Photo Credit: Google Image Search

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Satanic Seitan

So these past few weeks have been chaotic. I haven't been home on a weekend since...God knows when. Won't be home on a weekend until...August at earliest. Matt is unemployed, so he's been stepping in to do the cooking and what not, so I haven't felt inspired to blog. Nor have I had the time.


I'm hoping that things start to slow down soon, but who knows. No one tells you about how much busier your life gets when you are gainfully employed. Actually, I think they do...

Anyways, a few weeks ago I decided I needed to figure out what in the hell Seitan is. I'd heard of it, pretty sure I'd even eaten it before, but really didn't know what it was. So, I decided it was time to venture into imitation meat-ville.

Temporarily. At least.

So I found this recipe for Seitan from Scratch from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker." As I began the process of basically removing all the nutritional value of wheat flour, I realized this was QUITE a labor intense process.

Making the stock was super easy (and I had TONS of homemade leftover vegetable stock which was awesome), and it smelled great. The annoying process was kneading the dough ball in water until the water was clear and not white. This took forever. I am still not convinced I got the water to run clear, but at least it was only sort of cloudy when I threw in the towel.

This recipe made a lot of seitan and it definitely LOOKED like meat.

Here's the recipe for the Seitan from Scratch from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker."

•1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch chunks
•1 large yellow onion, quartered
•3 garlic cloves, crushed
•½ cup tamari or other soy sauce
•2 bay leaves
•2½ quarts plus 3 cups water, or more as needed
•6 cups whole wheat flour (about 2 pounds)
1. Combine the carrot, onion, garlic, tamari, and bay leaves in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add 2½ quarts of the water, cover, and turn the heat setting to High.

2. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the remaining 3 cups water. Stir well to combine, adding a little more water if the dough is too dry. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough back in the bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Let it rest for 20 minutes.

3. Place the bowl holding the dough and water in the sink. Knead the dough in the bowl until the water turns white. Drain the liquid, then cover with fresh water and knead again until the water in the bowl turns white. Repeat the process, using fresh water each time, until the water is almost clear. The dough should now be a smooth ball of wheat gluten, or raw seitan.

4. Depending on how you plan to use it, leave the raw seitan whole or divide into 4 smaller pieces and add to the simmering stock. Change the heat setting to Low, cover, and cook for 4 to 6 hours.

5. Remove the cooked seitan from the cooker and transfer to a baking sheet to cool. If you are not using the seitan right away, it can be stored submerged in its stock in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days or frozen for several weeks.

So once this was all said and done (sorry I don't have pictures, it was 10:45 3AM and I was exhausted), I let the seitan "rest" until the AM where I decided to make a Seitan Pot Roast also from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker."

In the morning, I sliced up the Seitan "loaf" to make it look like cutlets.

Then I followed the recipe and put it all in the crockpot while I was at work.



I come home from work and the house smells AMAZING. Like, it smelled like legit pot roast.

Then I took a bite.


I mean, the initial flavor and texture was similar to pot roast but the chewy rubbery texture was just not ideal. AND to top it all off, I knew there was like ZERO nutrients in this dish. So, we decided to plop those cutlets on top of some macaroni noodles and call a spade a spade.

All in all, this was far too much work for a really not impressive outcome. If I were to ever make seitan again (or eat it for that matter), I would make sure there were some really REALLY bold flavors to compensate for the lack of a pleasing texture or flavor. Also, I would make sure there were tons of veggies involved to guarantee the health factor.

Sad face.

Here's the recipe for the Pot Roast from "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker."


1 sweet yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 pound baby carrots
1 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
The cooked seitan (around 2 cups is what is called for)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 cup water, or more as needed
3 tablespoons soy sauce


1. Arrange the onion, carrots, and potatoes
in the bottom of a lightly oiled slow cooker.

Season the vegetables to taste with salt and pepper
and add the stock, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of the

2. In a large bowl, combine the wheat gluten flour,
onion powder, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme,
1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. (Since I had already made the seitan, I just added the seasoning to the liquid)

Add the water and soy sauce.

Mix well, adding a little more water
if the mixture is too dry, then knead
for 2 minutes until smooth.

Shape the gluten to fit inside your cooker
and place on top of the vegetables.

Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on
LOW for 4 hours, or until the seitan and
vegetables are cooked.

3. To serve, remove the vegetables and seitan
from the slow cooker.

Cut the seitan into slices and arrange
them on a serving platter. Surround with the
vegetables and spoon the cooking liquid over


  1. I don't remember if I told you this before, but the seitan you can buy in a store is pretty awesome. I especially prefer chorizo-flavored because I put it in tacos, quesadillas, omelets, mac n cheese, etc. I think the kind I get is called Upton's, it has a fun old-timey style package. I recommend you try that before you write off seitan completely!

  2. I've never tried making my own, but the packaged kind from Whole Foods works well for a number of things. I really do need to get around to making my own at least once, though, just to say that I have.

  3. Good effort! :) :) :)
    So brave of you to make it yourself!

  4. Personally I am not a fan of seitan, but The BF loves it so I make it for him. My recipe is from Vegan on the Cheap and that one seems to be the best I've had. Flavor wise it's really good, I just don't like the texture.

  5. Cool recipes. I'm a little nervous to try making it, but I actually enjoy kneading bread dough so it couldn't be that different. I wonder if I could throw it in the bread maker to speed up the process.

  6. I have a (mostly used) box of Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten, I use a few tablespoons whenever I make bread in my bread machine. It has a recipe for seitan. There is still some kneading involved, but there is not that whole knead, soak, rinse, repeat cycle that kept you up til 3am. I have been planning to make seitan myself, but the last two times I've been to the store it's been out of stock. When I've made a batch, I'll post the results and maybe we can compare notes.

  7. Thanks for all your comments. I definitely shouldn't throw in the hat after one try. I'll give your suggestions a go. And please keep me posted as you find successes or failures with the ever complex SEITAN!

  8. dumbass stop keyword spamming vegan recipes with your hot mess


Go ahead...leave some love.