Seitan is probably my favorite meat-substitute, not only because its texture is almost exactly how I remember meat to be, but because it’s delicious and so versatile. I make a batch about once a month and use it on pizza, sandwiches and sometimes in my tofu scrambles. It’s excellent for veganizing recipes left over from my “pregan” days as you can sub it in for any meat. This recipe was adapted from Terry Hope Romero’s Steamed White Seitan recipe in Viva Vegan!, which I think was my first all-vegan cookbook. Her recipe was meant to simulate chicken or pork, but I think you can use it for pretty much anything.
I had a nice long weekend with lots of free time to cook (and take pictures!) so I decided to try something new and document each step of this process (the pics and entire recipe are at the end). All that free time also allowed me to do some much needed relaxing… you know, lying on the couch with my dogs, catching up on some reading, I even baked a cake! And yes, I’ll be sharing the recipe for that yumminess too
“Chicken-Style” Seitan (4 loaves, each makes about 2 servings)
Recipe adapted from Viva Vegan! Wrapped tightly, it’ll last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Freeze it, and it’ll last for months.
- 1.5 cups cold chick’n or vegetable broth (or water and bouillon cube)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1.5 cups vital wheat gluten flour
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1.5 t poultry or chicken seasoning
- 1/2 t paprika
- 1/2 t cumin
- 1/2 t onion powder
- 1/2 to 1 T Herbamere or sea salt (I used a full tablespoon, but I love salt. Some people have found it to be a bit much)
- Aluminum foil
1. Wisk together broth and olive oil, and set aside.
2. In a large bowl stir together all the remaining ingredients. Once they’re completely combined, create a well in the center, then pour in the broth mix.
3. Stir with a rubber spatula until the entire mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Now it’s time to knead!
4. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. Your hands may get tired but this step is crucial to develop the gluten. You’ll actually be able to see the dough’s consistency change, it’s pretty cool! You can knead in the same bowl, or you can move it to a cutting board (you’ll have to do that later anyway). Keep in mind as you’re kneading that you’re going to be cutting it into 4 loaves, so working it into a square/rectangle is better than a roundish lump. This was mine, about halfway through and before I transferred it to a cutting board…
5. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, then knead for another 30 seconds. This is your last chance to get it into a workable shape for cutting. Move to the cutting board if you haven’t already, and slice into 4 equal sized loaves.
6. From your box of aluminum foil, tear off 4 pieces, each about 6 inches wide. Wrap each piece of seitan by folding the long edges, and then the short edges. You want the loaf to be completely covered, but with room to expand.
7. Steam for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use my ghetto-fabulous method. I fill a pot with about an inch of water, and heat it to boiling. I put the foil-wrapped loaves into a metal colander, which I place into the pan (make sure the water level is lower than the loaves themselves, you don’t want them to get wet) and cover.
If you’re using my method, and the loaves are at all stacked, you should switch them around about halfway through.
8. Remove from the steamer and let cool for 30 minutes or so before putting it in the fridge for at least an hour. Then you can wrap in plastic wrap or zippie bags.