Seitan Bulgogi
Yield: 4–5 Servings
Sizzling violently upon a cast iron platter, the best bulgogi is an all-out assault on the senses. It speaks loudly, crackling and radiating with heat, taking on an eerily life-like quality as steam envelops the dish. Pungent, breathing fiery aroma from a mile away, you'll know it's coming long before it hits the table. This arresting experience is typically the result of hours of marinating, but slicing seitan very thinly allows you to accelerate through the prep work and cut right to the show. Bring the fire to sear the "meat" over the hottest flame you can tolerate without burning down the house, and your risk will be rewarded tenfold. The crispy bits around the edges are the best parts, which will be in no shortage thanks to the extreme heat and blazingly fast cook time.
  • 1 Ripe Pear, Peeled, Cored, and Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  • ¼ Cup Soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Gochugaru (Korean Hot Pepper Flakes) or 1–1½ Teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 Pound Seitan, Thinly Sliced
  • 3 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
  1. Create the marinade by simply tossing the pear, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, and pepper flakes into your blender and thoroughly puree. Pause to scrape down the sides of the container if needed to combine all the ingredients. It's perfectly fine if it's not entirely smooth, since a bit of texture won't hurt here. You just want a well-combined sauce that can coat the seitan nicely.
  2. Meanwhile, set a large cast iron pan or skillet on the stove and crank up the heat to high. Add in the oil and wait for it to shimmer, getting it very hot but just shy of smoking. Introduce the plain seitan first, mixing slowly but constantly, flipping the pieces to make sure they all get an equal amount of time in full contact with the bottom of the pan. Sautee until nicely browned all over; 3–4 minutes.
  3. Smother the seitan with the blended sauce, pouring the mixture into the pan in one big sizzling addition, tossing to completely coat all the pieces. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan as it sears to prevent anything from sticking and burning. Continue to cook for about 4–5 minutes, until highly aromatic and crispy around the edges.
  4. Transfer to a serving platter, top with scallions, and serve over rice, in lettuce wraps, or alongside sliced cucumbers.
Reprinted with permission from Real Food, Really Fast by Hannah Kaminsky
Recipe by Chic Vegan at