How to Make Seitan

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  • 01 of 06

    Gather Your Ingredients for Seitan

    Jolinda Hackett

    Seitan is a common meat alternative. It is made from protein-rich gluten and can be formed and shaped into a variety of styles for cooking many recipes. Making seitan at home takes a few easy steps, Once you've done it once or twice, you can begin to experiment with different seitan recipes and cooking techniques, including stir-fries, baking and more. Making your own seitan will save time and money. 

    Ingredients for Basic Homemade Seitan

    • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
    • 3/4 cup water or vegetable...MORE broth
    • 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari 
    • 1 tsp. ginger powder 
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 6 cups vegetable broth for cooking
    • Optional: Extra soy sauce or tamari to add to the vegetable broth
    • Optional: 3 to 4 slices onion
    • Optional: 2 to 3 pieces fresh ginger
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  • 02 of 06

    Mix Ingredients

    Jolinda Hackett

    To make your homemade seitan, combine the vital wheat gluten flour and dry spices in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the soy sauce and the 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water.

    Add liquid to dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. After a few initial stirs, you’ll probably need to use your hands for this since the gluten will have a rubbery consistency. Do not use an electric mixer! If needed, add more water, a tablespoon at a time. It should be fully mixed while maintaining the...MORE rubbery consistency. 

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  • 03 of 06

    Knead Gluten

    Jolinda Hackett

    Once the mixture is well combined, knead your seitan 10 to 15 times, allow it to sit for 5 minutes, and then knead a few more times. Don't skip this step! 

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  • 04 of 06

    Form Seitan Into Smaller Pieces

    Jolinda Hackett

    Separate your ball of gluten into three or four smaller chunks. Gently stretch each piece into a flat cutlet, around 3/4 inch thick. Seitan will expand when cooking, so keep the cutlets around 3/4 inch thick. Don’t worry about any holes that may form in the gluten, because most will fill after expansion.

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  • 05 of 06

    Simmer in Broth

    Jolinda Hackett

    Add seitan to 4 to 6 cups of vegetable broth in a large pot and bring to a slow simmer. You can add extra spices or flavors to this broth. A quarter cup of soy sauce or tamari, a few pieces of fresh ginger, and several slices of onion will add extra flavor to the seitan.

    For a "fishy" seitan, add crumbled nori or other seaweed, or for a chicken-flavored seitan, add some poultry seasoning and use a vegetarian chicken-flavored broth.

    Cover the pot and allow the seitan to cook for an hour or...MORE more. Be sure to use a large pot and plenty of broth, as the seitan will expand. Seitan is done when it has firmed up and expanded.

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  • 06 of 06

    Prepare Seitan or Store Until Needed

    Cooking up homemade seitan in barbecue sauce on the stove!
    Cooking up homemade seitan in barbecue sauce on the stove!.

    When the seitan has expanded and firmed (after it simmered for about an hour), remove it from the broth, allow it to cool, and use it in a recipe or make a seitan stir-fry.

    Seitan keeps well in the freezer in a sealed container or zip-top bag, so make a double batch and freeze for use later. When you're ready to use it, thaw it for an hour or two first before adding to a recipe.