Hail Seitan!

What is seitan? How do you make it?

So what exactly is seitan and how do you pronounce it?

A meat substitute made from gluten wheat flour and pronounced say-tan. With the addition of liquid, the gluten flour forms a fibrous texture similar to meat. As a result seitan is sometimes called wheat meat. Because the active ingredient in the wheat flour is the gluten, it is not suitable for people with a gluten intolerance.

Adding flavourings to the basic flour and water mixture, helps create the taste of meat. For instance, seitan is used in Chinese restaurants to create mock meats. In fact in it’s earliest form it can be traced back to 6th century China.

Seitan is available ready made in shops. Making it at home is a cheaper option and gives you control over the flavourings. It is a great source of protein, however on it’s own is not a complete protein. However, soy sauce often added for flavouring, also adds the missing amino acid, making it a complete protein in the process!

How do you make seitan?

As we have already said, in it’s most basic form it is flour and water. Although you should add extra flavourings for taste. You can also add tofu or beans to increase its nutritional value and to give a slightly lighter texture. How much you knead the dough will also impact the texture. It is a dough and therefore needs kneading to create the fibrous texture. The longer you knead it, the chewier the end result. Also the cooking method will have an effect on the end result. Boiling, or rather simmering, in stock can be a great way to add extra flavouring to seitan. Consistent results can be achieved by steaming and baking is probably the easiest of all.

BBQ Ribs

For an easy starter recipe using the bake method try this Bosh recipe. Serve it with chips and salad or root vegetable fries and gridled asparagus and tenderstem broccoli as I have here. On this occasion I also made some vegan mayonnaise with aquafaba.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

BBQ Seitan Ribs

Easy to make tasty BBQ Seitan Ribs by Bosh! See their full recipe and video here www.bosh.tv/recipes/bbq-seitan-ribs
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, vegan
Keyword: summer, quick
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • Put all the the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix in the wet ingredients (apart from the BBQ sauce). Mix together to combine, and knead to form a ball.
  • Put the mixture onto a lightly greased oven tray and stretch – don't worry if it's a little unruly and uneven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 180℃, 356℉, gas 4.
  • After 20 minutes smear with the bbq sauce and bake for a further 5 minutes.
  • Take out of the oven, cut into ribs and serve immediately.

Surefire seitan for stews and casseroles

For a great Scouse or Irish stew, I use this recipe from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Scouse is synonomous with Liverpool and you can read more about it in my post here.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Surefire Seitan

For a great Scouse or Irish stew, I use this recipe from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: English, Irish, vegan
Keyword: winter, hearty, warming
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Broth

  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Seitan

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves

Instructions

  • Bring the broth to the boil in a large saucepan.
  • Add the vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour to a large bowl, forming a well in the middle. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Use your hands to bring the mixture together and knead for 3 minutes until you have an elastic dough.
  • Using a knife, divide the dough into 4 and knead the individual pieces to stretch them out a bit. Leave to rest while the broth comes to the boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat on the broth to a simmer. Drop the seitan pieces into the pan, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and leave for a further 15 minutes. Then remove from broth and leave in a strainer until cool enough to handle.

Vegan Roast

Great for a roast dinner. However if you adapt the flavours slightly it also works well chopped up in a stir fry or pasta sauce.

Seitan Roast

A tasty seitan roast adapted from https://tasty.co/recipe/seitan-roast. Great for roast dinners.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: British, vegan
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 125 g black eyed peas
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 240 g vital wheat gluten flour
  • 45 g nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 360 ml vegetable stock

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F, 175°C, Gas 4.
  • In a food processor, combine beans, garlic, soy sauce and olive oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add in the bean mixture and stir until well combined. Make a well in the middle and a pour in the stock and stir.
  • Finish combining with your hands and knead the dough.
  • Form dough into a thick log approx 10 inches long. Roll in parchment paper and then wrap in aluminium foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, turning every 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Vegan Deli Slices

Seitan deli slices are ideal for sandwiches and platters. Or fry some up to go on a sub, or as a burger substitute. It’s cheaper than shop bought slices too!

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Seitan Deli Slices

Great for sandwiches and cheaper than shop bought versions. You can tweak the ingredients to your taste. Also works great fried as a burger! This recipe is slightly adapted from https://sweetsimplevegan.com/2019/08/homemade-vegan-deli-meat/#tasty-recipes-23632
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: lunch
Cuisine: vegan

Ingredients

  • 12 oz firm tofu
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour

Instructions

  • Bring a large steamer pot to the boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer.
  • Blend all ingredients from tofu to turmeric in a high speed blender until smooth.
  • In a large bowl mix the vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour together. Pour the tofu mixture into the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until a dough forms – you may need to get stuck in with your hands to bring it all together.
  • Knead for 3 to 4 minutes until smooth. Shape into 1 or 2 logs – depending on the size of your steamer basket! Wrap in parchment paper, and then in aluminium foil. Twist the ends of the foil to seal, but ensure there is space for the seitan to expand a little.
  • Steam for an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F, 180°C, Gas 4. Remove log(s) from steamer and place on a baking tray in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and parchment and allow to cool. I used greaseproof which stuck and was difficult to remove. I have since discovered there actually IS a difference between greaseproof and parchment paper. For baking make sure to use parchment paper to avoid the situation I had! Greaseproof paper is fine for wrapping your sandwiches!
  • Once cooled it can be stored in the fridge for upto 2 weeks. It can also be frozen, I cut mine into 4 and froze 3 pieces. Defrosting each piece in the fridge as needed.

Vegan Hot Dogs

I love making seitan sausages, especially hot dogs as I can never seem to find vegan ones in the shops. I had great fun with all the different toppings too!

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Vegan Hot Dogs

Easy seitan hot dogs, adapted from https://www.elephantasticvegan.com/vegan-hot-dogs/
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American, vegan
Servings: 6 sausages

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small white onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup tinned chick peas
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Braggs liquid seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp white miso paste
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water
  • 3/4 cup vital wheat gluten

Instructions

  • Sautée the onion and garlic until soft.
  • In a food processor blend the onion mixture with all the ingredients apart from the vital wheat gluten. Put the wheat gluten into a bowl and mix in the blended ingredients. Mix until it forms a ball.
  • Cut into 6 equal pieces, which should be rolled into sausage shapes. Roll each sausage in parchment paper and wrap in aluminium foil, twist the ends to secure.
  • Steam for 40 minutes, turning half way through.
  • Allow them to cool slightly before handling. Remove foil and paper. Griddle for a few minutes to get grill marks.
Thre truffles, with the middle one having a bite taken out of it.

After all this savoury scrumptiousness, why not make some vegan chocolate truffles as a sweet treat to enjoy afterwards!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Julie

    5 stars
    Made the BBQ seitan the recipe was very easy and the end result delicious. A lot of the ingredients easy to find in the local independent health store, recipe makes ample for 2 people and is very filling

    1. admin

      Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating