Seitan has to be one of my favourite meat replacement. It can be used to replicate a variety of different meats including chicken, steak and bacon, and bears a close resemblance in terms of both taste and texture. Here is my recipe for a simple 'chicken' style seitan - I have spent a while perfecting this recipe to keep it as simple as possible whilst get it as close to replicating chicken as I can remember, and my omni partner loves it so that must be a good sign!
Seitan is based on vital wheat gluten, the natural protein found in wheat. It is an amazing plant-based protein source, with approximately 50g of protein per loaf and low in carbohydrates (very similar to that of a chicken breast)! Seitan is a very popular meat substitute and can now be bought in many supermarkets and local health food stores (often with a fairly hefty price tag), however I prefer to make my own. Some recipes add ingredients such as chickpeas or tofu to the wheat gluten mixture to alter the texture, but I've kept this recipe nice and simple for any beginners out there.
I find the process of making seitan similar to that of bread making, in the sense that you have to knead the dough to develop the gluten - This is what gives seitan the meat-like stringy texture. The time for kneading seitan is widely varied depending on which recipe you are looking at, in general the longer you knead the dough for, the chewier the end-product will be. I like to keep my seitan soft so when using this recipe I only ever kneed for a maximum of 3 minutes! Once the dough is ready, I split my large seitan ball into four smaller portion-sized loaves. There are many different ways to cook seitan, my personal favourite method is steaming as I find this gives the best texture.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
350ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
225g vital wheat gluten
35g gram flour
20g nutritional yeast
1 tbsp 'chicken' seasoning
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1/2 tsp paprika
Pinch of salt
Prepare the stock by adding a stock cube/pot to boiling water to make 350ml of stock, mix with the olive oil and put aside to cool.
Meanwhile, add all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine and remove any lumps.
Once the stock and oil mixture has cooled, pour this into the dry ingredients and mix until a round dough is formed.
Knead for around 2-3 minutes to develop the gluten (or slightly longer if you want a chewy texture).
Rest the dough for 10 minutes. During this time it is a good idea to start heating up the water for steaming the seitan.
After the dough has finished resting, split the dough into four pieces and kneed into small loaf shapes.
Wrap each of the loaves loosely in tin foil and place in the steamer for 30 minutes, during this time they should expand in size.
Once cooked, carefully remove the seitan from the steamer, unwrap and leave to cool.
Wait for the seitan to fully cool to firm up then refrigerate or use in a recipe of your choosing.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days (I often find it lasts a little longer than this).
Seitan can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Rather than steaming you can also boil seitan in hot stock or bake in the oven.
Thanks for reading, I hope you love my chicken-style seitan recipe and enjoy experimenting by adding it to different dishes! If you do try any of my recipes I'd love to know how they turn out - tag me on Instagram @josiewalshaw!