My earliest memory of Chinese buffet was adoring Pepper Steak. I don’t know why it fascinated me so much, but tender cuts of beef were sauteed with onions and green bell peppers to create something that I would spend years making myself sick on. As I got older my tastes evolved and I started scarfing down the buffet table beef and broccoli, then sweet and sour chicken, then lo mein and now I can’t even LOOK at a Chinese buffet without getting sick (not that there is much of anything I can eat on them anymore anyway).
While my taste for Chinese buffet has left me, my love of soy sauce has not left me, and even though this isn’t quite pepper steak, it IS reminiscent of my childhood buffet days with a balsamic twist which caters to my 29 year old taste buds.
I write this recipe as it’s cooking, because I just made it up. I don’t know why I did other than the fact that I had a bunch of peppers, onions and some mushrooms to use up. Since I did some eyeballing, the measurements are complete estimates.
I haven’t quite mastered the art of fat free cooking, so I do a combination cooking method. When sauteing, I start with a small amount of oil, sprinkle with salt, then cover and let the vegetables steam until tender. I then finish them off to dry by cooking them uncovered.
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbsp red wine, or red wine vinegar
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp onion powder
2-3 Portabella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 package seitan (I used beef style cubes), sliced
3-5 bell peppers, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
Place marinade, mushrooms in bowl or bag to marinade while preparing vegetables and seitan.
Saute the bell peppers and onions until tender. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are desired tenderness.
You can brown the seitan in a separate small frying pan, which I started to do but got impatient. Either way, top the vegetable mixture with the seitan and leftover marinade.
Serve on top of your favorite grain, or by itself. I cooked quinoa with some no-chicken bullion (yes, this was my introduction to quinoa – sue me! It kind of reminded me of grits).
This was my first time cooking with seitan and quinoa.