This recipe was reverse-engineered from our favorite dish at our favorite restaurant--Alice and Friends in Chicago. I don't know if they've received divine cooking knowledge from the Supreme Master, but pretty much everything they make is awesome--the secret is a small menu with no filler.

Runaway Potato w/Sesame Kale

This was surprisingly easy to reproduce. Which is surprisingly easy to say, having not eaten there in two years.

  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed/half-disked
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 HEAD, yes, HEAD of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 batch (1 package) seitan, cut into bite-size pieces or strips
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups veggie stock (I like to use the seitan broth)
  • 2 tbsp soy paste
  • 1/2 knob ginger, grated (or 2 tsp minced)
  • 3 tbsp chili paste
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

I've adapted this to what's in my kitchen and/or what's available at the Asian market down the street, but to be really authentic, you probably want: dwaenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste), gochujjang (Korean fermented red chilli paste), and gochugaru (coarse red chilli powder) in place of their more general versions listed above.

In a large-ish pot, sautee the onion, garlic, and ginger over medium heat until soft. Add the water and veggie stock. Dump in the seitan and veggies. Add the spices, chili paste, and chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for at least a half hour, but ideally 45 minutes to an hour. It doesn't take that long at Alice and Friends...maybe that's what the Supreme Master's been trying to tell us. I'm sure she'd (you have to admit, it's a little refreshing that equal rights has finally penetrated the cult leader circle) want me to let to tell you: the secret to Asian food is time. Let it simmer.

Note: Secret not gleaned from actual Asians.

Put on some brown rice (we like brown basmati with this). When it's done, your Runaway Potato should be too. Serve over rice and with lightly steamed sesame kale. Prepare for Transcendance.

It's twins! Runaway Potato! Steamed Kale!