• Eddie

Cumin Seitan with Spicy Cucumber Salad and Zucchini Rice

Is there any food on Earth better than Western Chinese food? It’s like the Sicilian food of China: highly influenced by the flavors of the Middle East, but retains rooted in the cuisine of the mother country. Look, I could eat Xi’an Famous Foods 3 meals a day, every day. But, vegetarians and vegans can’t fuck with the famous Cumin Lamb and hand pulled noodles; so, I veganized the lamb, but kept the flavor and did a version of the spicy cuke salad. Fuck making noodles. Leave that to the pros. To keep it healthful/low card, I did some simple zucchini rice. 


8 oz. seitan, cubed

2 T minced garlic

2 T soy sauce

1 T mirin

2 T cumin

½ t cornstarch

4 zucchini, spiralized, then cut into rice-like pieces

6 mini cucumbers, chopped

1 T sesame oil

1 T sriracha

1 T tamari

½ t liquid smoke (optional)

canola oil



  1. Let’s do all the prep work first.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the seitan, garlic, soy sauce, mirin, cumin, and cornstarch in a bowl. Use a gloved (or clean) hand to coat that seitan.

  3. Cut your zucchini until it looks rice-like. Put it in a big bowl, and stick it in the refrigerator.

  4. In a tupperware with a cover, combine the cucumber pieces, sesame oil, sriracha, tamari (or soy sauce), and liquid smoke. Shake it up until the cukes are covered in red oil. Refrigerate.

  5. Watch an episode of Stranger Things on Netflix, go for a run while listening to Appetite for Destruction, take a long shower, read a couple of chapters. Just give everything 30-60 minutes to marinade. 

  6. Coat the bottom of a frying pan with the canola oil. Turn the heat to med-high. Remove the seitan from the marinade, but make sure to reserve the juice. Pan fry the seitan for 3-4 minutes on each side until brown and a little crispy.

  7. Use a slotted spoon to remove the seitan, and return it to the marinade bowl. Stir to combine. Get rid of the oil. Return the seitan and marinade to the pot. Cook over medium and stir until it turns into a sauce.

  8. Meanwhile, heat some oil in another saute pan over medium. Throw the zucchini rice in. Hit it with some salt, set the timer for 5 minutes and stir frequently. When it’s done, drain the zucchini in a strainer. 

  9. You’re done. Plate it and eat while hot. 

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© 2018 Eddie McNamara