Seitan, ‘Chicken’ style

Seitan, ‘Chicken’ style

When we choose to remove animal products from our diets, a lot of us miss the texture, flavor or convenience of meat products, which is why there are more and more faux meats out there. I think of all of us have encountered some good ones, but also a looooooot of bad ‘ replacements’! I’m looking at you, restaurants that claim a portobello can replace a steak.

While plenty of recipes are naturally plantbased, it can be really nice to veganize existing recipes, and try to get as close to the original dish as possible. I like to pay attention to nutrients: If you remove a protein-rich element from a balanced dish to veganize it, you probably should replace it with a plant protein. But to really mimic a dish, it’s even more important to match the flavor and texture. Bring in seitan!

For the last few years, seitan has been getting a lot of attention. For those of you who’ve missed it: seitan is a vegan faux meat made from vital wheat gluten, which is the protein found in wheat. It’s easy to find online, at mills and at baking supply stores, as vital wheat gluten is often added to bread to increase its elasticity. The great thing about seitan is that it has quite a chewy texture, it has a good bite to it, and it’s incredibly versatile, because it takes on flavors quite easily. Because you can make it at home, you know exactly what’s in it, and you can tweak it to suit your preferences.

There’s a lot of recipes online to use vital wheat gluten to make seitan versions of practically anything: vegan BBQ ribs, vegan sausages, vegan mince and so on. I like to make a larger batch of seitan and use it in several recipes, which is why I created this basic, ‘chicken’ style recipe. It uses ingredients I always have on hand, and its simple flavor pairs well with a large variety of recipes.

What’s special about this recipe is that it is higher in fat than most seitan recipes. The added coconut oil and tahini make this seitan slightly greasy, although this disappears partially after boiling. This makes it brown better when baking, and helps mimic the texture and flavor of chicken. My recipe uses MSG to add an umami flavor. If you prefer not to use MSG, substitute this for nutritional yeast or leave it out entirely. I highly recommend using MSG however, as it really takes this seitan to the next level!

For some suggestions on how to use this seitan in other recipes, have a look at my recipes for Orange Seitan ‘Chicken’ or Harira (Moroccan Chickpea Soup)!

Seitan ‘Chicken’

This seitan chicken is the perfect way to add some protein to curries and stir-fries, or for battering and turning into cutlets or nuggets!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Lunch, Main, Side
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Faux meat, Seitan, Seitan chicken, Vegan chicken, Vegan cutlets
Servings: 6 portions
Calories: 245kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 g vital wheat gluten
  • 75 ml soy sauce
  • 30 g white vinegar
  • 30 g coconut oil
  • 30 g tahini
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp MSG optional, highly recommended
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • liter vegetable stock

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat up the 1½ liter of vegetable stock and bring to a rolling boil.
  • Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl, and knead by hand for at least 10 minutes. Add a little more vital wheat gluten if it seems too sticky, or a tiny bit more stock if it seems too dry. It should become a slightly greasy dough.
  • After kneading, slice the seitan into 2-4 large pieces, and add to the pot.
  • Boil the seitan in the vegetable stock for 40-50 minutes, until tender. Remove from the pot.
  • Your seitan is now ready to be used in any recipe!



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