Tutorial: How to make seitan

Since I got several questions about how I make my seitan, here’s a quick run down of the process.

It may sound complicated, but I swear it’s the easiest thing you’ll ever stick in the oven, so PLEASE don’t be afraid to give it a shot. 

*I base my recipe off of Vcon’s simple seitan, but I make it with even fewer ingredients and steps (and it still turns out fabulously well).  Sometimes less is more, right?  Plus this way it is easy to jazz up with flavors and spices in other recipes/dishes that call for it.

The Simplest Seitan (ever)

1 cup vital wheat gluten (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

3/4 cup vegetable broth

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (not necessary if you aren’t as obsessed with nooch as I am)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

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Combine VWG & nooch (dry ingreds) and then add in the wet stuff (veg broth & soy sauce).  Yes, it will look like a brown blob. 

The vital wheat gluten makes everything congeal together, but the ratio of wet to dry that I use makes it easy to separate.  I prefer my seitan more juicy, but if you want a more dense or solid seitan just decrease the veg broth to 2/3 cup.

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Before you separate the seitan into cutlets, add a cup of extra vegetable broth to the pan.  Then place pieces of the uncooked seitan into the veg broth.  Sometimes I spray a little bit of Bragg’s liquid Amino’s into this soaking broth ad sprinkle a little salt on it.  The soaking broth is definitely necessary, otherwise you’ll end up with some rock hard chew toys for your dog. 

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Add them to the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Leave room in between them because they will grow. 

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After they’ve stewed in their own juices for 20 minutes flip ‘em over and give the other side a chance to cook (10ish minutes).

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Take them out of the oven, let them cool, and voila!  Your very own homemade seitan.

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Serve ‘em up plain or save them to use in other dishes.

Just make sure you store them in extra broth because they need it to keep from hardening up.

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Enjoy!

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Comments (53)

  1. cmb0096

    Am I the first commenter?! Wow :-)

    I *love* homemade seitan (haven’t bought the stuff in years and years), and ummm…what do you mean nutritional yeast is not necessary?!? It is a totally vital ingredient, in my opinion! Actually, I think it might be a vital ingredient in just about everything… :-)

    Missed you!

    Courtney

  2. Chocolate-Covered Katie

    Great post, Elise!

    And I am right there with you: nutritional yeast is like a (legal) vegan wonder drug :) :)

    Chock-full of vitamins AND it makes everything taste so good!

  3. Brigid

    I’ll have to try this! I’ve never made my own seitan. I’ve also never had nooch. I must remedy this immediately.

  4. vegfiguresk8er

    I will have to make this sometime soon :) looks easy!

  5. blueeyedheart

    That is incredible… I am SO going to get my hands on some vital wheat gluten. I MUST try this. Like, NOW. :p

    <3 <3

  6. kbwood

    ooo these look aweesome girlfrand!

  7. findinghappinessandhealth

    i’ve never tried seitan- i’m curious about its taste though!

    xoxo
    shelley
    http://findinghappinessandhealth.wordpress.com

  8. apartmentnearchinatown

    Holy cow…this looks really easy! Why was I so intimidated!? I might have to stop by WF and get some VWG :)

    thanks.

  9. rebecca lustig

    Great post– I appreciate the cooking lesson :)

    Have a fabulous Friday and don’t forget to smile
    bec xo

  10. julie

    …soo you’re entering next season’s top chef?

    great! see you there :)

  11. ethel

    This IS easy! So can I then re-cook the seitan in other dishes? Like would this be something I can use in red sauce pasta, let it stew in with tomatoes and such? I can’t recall but it’s either seitan or tempeh that really absorbs the flavors or things you put in it. Verdad o no? I’m very impressed with how easy this is. Gracias mi rubia!

  12. Kristen

    I can’t wait to try this!

    I’m with Julie…you should go on top chef…it would be fabulous!

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  14. Shelby

    This is how I make mine too!

  15. kilax

    That sounds super easy to make! I didn’t realize this was something you could make at home. Maybe we will give it a try!

  16. Rachael

    I live in LA and ever since reading that you went to UCLA whenever I’m in the area I feel totally badass, knowing that I’m walking around your old stomping grounds ;)

    Rachael*

  17. elise

    hahahaha, thats awesome :)

  18. elise

    totally easy ate. and yes, you can put it in errrrthang. so tasty.

  19. elise

    ha! riiiiight. can you even see me. theyd ask me to cook some part of a pig, and i would be like…well, i threw the pig away, but heres some nice hummus for you to try?

  20. elise

    i couldnt agree more

  21. elise

    oh do it! youll never buy the prepared stuff again!

  22. elise

    i was too!! i was so scared to try it, and its so frigging easy. you will be so glad you tried it, i promise.

  23. Katie

    YES!

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  25. glidingcalm

    Erin was eating this the other day and told me i should try making it! thanks for the recipe mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  26. Erin

    Yay! This sounds so easy! I usually make it with Yooli’s recipe and I’m always looking for new variations :) Thank you bby

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  28. Kelsey

    What can I use as a sub for the soy sauce? Would balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or pomegranate juice work?

  29. elise

    hmmm…do you have braggs liquid aminos? i wouldn’t try it with balsamic, lemon or pom. i cant think of anything that would replace soy sauce – sorry!

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  31. scratch-made wife

    I’ve never eaten seitan, but I’m becoming very interested in it. Your recipe looks somucheasier than any other recipe I’ve seen so far. Thanks for such a simple version! I hope to try this soon.

  32. elise

    its sosososo simple. promise.

  33. ellie

    I am making this sometime this week- looks awesome! How do you store it once made? And once it’s made as per recipe, can it be eaten straight up or does it need cooked in a sauce or something?

    Just tried vital wheat gluten for the first time (Veganomicon chickpea cutlets) and they tastes kind of raw…edible, but not as expected. I think I underestimated how much to knead it!

  34. ellie

    oops- I meant, how long does it stay good for in liquid/fridge and can it be frozen (still kept in broth?)

  35. elise

    i don’t think it would work when frozen, but im not totally sure. the version i make thats a log (same tutorial section under log seitan) can probably be frozen better because it’s more like a vegetarian sausage.

    when stored in the fridge in liquid, the seitan keeps for a long time actually…i think a full month is how long i’ve pushed it.

    you can eat it as is once it’s made. or you can add sauce and throw it into a recipe (but it doesnt need to be re-cooked).

    hope that helps!! enjoy :)

  36. ellie

    Thanks! Going to try it- good to know it keeps for so long in the fridge. Won’t need to freeze it (don’t know why I thought 2-3 days max…!) can’t wait!

  37. ellie

    It worked! Seriously delicious- can’t wait to experiment more with it (made a stir-fry and “chicken salad” sandwich- still trying to replicate that one I loved in NYC!) Thanks for the recipe!

  38. Jim

    I’ll give this a try… As soon as I can figure out what the heck “nooch” is. I guess I need to study English a little more.

  39. Elise (Post author)
  40. Katie

    I just made this last night :) I added some tomato paste, basil and oregano for more of an Italian flare. It came out awesome! Thanks for posting this recipe!

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  44. Molly

    I’ve been cutting carbs and adding protein to my diet to lose weight, and seitan is key to this plan. This recipe was so easy I thought I’d try it, and I love it. I now add diced seitan to my salads. Thanks so much for posting it.

  45. Elise (Post author)

    hooray! so glad you liked it and found it as simple as i. its such a staple in my diet now.

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  47. Lindsey

    Do you remember about how much this makes? I’m so excited to try this today! I’m all about simple!

  48. Sharon

    Don’t know if anyone is still reading but I have a question.

    I made these and they looked EXACTLY like the picture going into the oven but never expanded out so were denser than I think they’re supposed to be. They just stayed the little burger shapes. I did make a recipe and half, but I carefully calculated the ingredients, even the soaking broth.

    I would prefer them light and less dense, as they appear in the pic. Can anyone think of what I might have done wrong? Should I have let them sit and “rise” awhile BEFORE putting them in the oven? I thought maybe I needed more soaking broth but it looks the same. Up until the final product. Maybe I should have added more when I flipped them over? Naw, I think they were done growing by then….

    Great recipe though, so much simpler and faster than all the others, especially cooking time. Guess I’ll play around with it. Gonna try to tomato paste/Italian suggestion up above next time.

    Thanks for posting it!

  49. Molly

    I find that if I use just a touch more broth (maybe a teaspoon) my seitan comes out a little softer, but it is always chewy. I have never actually had it rise much or be “fluffy” although it does increase in size during cooking. I love this recipe, and it has become a staple in my family. Good luck!

  50. Elise (Post author)

    my best guess (since you followed everything else so well) is that you may consider the kneading time to be the variable. I’m not sure how well you mixed the seitan before separating them into little blobs, but sometimes they can be tough if they get over-worked. sorry i don’t have other ideas!

  51. Elise (Post author)

    thanks for the advice molly!

  52. Sharon

    The dough did seem kind of juicy to me but I’ll try a little extra liquid next time. Interesting that it doesn’t rise for you either. I also think I’ll try using more “stewing” liquid and maybe even heating up the broth first, although, it wasn’t straight out of the frig or anything.

    Thanks for helping out!

  53. Sharon

    That’s an interesting thought. Technically, I didn’t actually knead at all (I’m a bit obsessive following directions and they didn’t say to knead) but I suppose in effect I did when I separated and molded the pieces. I use Plantoeat.com for my recipes and I only had the end result picture in there so I was trying to make them look more like that. Next time I’ll just let them be their own blobby selves. :-)

    I still have leftovers but look forward to my next attempt. This really is SO much faster than simpler for mostly the same outcome.

    Thanks for helping out!

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