Seitan is a popular vegan meat substitute. It is also known as vital wheat protein, wheat gluten, textured wheat protein, and vital wheat gluten. Seitan is high in protein with a chewy, and meaty texture that makes it perfect for vegan meat alternatives.
To make it from scratch is a longer process than using vital wheat gluten powder. By repeatedly rinsing wheat flour dough with water, starch and fiber are removed. What is left, is a sticky stringy mass of gluten. Seitan can be seasoned any way desired and steamed or cooked in veggie broth. We don’t even need to make it from scratch, as vital wheat gluten is available in many stores or online.
This recipe is a steamed version, steamed seitan has a slightly different texture than the cooked version. Cooking produces a more fluffy result, whereas the steamed version is slightly denser, and therefore great for steaks, schnitzel, stir-fries, and many more dishes.
Processed seitan is available in many stores in the cooling sections, but making your own means you control what is in it and season it the way you want. Besides that, it is much cheaper to make your own and it is fun to experiment with flavors and textures. From meatballs to salami for the next pizza, to burger patties, there is no end to trying out new versions of seitan.
Despite the fact that seitan is made almost solely of wheat gluten, it is still nutritious, high in protein and minerals. The process of washing away the starch found in wheat makes it also a low-carb ingredient, that contains very little fat.
As a soy-free vegan protein, it is a great option for everyone with a soy allergy or sensitivity. However, people with gluten or wheat intolerance must avoid seitan, since it is pure gluten made of wheat.
I hope you like this recipe! Check out my recipe for vegan Merguez, a savory vegan sausage, perfect for pizza, appetizers, tapas, sandwiches, and more!
- 2 cups rice (cooked and cooled)
- 1/3 cup of liquid aminos
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp Ras el Hanout (Moroccan seasoning mix)
- 1 cube low-sodium veggie broth
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ¾ cup of chickpea water (from 1 can of chickpeas)
- 2 cups seitan flour (wheat gluten)
- Stovetop steamer pot
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1/3 bunch of cilantro
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp chili flakes
Fill the stovetop steamer a little over halfway with water and let cook at medium temperature with the lid closed.
In the meantime, place rice, liquid aminos, salt, Ras el Hanout, veggie broth, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, and chickpea water in a blender and blend until everything is mixed well and has a smooth consistency.
With a rubber spatula, place the mass into a big bowl and add the seitan flour. Work with your hands until the consistency is like a firm stringy dough.
Form a loaf, wrap it in baking paper or aluminum foil, and twist the ends like a candy wrap.
Place the wrapped loaf into the steaming top of the pot and let it steam at medium temperature for 40 minutes with the lid on. After 20 minutes cooking time, turn the loaf. Be careful not to burn yourself.
After 40 minutes, turn off the heat and let the loaf cool down for around an hour. I recommend placing the loaf into the fridge for an additional hour or two before the next step.
Cut the loaf into ¾ inch thick slices, rub with the marinade, and let sit for another 30 minutes. Heat a pan with 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil on medium heat. Cook the slices for around 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Serve with vegetables, salad, or anything savory you like.