My first Seitan post is finally here!!
Seitan recipes are hard for me to write, since I normally eye-ball all my ingredients depending on what my tastebuds want & what I have on hand.
But alas, I finally have a a seitan recipe to share!
If you’re wondering “what in the world is seitan??” Click *here*
Also, be sure to read my notes/Observations at the bottom of the recipe, because I explain why certain ingredients might be necessary, also making seitan can be temperamental.
This vital wheat gluten is great, VWG can also be found for pretty cheap in bulk at places like Winco.
For the seitan:
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1 can garbanzo beans
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (any oil will work)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar.
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 Tablespoon onion powder
Dash of black pepper
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Preparing the seitan:
1. Blend all of the ingredients together, except for the vital wheat gluten. Make sure to include the garbanzo bean juice, it aids in the chicken texture.
2. Pour seasonings/bean mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the vital wheat gluten to the wet ingredients 1/4 cup at a time. Mix together with a fork. Strings and layers should start to form. Once it forms a ball, knead the dough with your hands for a minute. It will quickly become elastic. You may also need to adjust and add more water or vital wheat gluten to the mixture depending on the day, humidity, and if the seitan gods decided to bless or curse you 🤷🏻♀️.
3. Now split the seitan into two. Put one half into the food processor and pulse it for 1-2 seconds, over and over, for a total of 30 seconds. Pulse until the dough has a “chewed bubblegum” texture. *see notes
4. When you’re done pulsing the seitan in the food processor, gently knead it into a log shape. & Let the dough rest for a few minutes while you get the next step ready.
At this point, it is not safe to eat. It must be cooked first!
Time to Cook:
*See my notes if you don’t have a steamer
1. Get a steamer basket steaming on medium-high heat. You can use either water or vegetable broth. You don’t want the water boiling too high, because if you overcook the seitan, it’ll oversaturate with water and your seitan will turn into goop.
2. Once the steamer is ready, place your seitan directly in the steamer (or on top of some parchment paper) and steam for 50 minutes. Flip halfway through, around 25 minutes. You’ll notice the seitan has absorbed lots of water (or broth) , and may have even doubled in size! Let the seitan sit in the steamer until it is cool.
Now your seitan is ready to eat!
From here you can cook the seitan how you want.
Covering it in flour or breadcrumbs and herbs and bake it in the oven like a turkey. (See photos!)
Or shred it up, saute the chickn shreds in oil & season them to make them into chicken tacos.
Or shred it into barbecue chicken sandwiches like I did (pictures below!)
Shred, sauté and cover in orange sauce for some orange chicken (see Photos!)
The only limit is your imagination!
Notes/Observations and Troubleshooting:
-You could use tofu or another type of bean in place of chickpeas/white beans. you could also just omit the beans altogether, although the seitan will be more tough to chew, and closer to a steak/ beefy texture.
-This 3rd step with the food processor is where you may or may not run into trouble. If everything goes right, after a minute of pulsing, the dough should feel gummy. If done wrong, it’ll just process the dough into little chunks instead of a gummy stringy dough.
But it’s still salvageable! Try pulsing again for another minute. If it’s still just crumbles, add about 1 tablespoon of water or vegetable broth and keep pulsing again.
-No food processor? No problem! The traditional way will give you a little more work. You can knead by hand, but you might quickly find that your dough gets very elastic and doesn’t want to knead. At this point, you’ll just have to let the dough rest for up to 15 minutes and try again. Do this once or twice, until the dough is throughly kneaded. The more layers, the better texture! I actually knead by hand 75% of the time I make seitan.
-If you don’t have a steamer, you can simmer (not boil!) the turkey loaf in water or broth. You just have to wrap it tightly in bread cloth, cheese cloth, or aluminum foil first. Also be sure not to overboil or else your seitan will oversaturate with water and become goopy.
-Apple cider vinegar is used in seitan to cover the “gluten-y” taste that vital wheat gluten has. You can’t taste the vinegar since it is cooked out. You could also use white vinegar or any other type of cooking vinegar, which works just as well in my experience. It could also be omitted too. It won’t change the texture, but it’ll have a slight gluten aftertaste which isn’t the chicken taste we’re after.
-Other optional add-ins may include: Paprika, chili powder, basil, oregano, sage, liquid smoke, cumin, etc. It’s all up to you and your tastebuds!
I have some pictures of hand kneaded dough below, to give you a comparison of kneading by hand vs using a food processor.
I usually knead my seitan by hand, but it doesn’t quite give me the same texture as a food processor does. Using a food processor is best for making chicken and turkey style textures in my opinion.
This is what my first attempt looked like using the food processor method, & below I have pictures of after I cooked it in the oven at 400° with barbecue sauce.
These were so delicious 😍.
I made this for a Christmas roast. Straight out of the steamer I rolled it in oil and then a mixture of flour, breadcrumbs, and herbs and I baked it in the oven at 350° until the breadcrumbs were golden brown (About 20 minutes if I remember correctly).
Below are some photos of a previous “chicken” seitan I’ve made using the same basic recipe, but kneading by hand:
I like to cut my seitan into chunks before cooking and steaming when making seitan nuggets.
Orange Chicken seitan 😍
Also see my previous post, “Seitan Aprecciation Post” for more inspiration on ways to cook and use seitan as a meat substitute 🌱