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Learn how to make and cook seitan.

Seitan is a trendy plant-based meat alternative. Not only because of its taste but also because it is so versatile you can use it to replace real meat to make pretty much every recipe that calls for meat.

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Seitan: Plant-based meat alternative | Recipe
Last updated on September 27, 2022, and last reviewed by an expert on February 16, 2021.
In this article

What is seitan?

Seitan also referred to as “wheat meat”, is the base for many commercially available vegan products. You can generally find it in various styles, such as ground, in slices, or in strips. Seitan can be prepared by hand using either whole wheat flour or vital wheat gluten. It is made by rinsing away the wheat dough’s starch, leaving just the high-protein gluten behind.

Seitan: Plant-based meat alternative | Recipe

How does seitan taste like?

Seitan has a savory taste, similar to bland chicken. Seitan has a mild flavor on its own but can take on many more flavors from different recipes.

The popularity of seitan is due more to its texture rather than its taste. This is especially true compared to other alternatives, such as tofu or tempeh, which don’t have a “meaty” texture.

How to cook seitan?

Whether you make it or purchase it, seitan always needs to be cooked to use in a vegetarian or vegan meal. A quick pan-fry with a splash of tamari or soy sauce is one way to cook your seitan. You can simmer it with a bit of curry powder and top it off with nutritional yeast for an enjoyable dish.

Seitan is also great grilled. Just top it with your favorite barbecue sauce and heat it up.

Toss seitan into a pan to get it lightly browned before adding vegetables to make a vegetable stir-fry. You can add seitan to just about any vegetarian curry recipe or add bits to a soup or stew for a plant-based protein boost. Once you get started, you will find many creative ways to use seitan in your vegetarian and vegan cooking.

Homemade seitan recipe

Making seitan at home is really easy if you follow this step-by-step tutorial. You just need to mix all the dry ingredients, add the water, and mix until well combined, then let the seitan rest for a few minutes and cook it for 1 hour. That’s it!

Ingredients for seitan

Here is what you’ll need to make your own homemade seitan:


Making your own homemade seitan is super simple and can be broken down into 3 steps:

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  1. Add the vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, garlic, and onion powder to a bowl and stir until well combined.
  2. Add water and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
  3. Place the seitan in the bowl, and cover it with a kitchen towel.
  4. Let the seitan rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Make a ball with the seitan dough.
  6. Add all the remaining ingredients (vegetable stock, tamari or soy sauce, and kombu) to a large pot, stir, and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the seitan and simmer partially covered for 1 hour. You don’t need to stir while it’s cooking.
  8. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool a bit.

Your seitan is ready! Seitan can replace meat in any dish or recipe you want, like vegan fajitas, vegan kebab, or skewers.

If you don’t use it immediately, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for about a week. You can also freeze it in an airtight container and will last up to 6 months in the freezer.

Additional tips

Suggested read: How to make soy milk? Easy soy milk recipe

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