A lot of people have been asking me for seitan recipes lately. I have dozens, but most of them don’t end up on here for a few reasons.
Primarily it’s that I’m pedantic and detail oriented with anything involving gluten, and I’m afraid recipes won’t turn out for you the way they do for me. It isn’t that seitan is hard to make (it really isn’t), but the texture can change drastically depending on cooking temperature, method, added ingredients, the amount of time you spend mixing the dough, pH levels, and the hardness/softness of water, among other factors. Chemistry minefield. I’ll stop talking now.
This recipe, however, is pretty fool proof so long as you follow the instructions.
The bonds between the protein molecules in gluten become stronger with additional kneading and heat (hence your favourite gluten based faux meat is firmer when refrigerated than when cooked). That’s why creating the dough with cold water is important. Hot water will make the dough nearly impossible to manipulate.
The yuba skin isn’t necessary for this vegan roast to work, but it adds a nice additional texture. You can buy it in most of the bigger East Asian grocery stores in London, like in Chinatown or places like Wing Yip in Croydon. Vital wheat gluten can be purchased at Longdan Express stores in London or ordered online.
Easy Vegan Sunday Seitan Roast
This vegetarian roast is easy to throw together and makes for an excellent vegan Sunday roast. The yuba adds a crispy skin around the outside of the seitan, but the loaf will come out equally tasty without it. A red wine based gravy with plenty of sage is a perfect accompaniment to this faux meat. Make sure the water you use is cool!
- 170 grams (1 ½ cups) vital wheat gluten
- 30 (¼ cup) grams soy flour
- 14 grams (3 tablespoons) nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 150 millilitres (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) cold water
- 15 millilitres (1 tablespoon) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Marmite
- 1 sheet store bought yuba
- 15-30 millilitres (1-2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
- Combine vital wheat gluten, soy flour, nutritional yeast, sugar, onion powder, sage, thyme, celery salt, mustard powder, and black pepper in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, mix the water, soy sauce, tomato paste, and Marmite. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough becomes thick enough to knead by hand. Knead for 2-3 minutes and form into an approximate 5 inch log. Pinch any uncooperative openings in the dough closed (but don’t aim for a perfect shape – it won’t matter too much in the end). Wrap the dough loosely in foil (the gluten will expand as it heats). Steam for 40 minutes.
- Leave the seitan to cool for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 F).
- Soak the yuba in some hot water to rehydrate (this will only take a minute or less). Squeeze as much water out as possible and lay the yuba on a flat surface. Brush with some oil. Wrap the seitan in the yuba, brushing with oil as you roll. Be sure to brush the outer layer thoroughly.
- Re-wrap the seitan in foil and bake for 40 minutes. Optionally, for an extra crispy exterior, unwrap the roast from the foil and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- Kip Dorrell
- Serves 3-4 as part of a roast dinner
- British Sunday Roast