This is the easiest seitan recipe that is perfect for beginners. It is super basic and versatile. With a pretty neutral flavor, you can use this seitan as a meat substitute in many different recipes. Stir-fry, fried rice, soups, gravies, sliced for sandwiches, and so much more. The possibilities are endless with this recipe!
Seitan can be difficult to master. I have been making seitan for a couple of years now, and I have been through it all. The first time I made seitan, I tried the first recipe I found and boiled it. It turned out to be a super mushy, gigantic spongey brain. It literally looked like someone cracked a skull open, pulled out the brain, and popped it into my pot. No thanks.
Since then, I’ve tested cooking seitan by boiling, simmering, steaming, and baking. Not kneading, kneading for 10 minutes, kneading for 20 minutes. Do we let the seitan rest between kneading or not? Do we cut the vital wheat gluten with chickpea flour? There are so many questions and I have answers.
This is the best and easiest way to make basic seitan.
What is seitan?
Seitan is a high protein, low fat vegan meat alternative made from Vital Wheat Gluten. Although sometimes referred to as “wheat meat,” Seitan doesn’t really have anything in common with bread. Once cooked, it has a firm, meaty texture that is convincingly similar to meat. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own, which means means it is really, really important to load up on the spices!
What ingredients do you need to make seitan?
It takes 5 simple ingredients to make this recipe.
We start off with vital wheat gluten. Chickpea flour and nutritional yeast is added to lighten up the dough and give the seitan a lighter texture and flavor. For the wet ingredients, vegetable broth and soy sauce is added to make sure the dough is packed with flavor.
When making seitan to mimic a particular type of meat or flavor, we can add different liquid ingredients, blended veggies, spices, herbs, etc to the dough to pack it with flavor and manipulate the texture. But this basic seitan recipe I am sharing with you is a super versatile and a great catch-all to use in any recipe.
How to make seitan
Mix dry ingredients into a bowl, then stir in wet ingredients. The dough will start to clump together. Then we move on to kneading.
Knead!!! You must knead.
For this recipe, you should knead for about 8 minutes. And knead like you mean it – put some elbow into it. Kneading activates the gluten, which makes the seitan have a nice firm texture. After kneading, let the dough rest for about 5 minutes. This will help relax the gluten and make the dough easier to roll and shape.
Simmer, steam, or bake?
I have tried simmering, steaming, and baking seitan. Let me tell you right now — simmering is the best way to go! Make a flavorful broth and the seitan will soak up even more flavor while it is simmering. The only catch? You need to make sure it is actually simmering. Do not boil your seitan. This will make your seitan turn out spongey and horrible. Roll your seitan into a log shape, wrap in cheesecloth, and tie each end with kitchen string.
Alternatively, you can steam your seitan. Wrap it in aluminum foil and put in a steamer basket.
I have had success with baking seitan, but you need to be careful of which recipe you use. Don’t bake a seitan recipe that recommends simmering or steaming. Baking seitan requires the dough to have more moisture in it than simmering or steaming requires. If the dough isn’t moist enough, the baked seitan will have a super bready texture to it.
What do I make with seitan?
So many things! Here are a few ideas:
- Cut into thin slices, pan-fry them on each side, and put them on sandwiches.
- Cut into strips, let simmer in a stir-fry, teriyaki, or general tso’s sauce. Toss with veggies + rice.
- Chop into little chunks, simmer in some gravy, and serve over mashed potatoes.
How to store seitan?
I like to wrap my seitan in aluminum foil and place in an air-tight container for about 10 days. Seitan will dry out over time, and I find wrapping it in foil helps preserve some of the moisture.
If you find that your seitan gets dry, rehydrate by heating up a pan with a little water, vegetable broth, or gravy and let the seitan simmer in the liquid for a bit.
Want more seitan recipes? Check out my Vegan Chili Cheese Dogs!
If you make this recipe, leave it a rating and a comment! You can also tag me @Daughter_of_Seitan on Instagram so I can see your lovely food creations. XOXOPrint
This easy seitan recipe is perfect for beginners. Use this seitan as a vegan meat substitute in stir-frys, gravies, soups, and sandwiches.
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
Broth (For Simmering)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped (optional, for extra flavor)
- 3 garlic cloves, bashed (optional, for extra flavor)
- 1 cup water (more as needed)
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.
- Pour in the soy sauce and vegetable broth and stir. Once a dough forms and becomes firm, begin kneading it with your hands.
- Knead for 8 minutes until it feels elastic.
- Let the seitan dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Simmer or steam your seitan.
- Option 1: SIMMERING (Recommended)
- Roll the seitan into a log, and wrap it in cheesecloth, tied at each end.
- Combine the water, veggie broth, onion, and garlic cloves to a large pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring to a simmer.
- Add your seitan to the pot. The broth should cover about 3/4 of the seitan. If it doesn’t, add more water.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, flip, and simmer for another 30 minutes with the lid on and slightly ajar. Check in every once in awhile to make sure the water is still high enough.
- Note: SIMMERING is important. Do not let it boil!
- Option 2: STEAMING (Also pretty good)
- Roll the seitan into a log, and loosely wrap it in aluminum foil.
- Put it in a steamer basket and steam for about 30 minutes. If you double this recipe or your steamer basket is very small, you might have to do two batches of steaming.
- Let it cool 5-10 minutes before you open the foil.
- Option 1: SIMMERING (Recommended)
- Once the seitan is done, use as you wish! Use it in sandwiches, stir-frys, gravies, soups, salads, and more. This seitan will keep about 10 days in an air-tight container in the fridge. *
* If the seitan dries out a bit in the fridge, rehydrate by simmering in a little vegetable broth before eating.
Keywords: Seitan, Vital Wheat Gluten, Easy Seitan Recipe, Vegan Protein, High Protein, Mock Meat