Seitan is a “wheat meat” made from vital wheat gluten. It’s super high in protein, low in fat, and cheap to make. It’s a great substitute for meat, fish, or chicken.
If you’ve been plant-based for a while you probably already know about this chewy, meaty product called seitan. It’s very common in the vegan world and quite available in many health food stores, markets, and restaurants.
Seitan is usually a good transitional food for people who have chosen to remove meat from their diet. The texture and even the flavor when done properly are almost indistinguishable.
I’ve been using it for almost 10 years and finally decided to make my own. And, this is the result. There are many methods and recipes but I wanted to make it foolproof, basic, yet still flavorful.
With this recipe as a base, you could make everything from vegan gyros, corned beef, vegan chicken, and even a massive holiday roast that’s sure to “WOW,” everyone! And, you won’t believe how simple it is to make your very own seitan.
Less than 10 ingredients and less than an hour are all you need for this recipe. So, let’s get it on!
Table of Contents
What Is Seitan?
Seitan is a popular vegan meat substitute that is made from wheat gluten. It’s versatile, super high in protein, and has a texture similar to meat.
It’s believed that it dates back to ancient China, almost 1,500 years ago. Buddhist monks in the sixth century discovered “wheat meat” after soaking their wheat dough in water, removing all the starch, and leaving a high protein wheat gluten.
Because of its meaty texture, seitan can be used in a variety of dishes, from sandwiches and stir-fries to stews and soups. The best part is that making seitan at home is easy, and it’s much cheaper than buying pre-made or store-bought seitan.
I’m going to show just how easy it is and walk you through the steps to make homemade seitan.
What about the washed flour method?
Yeah, that ain’t happening right now.
I have yet to try this method, mainly because I’m lazy and it requires a bit of time. But, all you need are water and wheat flour.
You make a dough and wash and wash and wash until all of the starch is stripped away and you’re left with just the seitan. Many say it’s the best-tasting seitan as it tends to get rid of the mildly bitter taste of pure gluten flour.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Vital Wheat Gluten: vital wheat gluten flour is the natural protein found in wheat. It is usually added in small amounts to yeast bread recipes to improve the texture and elasticity of the dough. And, as shown in this recipe, is used to make a vegetarian meat substitute known as seitan.
- Nutritional Yeast:
- Seasoning blend: garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika
- Liquid: I prefer low-sodium vegetable broth for flavor. But, water is also acceptable and works just as well.
- Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: for adding savoriness and an “umami” essence to the seitan.
- Tomato Paste: totally optional but I love the extra bit of color and richness of flavor it adds to the seitan.
How To Make Seitan At Home
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and tomato paste until well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes until it becomes elastic and smooth.
- Shape the dough into a log or a ball, depending on what you plan to use it for.
- In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoon of soy sauce to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the seitan dough.
- Cover the pot and let the seitan simmer for 45-60 minutes. The longer it cooks, the firmer it will become.
- Once the seitan is cooked, remove it from the pot and let it cool.
- Once the seitan has cooled, it can be sliced or diced and used in any recipe you desire.
Tips & Storage
- If you want a firmer seitan with a little more chewiness, you can add more vital wheat gluten to the mixture.
- For a more tender seitan use ¾ cup of wheat gluten and ¼ cup of chickpea flour.
- You can customize the spices in the seitan to fit your taste. Add your favorite spices to give it your own unique flavor.
- This is a basic seitan recipe and can be used as a starting point for many recipes. Feel free to add some of your favorite herbs, a splash of apple cider vinegar, or even a couple of bouillon cubes for more flavor.
- Seitan can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to ten days, or in the freezer for up to six months.
Is there a gluten-free substitution for seitan?
Unfortunately, there is no gluten-free option for seitan. It’s pure gluten and what gives it the chewy and firm texture.
How To Serve Seitan?
Personally, I love making sandwiches with this recipe. I slice it and pile it high on some whole-grain bread that’s been slathered with my cashew mayo. But, it’s way more versatile. You can essentially use and cook the same way you would meat.
You can bake it. Fry it (which I don’t recommend because that would involve oil). Pan-frying with veggies and rice creates a nice Asian dish. The methods are endless. Here are a few options…
This basic seitan recipe is an easy and cost-effective way to enjoy this popular vegan meat substitute. With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can create a versatile protein source that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Try making this seitan and let me know what you think! Post a comment and leave a star rating…please. Enjoy!Print
Seitan is a “wheat meat” made from vital wheat gluten. It’s high in protein, low in fat, and cheap to make. It’s a great substitute for meat, fish, or chicken.
If you want a firmer seitan, you can add more vital wheat gluten to the mixture.
You can customize the spices in the seitan to your liking. Add your favorite spices to give it your own unique flavor.
Seitan can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
- Serving Size: 3 oz.
- Calories: 133
- Sugar: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 214.4 mg
- Fat: 1.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.6 g
- Fiber: 2.4 g
- Protein: 22.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: seitan, vegan, plant-based, protein, how to, easy plant-based recipes, easy vegan recipes, low-fat