It's that time of year again, and we all know what that means: the holiday season is upon us with plenty of opportunities for entertaining. Christmas dishes often drift towards hearty meat dishes or sweet delicacies and desserts, but here is a vegan appetizer to celebrate the holidays in an untraditional way: Vegan Christmas Seitan Negimaki. Homemade seitan marinated in rich Asian flavors, wrapped around bright scallions, and grilled to perfection; this appetizer is full of flavor, perfect for any holiday party or event.
Food is always an essential part of the holidays, and whether you are hosting guests or going to someone else's home, there will always be choices to make when deciding what you should serve to your loved ones at this incredible time of year. This recipe includes multiple phases to create the seitan dough, roast, marinade, assemble, and grill. Seitan is easy to make, but it's essential to plan since this step requires multiple hours. Fortunately, all of the individual steps are simple and mostly hands-off.
Most of the flavor comes from the marinade of hoisin sauce, mirin, ginger, sriracha, and toasted sesame oil. The sharp notes of the scallions are mellowed and sweetened on the grill. The final result is a beautiful, flavorful finger food that vegan and non-vegan guests will love!
We hope these recipes will put everyone at ease as they try something new with their dietary restrictions in mind without sacrificing flavor or texture for a very merry grilled Christmas!
Vegan Christmas Seitan Negimaki Ingredients
For the Simmering Broth
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup fresh sliced ginger
For the Seitan
- 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
For the Marinade
- 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, micro-planed or minced to a paste
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 bunches scallions, green parts only, sliced 3 to 4 inches long
- A few tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds
- Plain wooden toothpicks
Vegan Christmas Seitan Negimaki Directions
Make the Seitan
- Place all the ingredients for the simmering broth in the pot and bring to a boil. In the meantime, make the seitan.
- Combine wheat gluten and nutritional yeast in a mixing bowl. Add the water and soy sauce and knead until it forms a stiffish dough, two to three minutes.
- Form dough into a flat log roughly 8 inches long and 4 inches wide.
- When the broth is boiling, lower heat to a simmer and submerge the seitan. Simmer for 30 minutes, leaving the lid ajar so that steam can escape. Let cool completely in the broth.
- Once the seitan is cool, start the marinade. Mix all ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl.
- Now, slice the seitan. You want it to be about a 1/8 inch thick, but it doesn't have to be perfectly even (you can see in the pic that mine wasn't.) Just make sure that the slice can wrap around your pinky nicely, without breaking or being unruly.
- Once you have 16 slices, lay them in the marinade for an hour, flipping occasionally.
Assemble and Cook
- In the marinade bowl, move all the seitan to the side, and add the sliced scallions, coating them in the sauce. So your bowl should be one side seitan and one side scallion, more or less.
- Form the rolls on a dinner plate to avoid messiness. Take a slice of marinated seitan and place it on a dinner plate. Place 4 or 5 scallions across so that scallions will poke out of the ends an inch or so. Roll the seitan around the scallion, and secure it with a toothpick or two. Make sure that the toothpicks are going in the same direction so that you'll be able to grill them without toothpick interference.
- Once rolls are formed, heat the grill over medium heat. Spray or brush the grill with oil, and cook rolls until grill marks appear. I did eight at a time, and it took about 4 minutes on my indoor cast iron grill. Use a metal spatula to get under the rolls and flip them, spraying more oil as necessary. Cook on the other side until grill marks appear.
- Transfer rolls to a serving plate. When ready to serve, drizzle with leftover marinade and some Sriracha (if you like it spicy, it's ok to leave off) and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve!