What is Seitan?

Let’s start off first by saying that it is not Satan, actually it is pronounced ‘Say-tahn’, long sound there at the end. Just remember the sound is like whan you are at the doctor, and the doc wants to look at your tonsils, they make you say “AHHHHHHH”, right? That sound. Say-tAHHHHHHn.

This stuff is awesome. If you have never had it, you should. It is a hearty meat alternative. Not like tofu, which is primarily water. Seitan is the body builder of fake meats. It can stand up to the biggest guy, and hold its own. Yeah, it would totally win an arm wrestling fight. That is for sure! So being that this stuff is like the super hero of fake meats (strength wise), there is sooooo much you can do with it. 

Most vegetarian restaurants use this stuff for a lot of their dishes. Most veggie Chinese places use it for their mock-chicken/duck/beef/pork. The problem I have with their stuff is that it is usually oil-fried and high in sodium. And that is not too great. Which is why I sought out to make my own at home.

The best part about making your own seitan at home, is that you can season it to taste how you want. Most pre-packaged seitan is “chicken” style. Which is great and all, but when you make your own, you can add more “ocean-flavor” tastes. For example, want your seitan to be like a fake fish? Add nori or kombu to the stock for the flavor. Use your imagination!

picture above: teriyaki seitan

Homemade Seitan

  • 2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 2 teaspoons spices (spice how ever you want it to taste. Use nori for a “fish” flavor.) I used garlic powder, oregano, and black pepper.
  • Optional: Add 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast (i added for added flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cup broth (i made my own veggie stock, but can use water and bullion cubes, or canned broth/stock)
  • 2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos (You can use soy sauce as well, but I did not to keep a lower sodium content).
  • 12 cups broth (i used 6 cups veggie stock, and 6 cups water, and added 1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos to the liquid.

1. Heat in a large stock pot the 12 cups broth to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to low simmer. 

2. Mix Wheat gluten, spices, and Nutritional yeast in large mixing bowl.

3. In separate bowl (i used the measuring cup i used to measure the broth), mix the 1 1/2 cup broth and the soy/animos.

4. Add the liquid to the wheat mixture, and start mixing till all the dry has been incorporated with the wet. If too dry, add 1 tablespoon liquid till fully mixed.

5. Once the “dough” has been fully mixed it is time to start kneading. Knead dough for 10-15 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes. Knead for another 5-10 minutes till dough is rubbery.

6. Cut into equal portions and shape into “cutlets”. About 1/2 inch - 3/4 inch thick. Thinner is better. Try to keep all about same size as they will cook more evenly.

7. Put cutlets into the simmering broth. DO NOT BOIL.

8. Cook 2-3 hours at the low simmer till the cutlets feel firm and not doughy any longer.

9. Turn off heat, and let cool.

10. Store in air tight container in own broth in fridge. Use within 3-5 days, or freeze


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