January 7, 2012

Vegan Adobo Stew

I thought I'd better get busy trying a couple recipes out of my latest Veg News.  The new issue is about to come out and I've hardly cracked this one.  I've read a couple articles, but I hadn't cruised the recipes yet.  It didn't take long to find a couple I wanted to make today.  I made the Authentic Adobo and a Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart.  The tart pictures will have to be posted tomorrow.  I want it to chill all night.  The recipe says one hour in the refrigerator, but I want to make sure the truffle filling is really firm when I cut it for that 'slice of tart' photo.

 Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart ~ Vegan & Gluten Free

 At first glance I thought Adobo was a Spanish dish, Adobo being a Spanish word.  I was thinking it was something like Chili Colorado. I use a can of chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce once in a while and I thought that sauce was really spicy, must be the influence of the chipotles. This dish is a bit spicy, but not hot and not a Spanish flavor. There is a Spanish style Adobo but as it turns out this Adobo is a Filipino dish.  Adobo is a very popular cooking technique in the Filipino kitchen.  It's an ancient cooking method that preserves cooked food in hot climates by simmering vegetables in a healthy dose of vinegar. And as the Veg News article mentioned, the vegetables and seitan respond beautifully to this trick with the blend of vinegar, soy, and garlic.  This dish would satisfy a Veg-curious omnivore. I love the quantity of garlic in this dish. Finally, I thought, a recipe in proportion to the amount of garlic I still have from the garden last year, 3 tablespoons. **smiling**

The original name of the recipe is Seitan Adobo Stew, but I had these nice soy curls made locally.  I picked some up at the Portland Veg Fest last September.  I just soaked the dry curls in filtered water for about an hour and drained.  They sauteed nicely.

Seitan Adobo Stew
     Terry Hope Romero

1 cup small red potatoes, diced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 cups Asian eggplant, cut into thin slices (I diced mine in about 1 inch dice)
10 ounces seitan, diced 1/2-inch thick (Soy Curls will work well for this dish)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup mild soy sauce (I used Tamari)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 bay leaves


1 cup diced red cherry tomatoes
1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
2 scallions, white parts removed and green ends thinly sliced (I used all the scallion)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup white or brown rice

  1. In a small pot, cover diced potatoes with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes,until potatoes turn tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.  Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil.  Add eggplant, frying for 4 to 5 minutes, on both sides until brown. Remove from pot and set aside.  Add another 1 tablespoon oil and brown seitan or soy curls, flipping occasionally until edges are golden.  Remove from pot and set aside.
  3. Add remaining oil, garlic, and pepper and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Return eggplant, seitan or soy curls, and potatoes to pot.  Pour soy sauce and vinegar over vegetables, then add brown sugar and bay leaves.  Bring to a bubbling simmer, and gently stir a few times.  Reduce heat to low.
  4. Cover and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, occasionally stirring.  Sauce will reuce and eggplant should be very tender.  remvoe from heat, partially uncover, and let stand for 10 minutes.  to serve, ladle stew into serving bowls.  Garnish with tomatoes, banana, scallions, and cilantro.  Serve with a side of steamed rice.

I was really apprehensive about the banana garnish, but it was excellent with the other flavors.  I'll make this again.  It's a very flavorful and satisfying meal.

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