Sesame Slaw with Warm Garlicky Seitan #Asian

Christina Galioto

Got a big head of red cabbage rolling around in your crisper? Don’t we all. This is the easiest, lip-smackingest slaw I know, and it makes quite a substantial meal. Lots of crunchy cabbage and the occasional plump edamame smothered in a miso-sesame dressing, then topped with garlicky strips of seitan and sprinkled with sesame seeds and scallions. Feel free to customize: Add some shredded carrots and cucumber, top with avocado . . . you know, the usual salad-y things 😉

Cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables and is very powerful. Ancient healers declared it contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight. Modern nutritional science understands its power comes from its high sulfur and vitamin C content. If you want beautiful glowing skin, and an immune system powerful enough to fight off just about anything, don’t forget this highly nutritious power food to your weekly diet.

A lot of people ask, “what is seitan?” Seitan, also called “wheat meat,” is originally from Asia and is a common meat substitute for vegetarian dishes. Seitan is a Japanese word which can be roughly translated to mean “made from protein”. Unlike many meat substitutes, seitan is not soy derived but made entirely of wheat gluten. More on this at the end of the recipe!

Serves 4 – Total Time: 20 mins – Active Time: 20 mins

For the salad:

6 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1 pound)

1 cup shelled edamame (thawed if frozen)

1 batch Miso-Sesame Dressing (recipe follows)

For the seitan:

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 pound seitan, sliced into thin strips

Pinch of salt

Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

For the garnish:

1/2 cup sliced scallions

8 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (2 teaspoons per serving)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

NOTE: For a gluten-free option, serve with Sesame Tofu instead of seitan.

Prepare the salad:

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, edamame, and salad dressing to coat well. (Reserve a few teaspoons of dressing to drizzle over the seitan.) Let the cabbage marinate while you prepare the seitan.


Prepare the seitan:

Preheat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of the oil. Sauté the seitan in the oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Push all the seitan to the side and add the garlic. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Briefly mix and cook the garlic in the oil for about 15 seconds, then mix it with the seitan.

Now divide the salad among serving bowls. Top with the warm seitan, drizzle with the reserved dressing, then garnish with the scallions, sesame seeds, and cilantro. Serve!


Makes about 3/4 cup

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons miso

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons light agave nectar

1 teaspoon sriracha

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

This dressing is tangy, salty, and gingery, with a little kick. Not only is it great for slaw, but it’s also nice as a side-salad dressing if you’re enjoying some noodles, like the Omaha Yakisoba with Red Cabbage and Corn (another recipe).

Add all of the ingredients to a small blender and blend until smooth and incorporated. Keep tightly sealed and refrigerated until ready to use. It will keep for up to 5 days.


More About Seitan.

Seitan is high in protein and essential amino acids. It’s made with whole wheat flour and cooked in a kombu and soy sauce broth to give it flavor. It is a good source of some vitamins and minerals. A four-ounce serving of seitan supplies between 6 and 10 percent of the U.S Reference Daily Intake of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron.

Nutritionally, seitan is a powerhouse. In both quantity and quality, the protein in seitan is similar to that in beef. Sirloin steak and seitan both supply approximately 16 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 once) serving, or about 25 percent of the U.S. Reference Daily Intake. This is twice as much as an equal amount of tofu and 40% more than two medium eggs.
Although unseasoned seitan, raw wheat gluten, is low in one essential amino acid, lysine, this is easily offset by cooking it in soy sauce-seasoned broth, or by combining or serving it with lysine-rich foods such as beans.

A word of caution, seitan is highly allergenic and cannot be eaten by those with celiac disease.