Friday, October 30, 2009

Seitan Day

I'll be the first to admit that my homemade seitan is a little wonky... it comes out more like heavy, savory bread than faux meat...but we like it. I want to start experimenting with other ways to make it, but up until now, I've always just baked mine in foil. One thing I want to try soon is braising some in a rich coconut sauce and use it as a base for a Malaysian-style curry.

On seitan days in the near future, I'll definitely be consulting Alicia's blog for recipes and tips on honing my seitan skills. I think she's a seitan expert and could market her own line of the stuff.

The basic recipe that I use can be found on this post from Vegan YumYum. (BTW, the pot sticker filling on that post is absolutely delicious.) I use that recipe as a base and then play around with different spices and ingredients. Sometimes, I use Old Bay Seasoning, sometimes I add cumin or other spices and flavors.

Today, I made two kinds. The first was two loaves of carrot, leek, and apple seitan:

As you can see, it looks a lot like bread.

I think the carrots, leek, and apple turned out well together; it's slightly sweet, very moist, and the leek is really good in there. It occurred to me (too late because it was already in the oven) that it might be fun to put the filling in the middle and roll it up like a roulade. I'll try that next time.

I usually cut these loaves into 1-inch slices, and keep them in the freezer. Tonight, we'll have a few of these covered with an herby bread crumb crust, along with kale, cauliflower, chanterelle mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. Tomorrow, I'll grind some of this up in the food processor and use it as mince for some chili.

The second kind I made today was in the form of sun-dried tomato and fennel sausages with some red chili flakes. My sausages usually turn out especially wonky. This is largely why I want to try some other methods, like steaming perhaps, to see if I can get a more uniform look to them. No matter how well I wrap them in the tin foil, the sausages always puff out in all different directions:

Again, you can see that it looks like a savory bread stick; but it's yummy to us. I think this type of seitan is good for people who get a little squimy when things are too meat-like.

Can't believe today is the penultimate day of Vegan Mofo...I've never blogged so much in my life.

Ciao for now.


  1. Rose,

    Thanks for posting your seitan. I am going to consult the base recipe as soon as I finish this comment.

    I was confused when you said your seitan looks like bread but the last photo really does. I haven't had that happen so I can't say why it occurs. But, I haven't baked mine dry either, so that may be the answer.

    Very kind of you to say that I am a seitan expert, but I don't think I am that good. I will say my seitan continues to improve with each batch. I think the steam baking method with breadcrumbs is the best "meat substitute" I have made to date though.

    I like the idea of braising seitan in a coconut sauce. Are you planning to cook it first and then braise the cooked seitan?

    Steaming the sausages should resolve the shape issue. Mine puff and form sausage like logs every time, but I always steam or pressure steam them.

    thanks again for the nice compliment on the seitan,

  2. Yes, I want to actually cook the seitan in the coconut milk.

    Have a great evening. :)

  3. Rose,

    The first few batches of seitan I made I cooked directly in simmering liquid. The resulting seitan had an unpleasant spongy texture. I have gotten a reasonably good texture braising seitan on low in the crockpot. I am going to guess the temperature of the cooking liquid has an impact on the final texture of the seitan (but that is just a guess, for what it is worth).


  4. That makes sense; I bet you're right.

  5. Catching up on VeganMofo, so sorry I'm late. If you would like an oven braised seitan, you can try the one on my blog and this one ( as well. I think you will like the texture of each of them.

  6. Thanks Snugglebunny,

    I'll definitely give your recipe a try; it sounds good.


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