Do you have questions about seitan?
We've got answers!
Keep reading to learn...
- What seitan actually is.
- Where you can buy it.
- How to make it on your own.
- Answers to common questions like: Is Seitan Healthy?
- And much more!
Let's get started!
What is Seitan?
vital wheat gluten
Brief History of Seitan
Even though it may seem like the latest fad, Seitan has actually been around for a long time - perhaps even the 6th Century in China. The oldest reference we have to date is in a Chinese encylopedia dating back to the year 535. Seitan was popularized by Buddhists or anyone looking to abstain from meat during that time period. It started appearing in Western Cultures around the 1800s.
What is Vital Wheat Gluten?
Gluten is a form of protein found in the wheat plant. If you've tried any gluten free products, you may have found that it is more crumbly than products with gluten. This is because the vital wheat gluten is stripped out.
Where Can I Buy Seitan?
If you're looking to try some seitan, you have two options: make it yourself or buy it already prepared. If you already live by a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, you're in luck because they are pretty much guaranteed to carry it.Whole Foods specifically tends to have a section specific to meat substitutes or replacers which is totally awesome! It's also possible to get online using the links below!
Seitan Available Online
Getting Seitan online is an option if the stores around you don't carry it.It's also obviously more convenient if you don't feel like driving to the store.
Store Locators for Big Brands
When it comes to seitan, Upton's Naturals is one of the biggest brands out there. They make a variety of seitan flavors including: bacon, chicken, chorizo, Italian, and traditional.
Although most people know them for their vegetable stock, Pacific Foods also makes seitan! They also have some unique flavors which include Korean BBQ (one of our favorites at Thrive Cuisine!). If you're looking to get your hands on some, you can use the store locator on any of their products.
Probably one of the most widely distributed brands of seitan, Tofurky Deli slices are most likely going to be the one's you find in your local supermarket. Their products tend to be more akin to "seitan hybrids" as some of them contain soy as well as vital wheat gluten.However, the similarities between their products and regular deli slices is totally uncanny, meat eaters aren't even likely to notice. Check out their store locator to see if they're near you!
Another big name in the industry, WestSoy not only makes seitan, but also a wide variety of vegan products including plant milks. Their seitan selection is interesting because they have cubed seitan which is difficult to find and also perfect for vegan kebabs! It also comes in a tofu-like package. See if they're near you by checking out their locator!
Check out this vegan starter kit
How Do I Make Seitan?
Many people have likened making seitan to both an art and a science. There are so many different ways to prepare it to change up the texture and the flavor. The video below is a very simply and easy recipe to follow and it's only a 4 minute watch!
The first time you cook seitan probably won't yield you the results you want (again it's a bit of an art), but don't give up!
Here's a very basic recipe that we use for you to build in. Feel free experimenting with your own spices and flavor profiles to create the results you're looking for. Also, rather than slicing it, you can cook it in a cheese cloth to create one big loaf if you'd like!
If you don't know where to buy cheesecloth in the grocery store, read our article.
Basic Seitan Recipe
Ingredients You'll Need
For the Dough:
- 2 Cups of Vital Wheat Gluten
- 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
- 1 1/4 Cups Veggie Broth
- 3 TBSP Soy Sauce
Dr. Greger from NutritionFacts.org
Why? Well, if you're a vegan, consuming a well balanced-diet within reason, it would be virtually impossible to be deficient in any amino acids. Our body has a finely tuned protein recycling program as well as stores of extra amino acids to be broken down and reassembled to maintain the perfect balance. Check out the video above to learn more.
Is Seitan Soy?
Yes and no. Some seitan products like Tofurky slices can have soy in them, but seitan doesn't have to necessarily be made with soy. A majority of seitan products or homemade seitans won't have soy in them.
What Does Seitan Taste Like?
Much like , seitan is a blank canvas for flavor. You can make seitan take on the flavor or texture of almost any meat dish or product that you can think of. Check out the recipe section below to spark some ideas!
How Do I Cook With Seitan?
OK, so you've picked up some seitan at the store, but are wondering what the heck to do with it! Basically, you can do anything that you would do to sliced or cubed meat. This includes stir fries, stews, kebabs, marinating, grilling, smoking, etc. It really is a blank canvas for any meat dish you'd like to recreate.
Want to take all of the guess-work around going vegan?
Click here to check out the Vegan Starter Kit.