Spicy Roasted “Chicken” with Miso and Ginger

I’m still in a cooking slump. I don’t know why. I got a great suggestion via comments my last post: look through my cookbooks! Which actually made me feel a bit stupid: I hadn’t even thought to look through my cookbooks! Again, no idea why not. Isn’t that why I have them? So I dragged a bunch of them out tonight and even marked several recipes that I want to make soon but just didn’t feel like tonight. But I was still idea-less for tonight. So then I went to Google Reader and looked at articles I’ve starred – 90% of which are recipes – and came across this recipe for Spicy Roasted Chicken with Miso and Ginger, which I probably saved because I’m always looking for ways to showcase my miso. And decided that was it. That was what I was making tonight.

So I rushed into the kitchen to start making some seitan to substitute for the chicken. This I did without a recipe: I just dumped all of my remaining vital wheat gluten into a bowl and followed it up with random amounts of other ingredients, then started it simmering in a broth. And then I realized I’d just, without thinking, made a very beefy seitan, when what I wanted was something somewhat chickeny. AND I’d just used the last of my vital wheat gluten. AND I couldn’t find anything else in my refrigerator or pantry that seemed remotely “chickeny”. So despite the fact I’d been determined to NOT go to the grocery store (again) today, I was off to Wegmans. There I found some Gardein “chicken” and decided I’d just work with that instead of making a second batch of seitan. If you don’t have access to Gardein products, you can use your favorite chicken-like seitan, or tofu, which would work well with this dish (especially frozen and thawed tofu).

Spicy Roasted “Chicken” with Miso and Ginger

1 pound chicken-style seitan, tofu (frozen and thawed if you’d like), or commercial vegan “chicken”
3 Tbsp miso paste
2″ piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
zest of 1 lemon + juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce (or red chili paste)
chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place all of the ingredients except the “chicken” and scallions into a food processor, blender, or mini-chopper.

Process until smooth.

Coat each piece of “chicken” with the miso/ginger sauce, place on a baking sheet or pan, and cover with any remaining sauce.

Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with a grain and green. I totally forgot to garnish with scallions as I’d intended.

This picture was not taken today but it may as well have been. The vet keeps giving me dire news about Brachtune and her bloodwork. On paper, she’s a mess. And in person, she’s a bit of a mess, too. But she’s so incredibly happy. I don’t even understand how a being can BE so happy. She’s just a complete joy to be around. She lets us give her sub-q fluids every day – she sometimes even purrs the whole time. She lets me jam three different medicines down her throat twice a day. She follows us around the house, purring. She sits on our laps, purring and drooling. If she’s a asleep and you wake her up, she’s instantly in your face, purring and full of love. But she can also be very demanding. I unexpectedly came home very early today and she greeted me at the door screaming. She wanted to go out. Badly. Whenever it’s sunny and over 60 degrees, this cat – who used to be petrified of the great outdoors – simply goes bonkers and screams to be let out. As you may be able to tell, I have a hard time saying “no” to my cats under normal circumstances, but now that it seems my time with Brachtune may be limited, it’s even worse. Anything she wants, she gets. So when she wants out, I take her out. But although all she really wants to do is lounge around in the sun and eat grass until she pukes, I never let her out without a leash and harness. So here she is on the back patio looking slightly crazy – her normal state of being. The picture is from last year, but this is exactly where Brachtune and I were to be found for most of the afternoon today: Brachtune eating grass until she puked and me reading a book. Both of us in a happy place.


  1. trinity Said,

    April 15, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

    Oh Brachtune is so beautiful! I love cats who like to play outside.

    Your chicken looks lovely! I just cooked with gardein this week, and I liked it a lot.

  2. kibbles Said,

    April 16, 2010 @ 12:36 am

    I worked at a vet for 3 years when I was younger (16ish and on). Among the many things I learned there, I found out that cats are the happiest animals even in the worst of times, and it’s impossibly amazing. I met a cat who was hit by a car with catastrophic damage to his head, jaw and front limbs, but he purred like a motor and only wanted to cuddle and be petted and stretch on someone’s lap. Cats are so strange and amazing, they live happy, die happy, eat grass and puke happy… it’s just so wonderful to know a cat! I wish the best for you and Brachtune and I hope she sees many more sunny days!

  3. Lou Said,

    April 16, 2010 @ 9:06 am

    Brachtune is living in the now and she loves you, it’s wonderful 🙂 You’re lucky to have met such an inspirational little woman. She looks so beautiful in that photo as well, she reminds me a little of my Millie, who is another lovey girl who knows what she wants 🙂

    I understand the cooking slump, it’ll go. Make your favourite thing and that might help, to that end I’m making coleslaw for myself in the next day or two – the creamy, oniony, great on a sandwich one that I love so much 🙂

  4. Ksenia Said,

    April 19, 2010 @ 9:30 am

    If it is of some comfort for you, I hardly ever look my cookbooks too (but maybe it’s because I have two of them :P) And I also have lots of recipes and blog post with recipes bookmarked in Google Reader, Delicious, “Read it later” and any bookmarking tool 😛 But at the end almost always I finish steaming some veggies and today eating a some vegan buns (maybe too much of them) that my mum cooked yesterday (she did VEGAN buns for me. Yay! :D)

    Your “chicken” seitan looks delicious 😀

  5. susan Said,

    April 19, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    i also have a little lady who screams to go out (on her purple leash…just like brachtunes)…and the same thing happens…lots or grass gets consumed and then strange noise come out of her and out comes the grass…she seems to enjoy it all…i dont understand why she does it everytime (her brother doesnt do it)

  6. Josiane Said,

    April 19, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

    I hope summer will come where you are earlier this year than it did last year, so that you and Brachtune can soon enjoy many warm sunny days outside. 🙂

  7. Mo Said,

    April 20, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    I’m sad to hear that things aren’t so good for Brachtune. She’s really adorable, and I’m glad she’s happy.

    That seitan looks fantastic!

  8. Courtney Said,

    April 21, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    I love that you made your own seitan on the fly without a recipe–that is so cool! I have been making seitan for years, but I am still a little hesitant to just add bit of this and a bit of that like you…I DO play around with spices/seasonings, but I always follow a recipe for gluten/chickpea flour/water/etc. ratios…I need to follow your example and experiment a bit! How did it turn out?


  9. Zoé Said,

    April 23, 2010 @ 4:29 am

    You seem to have access to a lot of vegan staples down there! It would ease things here if I could have that too. I’ll have a try at your recipe!

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