My boyfriend loves saying “heil seitan” every time I make it. It’s one of those things that just always cracks me up. Seitan is a vegan meat alternative that is customizable and has a great spongy, chewy texture reminiscent of meat.
Learning how to make my own seitan was probably one of the most economical decisions I have made as a vegan. Purchasing pre-made and pre-sliced seitan deli ‘meat’ from the grocery store costs anywhere between $4 and $10 for a few slices. I purchase a bag of vital wheat gluten for $10 to $15 and can make 8 loaves of seitan lasting me 4-6 months.
Vital wheat gluten is essentially gluten, the protein part of wheat, in flour form. Regular wheat flour is washed until the starch granules are removed. Wheat gluten is missing lysine an essential amino acid so generally seitan is supplemented with lysine source (tofu, beans, chickpea flour) to make it a complete protein. A complete protein has an adequate portion of the nine essential amino acids (protein building blocks) that our body cannot make on its own.
Yeah science and stuff. Seitan is really simple to make. You mix your spices and flavors with a lysine source and the vital wheat gluten. You then steam it.
I most often keep it pretty simple to keep it customizable to how I want to use it later but other times I just throw in whatever I have on hand. BBQ or chipotle sauce, sriracha, maple syrup etc. It’s easy to make and I normally make enough to last a month (freezing half).
I use it in stir fries, soups, as bacon or sausage or whatever I want. Most of the time I use it to make sandwiches and wraps to meal prep for lunch.
With that said, heil seitan!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total Time 1.25 hours
12oz firm or extra firm tofu (I normally cut about a vertical inch off of my 14 oz package
2 cups vegetable broth (Or bullion cubes and water)
1/4 cup oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp hickory liquid smoke
3 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1. Place all dry and liquid ingredients except the gluten flour in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl.
2. Add gluten flour and work into a dough. Knead for a few minutes to let gluten develop.
3. Split dough in 2 (or 3!). Shape dough into a log shape and wrap in aluminum foil like a tootsie roll. I normally wrap it at least twice.
4. Get water boiling in a pot with a steamer. Place baby seitan logs in. Steam for 1 hour. Check and add water as needed!!!
7. Let it cool and cut as needed. This seitan can be shaved pretty thin for sandwiches. A thick cut makes a great bacon. Cubes are great in soups, stews or curries.
Store in the fridge or freezer.
This recipe makes a lot, so you can cut the recipe in half, or place 1-2 logs in freezer for later. Defrost in fridge overnight before use.
This recipe was adapted from the Vegan Dad Blog Recipe.
Please let me know if you try this out and what you think!