Here’s an easy recipe for vegan Jamaican jerk seitan that you can switch up using beefy-style plant protein, tofu, and others. This skillet dish is light and lovely, like an ocean breeze, even if not totally authentic. It’s a feast for the eyes and a treat for the palate, with its sweet and savory notes.
Serve it straight from the skillet and let everyone make their own plates, or construct individual bowl servings as shown in the accompanying photos. Either way, this lovely vegan jerk dish is delicious served with coconut rice and garnished with mango, avocado, and cilantro.
The key to any Caribbean-inspired jerk dish is a good sauce. Though I do like good-quality prepared sauces, I haven’t found a bottled jerk sauce I completely love. They’re usually way too salty. On the other hand, to make an authentic Jamaican Jerk sauce requires Scotch Bonnet peppers and a few other ingredients that aren’t close at hand.
My compromise is Jamaican-Inspired Easy Jerk Sauce you can link to on this site and put together in minutes if you have the right ingredients.
That said, feel free to use bottled jerk sauce, which you’ll find shelved with other BBQ sauce and other marinades in well-stocked supermarkets. Compare brands, because you’ll want to find one with natural ingredients and the lowest possible sodium content.
Plant protein options: For the seitan, you can use a packaged variety (available in natural foods stores and some supermarkets), or, if you have extra time, try this site’s recipe for Easy Homemade Seitan — you’ll need about half of the it for this dish.
Other options — there are several brands of plant-based beefy-style protein including Gardein and Viana. You can also vary this recipe by using baked tofu (use two 8-ounce packages) or Butler’s Soy Curls.
Recipe adapted from Plant-Powered Protein by Nava Atlas. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky, BitterwseetBlog.com.
- 1 1/2 cups white Basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 14-ounce can light coconut milk
- 1 recipe Jamaican-Inspired Easy Jerk Sauce (see link in Notes) or about 3/4 cup good-quality bottled jerk sauce, as needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large red or yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into long, narrow strips
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into long narrow strips
- 12 to 16 ounces packaged or Easy Homemade Seitan (see link in Notes) or beef-style plant protein (see options in Notes), in bite-sized chunks or strips
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups diced fresh ripe mango (or use canned if unavailable)
- 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and diced or sliced
- Parsley, cilantro, or basil for garnish
- Combine the rice, water, and coconut milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer until the liquid has absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. If the rice isn’t done to your liking, add 1/2 cup additional water and cook until absorbed.
- Follow the recipe to make the jerk sauce; skip this step if using bottled sauce.
- Heat half of the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the peppers and continue to cook until the onions and peppers are lightly browned. Transfer to a bowl or plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the plant protein and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown on most sides.
- Pour in the sauce, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for a minute or so longer, until the sauce has thickened and the seitan is nicely glazed. Stir in the onions and peppers.
- To serve from the skillet: Have everyone take some rice to use as a bed for the jerk protein. The avocado and mango are served on the side and the cilantro is sprinkled on top.
- To make bowls: Distribute some cooked rice between 4 shallow bowls. Arrange the jerk seitan and peppers on one side of each bowl, and some of the avocado and mango next to it. Sprinkle some fresh herb over the top and serve at once.
Use packaged seitan; or try Easy Homemade Seitan — you’ll need about half of the recipe. There are several brands of plant-based beef-style protein including Gardein and Viana.
Use bottled jerk sauce if you have a brand you like; or to make your own, here's a recipe for Jamaican-Inspired Easy Jerk Sauce.
Variation: Try varying this recipe with baked tofu (use two 8-ounce packages) or Butler’s Soy Curls.
If you like this seitan recipe, see lots more …