Seitan tutorial

Ok this is gonna be a quickie because there’s no point in dragging it out.  Seitan isn’t hard to make.  It gets an unnecessarily bad difficult rap.  If you’re scared to try it, don’t be.  I’m a loser and I can manage, so trust me, you can too.

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Finding Vital Wheat Gluten is actually 75% of the battle.  Try Whole Foods or your neighborhood Co-Op or health foods store.  I usually get Bob’s Red Mill, but I’ve used Arrowhead Mills before too.

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The ratio of vegetable broth to VWG is the variable in most recipes.  It really just depends on how dense or chewy you prefer your seitan to be.  I generally go for a one to one ratio of wet to dry ingredients because I like my seitan like Jillian Michaels likes her glutes…packed tight.

Simple seitan

Wet ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce*

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and then add them together.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

*The main difference between this recipe and my other one is the amount of soy sauce.  More soy sauce = more flavor.  I should also mention here that if you prefer your seitan to be more juicy (and not as tough or chewy) you may want to up the vegetable broth a bit (1/4 cup extra should be enough).

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It looks hideous, but it will all turn out ok.  I promise.  Now is when you get out your frustration.  Make the ball your personal punching bag and knead, knead, knead.  There’s no real right or wrong way to do this, and it’s not like how much you do it will make or break the seitan, so don’t freak out if you haven’t a clue as to the technical kneading protocol.  The goal is to get it into some kind of shape that can be edible.

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The more you work it with your hands, the more dense (and thus chewy) the seitan will be.

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I usually form patties with mine, but you can make smaller nugget shapes or whatever.

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Place them in a cooking pan submerged in a bit of vegetable broth and cook it in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

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After 15 minutes, the top side should be browned.  Flip them over and cook the other side for another 10 minutes.

And that’s it!

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Time to go brag to your friends that you have just mastered seitan.  You may get some funny looks with an opening line like that…

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Mmmmm…

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Always store seitan in liquid (preferably leftover broth/soy sauce) otherwise you’ll look like a teething infant when attempting to eat dinner.

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Ta-da!

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If you’re looking for seitan ideas, there are plenty of elaborate recipes on the internet or in vegan cookbooks, but I prefer the simpler dishes.

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Seitan with stir fried veggies and chickpeas.

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Seitan in a whole wheat wrap with veggies.

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Hope that was helpful.  Let me know if you give it a try.

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19 thoughts on “Seitan tutorial

  1. Sarah @ BikingNBaking

    This is great! I have wanted to make seitan for so long now but I have been terrified after an attempt a few years ago that turned out horrible. Of course, I was using regular wheat flour.. maybe that could have messed things up?

    Anyways, Thank you!

  2. Jenny

    You make it look so easy! I think I will definitely try it this fall (when it’s oven season again. Thank you for posting this!

  3. Gena

    You’re going to laugh at me here, but…I don’t really like seitan, and guess why?

    It reminds me of chicken :)

    I believe that phrase is typically used to denote “it’s harmless, you’ll like it.” Not for this weird lady!

    Still, this is such a clear, great tutorial! I’ve seen many in my day, and it’s a winner.

  4. famishedtofantastic

    First off I really enjoy reading you blog. As someone who is vegeterian and now having huge difficulty with dairy I like the new and fresh ideas you provide.
    Last night I tried this recipe and have to say I LOVE IT!!!! I have a hard time coming up with things with enough protein that does not include animal products and am alway afraid I am not getting enough especially being pregnant. Thank you so much this will become a staple in my diet.
    P.S. I can not believe how easy it was to make!

  5. elise

    Yeah!! This makes me so so happy. Thanks for the feedback. I’m thrilled to have been able to help :)

  6. Stephanie

    Hey just found your site and I love this! I’m making my first batch now but I have to ask…is it supposed to be liquidy and squishy even after 15 minutes in the oven? I’ve never made it before so I’m wondering if I’m doing it right.

    Cheers!

  7. elise

    Semi squishy – yes. But they should firm up enough to flip them half way along…and then be a nice “meaty” (for lack of a better word) texture by the end of their cooking time. Hope that helps!

  8. Pingback: Log seitan « hungry hungry hippie

  9. Lindsey

    I was so excited when I found this recipe that I immediately ran to my neighborhood food co-op to buy up the ingredients. Unfortunately, mine came out CRAZY SALTY. I used tamari instead of soy sauce, so maybe that was my mistake.
    Also, I noticed that your original seitan recipe only calls for a tablespoon of soy sauce, and this one uses a half cup. Is that right? In retrospect that seems like quite a bit.
    Anyways, love you blog! I make your quinoa granola (with variations) all the time and it is amazing.

  10. Elise Post author

    hi lindsey! i dont think the tamari/soy sauce difference should make an impact.

    it may seem like a lot, but when divided into all the different patties it isn’t really. im not sure why yours turned out so salty. mine definitely werent. have you tried the other seitan tutorials i have. the log seitan is foolproof. good luck!

  11. Jennifer

    Thanks for the quick recipe. I have tried the boiling method and this was much quicker and easier with similar results. I too found it incredibly salty eaten plain however. I’m adding it to one of my favorite “Quick-Fix Vegan” recipes from Robin Robertson- the wilted red cabbage salad so I’m sure it will even out.
    Thanks again!

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