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Make Your Own Seitan

By Megan Tempest in Food on Apr 6, 2010 4:00PM

This juicy seitan recipe, from the ultimate vegan cookbook, Veganomicon, requires only a handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes of active prep work. The result is so delicious it’s sure to become a staple in your arsenal of meat-alternatives.

Fondly known as “wheat meat”, seitan (pronounced say-TAHN) is made from wheat gluten, the protein portion of a wheat kernel. Containing about 30 grams in a 3 ounce portion, it's nearly pure protein. The same amount of tuna, pork, or sirloin steak each contains roughly 25 grams of protein. Keep that in mind next time mom gets worried that your vegetarian food doesn’t give you enough protein. Seitan is a healthy, cholesterol and saturated fat-free, addition to stir fries, sandwich wraps, salads, soups and any dish in need of some meaty texture.


1 cup vital wheat gluten flour (available at Whole Foods and most natural food stores)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ cup cold vegetable broth
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater


8 cups cold water plus 3 vegetable bouillon cubes, or 4 cups broth plus 4 cups water
¼ cup soy sauce

To prepare: Mix together the gluten flour and yeast in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together the veggie broth, soy sauce, olive oil and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until most of the moisture is absorbed. Use your hands to knead the mixture for a few minutes; until the dough is elastic (this happens pretty quickly!). Divide with a knife into three equal pieces and then give those pieces a good knead to stretch them out a bit.

Prepare the broth:
Fill a stockpot with water, bouillon cubes, and soy sauce, and add the wheat gluten pieces. Cover and bring to a boil. Try to catch it just as soon as it boils and then lower the heat as low as it will go so that becomes a low simmer. Partially cover the pot so that steam can escape and let simmer for an hour, turning the seitan occasionally.

Turn off the heat and remove the lid, then let sit for 15 minutes. Remove the seitan from the broth and place in a strainer until cool enough to handle. It is now ready to be used. Our preferred method of cooking seitan is to slice it, dredge in flour, lightly pan-fry it in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and serve atop steamed vegetables. “Fried” seitan is also absolutely made for kids who love chicken nuggets (therefore all kids).