Friday, October 7, 2011


At The School of Natural Cookery, we learned how to make seitan, a wheat "meat" that is often used in place of typical meat dishes, from scratch. This involves washing and kneading wheat flour many times over the course of the day in order to get it down to just the gluten. I didn't feel like spending all day on this so instead I used a recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan with a Vengeance that describes how to make it using vital wheat gluten flour, which is the natural protein found in wheat. It is still time-consuming, but not as labor intensive.

  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (usually found in the bulk aisle)
  • 2T all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cold water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1T tomato paste
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
Broth Ingredients
  • 12 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup tamari
How to make it:
Using a large bowl, mix the vital wheat gluten flour, nutritional yeast, and all-purpose flour. In a separate bowl, mix your wet ingredients through the lemon zest (not the broth ingredients).

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine them with a spatula. Knead the dough for about 6 minutes until it feels spongy and elastic. Be sure to mix it well so there aren't dry ingredients not mixed into the wet in the middle of it. Let the dough rest for a couple of minutes.  In the meantime, stir the ingredients for the broth together in a large saucepot, but do not boil it yet. I used 6 cups of veg broth and 6 cups of water with my tamari.

Then, roll the dough into a log shape about 10 inches long and cut it into 6 pieces of equal size. Place the pieces in the broth -- be sure the broth is very cold when you add the dough as it makes for a nicer texture and ensures the seitan doesn't fall apart. Hint: if you are planning to use bouillon cubes, heat it well in advance -- I mean hours or a day so it is cold by the time you make this. Then, partially cover the pot and bring it to a boil.

When the broth comes to a boil, set the heat to low and gently simmer for an hour, turning the pieces every so often.  Turn off the heat and let the broth and seitan cool for at least 30 minutes.  This will make it firmer.

Now, you are ready to use it in whichever recipe you choose. If you are storing it, place it into a sealable container and cover it with the broth. It will keep for 5-7 days in the refrigerator.

Like I said, time-consuming, but worth it in the end. You will make so much more than the store-bought seitan, it will be tastier, and cost a lot less money! Mine turned out great!


  1. I've been looking for a good seitan recipe, as I've never made it before and I thought it's about time I "get with the program"! This looks great.

  2. It is definitely time-consuming, but so rewarding to make your own. Please let me know how it works out for you!

  3. this looks gooooood! i have a box a VWG that i need to use. i'll keep you posted!

  4. Thank you for this I love the recipe. I am going to make some today. Time consuming but I look forward to it nontheless. I might tweak the spices a bit but will definitely keep you posted.