soon, so tonight was the test run. And yep, we most certainly are definitely serving this as the entree at our dinner party now! Thanks for the awesome recipe! I wish I could eat this every single day. :)

  • December 13, 2008 at 9:56 am: Nar

    Beautiful presentation! It sounds very tasty too. I think that I would have to make it with the same sides you had, because it just looks and sounds perfect.

  • December 25, 2009 at 2:47 am: Cast iron cooking utensils

    Cookware Cast Iron” has a major drawback is its weight – you may have to use two hands to test a large skillet. If these iron cookware is not properly dried, rust and corrode. Most manufacturers do not recommend washing with any soap or detergent and hot water than elbow grease. After it has been carefully dried, has a light coat of cooking oil or spray before being carefully stored. Kitchen So if you’re braising, browning, cooking, baking and slow “, cookware, cast iron” would be the best choice for you. Cast iron pots is also available in bare iron with enamel coating. Now you have knowledge of all kinds of kitchen utensils so it is time to go shopping.

  • January 15, 2010 at 4:16 pm: virtualization management

    Apples and ginger are also two of my grandmother’s “SECRET” ingredients – believe it or not, she always have these two in the kitchen.

  • January 16, 2010 at 4:07 am: discount juicy couture

    Apples and ginger, what a rare combination of taste. But I believe it is the strength of ginger and the subtle delight apples give that makes this a good pair.

  • February 24, 2011 at 3:31 am: Rachel

    I made this today. Absolutely delicious! And a shit ton of work. I’ll be saving this for special occasions, or at least next time I’ll do as much prep work as possible in the days before. Thanks for another winner!

  • April 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm: Iris Morales

    I am just starting out with vegan recipes, but not a novice to cooking/baking. I would greatly appreciate the v-con seitan recipe referred to here. ┬íPor favor! Please! I’ve researched online and have found a couple, but the reviews have been far from raves. My interest is based in trying to have more healthy alternatives for not only myself and my husband (who was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes), but most especially for our 6 yr old grandson who has had sensory integration disorder for three years now. He loves his grandma’s cooking and is an adventurous eater. We are all hoping that you’ll grant my wish, Isa! I see here from comments on this recipe (which I aim to make as soon as I get my hands on your seitan!) that others are begging you for your recipe also! Make us ALL happy!

  • April 22, 2011 at 2:02 am: Khara

    Ok…I knew this would happen based on my experience using chickpea flour with gluten before…something is NOT right with this recipe. Subbing that much chickpea flour makes the patties almost crumbly in texture. They don’t hold together. Should it be maybe less chickpea flour? Or more gluten flour?? I would LOVE to achieve the cutlets in this recipe. If anyone else has encountered this and feels sorry for me, please email me at kashburne72@yahoo.com with your suggestions as I may not get back to this board if there’s no automatic email notification. Thanks!!

  • October 17, 2011 at 6:18 pm: Samantha

    I dont have the veganomicon recipe book but i would LOVE to try this recipe. Could someone be kind enough to type it out from their book? Go ahead and email it to me at Shadowfairy210@gmail.com :)

  • February 23, 2012 at 6:45 am: ABs

    I made this last night and it was banging. The apple mixture was clutch. Will make this probably once a month now. For see eating this many times

  • June 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm: Sarah

    First time I’ve made my own seitan…. this dish is AMAZING!!!!

  • July 22, 2013 at 5:05 am: Leslie

    I made this and it was fantastic. I used the regular home-made seitan you have on this site and it worked well, but I dipped it in flour and egg wash (eek sorry!) before the panko bread crumbs. Also I used regular onions and caramelized them instead of shallots. It was amazing. One of the best things I’ve ever cooked.

  • October 31, 2014 at 1:04 pm: rock@#

    ohhhhhhhhh i love this dish

  • January 25, 2015 at 1:33 pm: Vegan Donkey

    I love the combination of the apple/ginger and the savory flavors. I was really happy to see this recipe, but nervous about making it for the first time and the cranberries. I am starting to experiment more in my cooking — trying to learn how to make flan, but I haven’t started yet. I wanted to make it for my uncle who was sick, but I don’t think he will make it. It was too much stress on me.