What offers vegan burgers, nuggets, and sizzling canines their meaty chew? For a lot of manufacturers and homecooked recipes, the reply is seitan. Pronounced say-tan, this vegan meat different has born the brunt of an infinite provide of unhealthy puns, however regardless of its unlucky identify, seitan is liable for advancing plant-based merchandise past the constraints of tofu and tempeh. Its makes use of are infinitely versatile in its mimicry of animal-based meat, and it additionally supplies a considerable quantity of plant-based protein. From the decades-old origin story to find out how to use it in your most beloved recipes, right here is all the pieces you might want to learn about seitan. 

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What’s seitan? 

Seitan is a minimally processed type of plant-based protein. It may be flavored to swimsuit plenty of vegan meaty purposes, however in its most simple kind, seitan is basically made of important wheat gluten and water. Which brings us to the follow-up query: what is important wheat gluten? This substance appears to be like like beige flour and is actually pure gluten—the protein present in wheat and different grains. Celiacs and those that want or need to keep away from gluten ought to cease right here, as seitan is staunchly a gluten-full meals. 

A really fundamental seitan loaf is made by kneading water and important wheat gluten collectively then simmering the ensuing loaf in additional water or vegetable broth. From there, it may be sliced, diced, shredded, baked, fried, sautéed, steamed, or stewed relying on what the recipe requires. Most store-bought seitan merchandise and recipes you’ll discover will add a couple of extra steps to this course of with the intention to taste the seitan loaf earlier than including to a dish. Soy sauce, infused vegetable broths, and dried herbs are the commonest seasoning brokers. 

Like tofu and tempeh, seitan originated in East Asia a whole lot of years in the past. The accepted story credit vegetarian Buddhist monks for seitan’s invention. Within the US, seitan was adopted as one of many protein sources of vegan and vegetarian hippies. A kind of hippies was Seth Tibbott—the founding father of Tofurky. The unique vegan Thanksgiving centerpieces had been created from a mix of important wheat gluten, tofu, and spices. Whereas Tibbott wasn’t the one one promoting seitan, Tofurky’s eventual success deserves some credit score for popularizing the strategy of turning this beige protein powder into succulent vegan meat options. Immediately, manufacturers comparable to Area Roast, Upton’s Naturals, Quorn, Gardein, Alpha Meals, Candy Earth, and extra depend on seitan to duplicate craveable meaty meals. 

Seitan diet information

Seitan is a nutrient-dense meals that’s notably low in fats and excessive in protein. A 3-ounce serving of plain seitan incorporates about 130 energy, three grams of whole fats (solely 0.5 grams of saturated fats), 18-22 grams of protein, zero grams of fiber, and eight to 10 p.c of the every day really useful quantity of iron. The sodium content material ranges between 300 to 400 milligrams, relying on the model and recipe (some use soy sauce, which will increase the sodium ranges). Except you’re allergic or delicate to gluten, seitan is a strong plant-based meat different. Granted, this dietary profile can differ vastly relying on how seitan is ready. In the event you’re breading and frying it, the saturated fats and calorie content material will considerably improve. 

put together seitan

To make seitan from scratch, you’re going to need to put in some work. You’ll begin by mixing important wheat gluten with water and kneading it for a number of minutes. This dough might want to relaxation, adopted by extra kneading in the event you’re including flavoring components to the seitan itself. As soon as blended and rested, the seitan dough may be very gently simmered for as much as an hour in your alternative of liquid. This may be so simple as water or boxed vegetable broth, or you may put together a extra flavorful simmering liquid with soy sauce, spices, liquid smoke, or wine. Like tofu and tempeh, seitan is a taste sponge. As soon as simmered and faraway from the broth, the seitan is able to use. 

Making seitan from scratch isn’t for everybody, and even when it does enchantment to you, it is probably not an every-week event. You’ll be able to simply discover store-bought seitan in each plain and seasoned varieties. In the event you go for this extra handy route, all you need to do is take away the seitan from the bundle and apply it to your favourite dishes. Preserve studying for our tried-and-true vegan recipes that make seitan the star. 

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7 unbelievable seitan recipes

1 Spicy Vegan Seitan Potstickers

Vegan potstickers could be filled with extra than simply greens and tofu. Seasoned, seared, and crumbled seitan supplies a meatier chew that higher replicates the expertise of biting right into a pork-based dumpling. This shortcut seitan comes collectively in minutes as does the tofu-based cotija filling. A bundle of store-bought dumpling wrappers makes fast work of this historically labor-intensive dish. 
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2 Seitan Bourginoun

This stick-to-your-ribs, wine-infused stew is ideal for the meat-and-potatoes crowd. Hearty items of savory seitan add texture and protein amongst the medley of greens soaking in a wealthy broth. Professional tip: when cooking with wine, all the time use a bottle you’d fortunately drink. That is no place for sub-par wine. 
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3 Vegan Bangers & Mash

British or not, this traditional UK dish of spiced sausages and mashed potatoes will heat your soul. This recipe does take a little bit of time—you’re making all the pieces from scratch from the seitan-based bangers to the fluffy potatoes and herbed gravy—nevertheless it’s a welcome departure from the same-old, same-old. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon leisurely whipping up this primary meal, and reward your self with a pint come dinnertime. 
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4 Traditional Seitan Gyros

Questioning what to do with that store-bought pack of seitan you lately bought? Remodel it into succulent gyros. This Greek–impressed vegan meat works properly in plenty of purposes—tucked right into a fluffy pita pocket, tossed right into a Greek salad, or just served with hummus, tabouli, and tahini. A squeeze of lemon and some easy herbs are all you might want to get this seitan began. 
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5 Nation Fried Seitan

As of late, we don’t need for lack of vegan fried rooster. You’ll find plant-based nuggets and tenders in most supermarkets, and there are even full-on vegan restaurant chains devoted to this crispy, crackly, and succulent fried meals. Nevertheless, some store-bought choices don’t have the cleanest ingredient label. In the event you’re trying to indulge with out methylcellulose (an additive discovered in lots of processed vegan meats), this simple seitan recipe is it. 
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6 Vegan White Bean and Seitan Pozole Verde

Each time we sit right down to a bowl of steaming-hot pozole, we surprise why we don’t take pleasure in it extra usually. This complicated soup of hominy, seitan, beans, and spicy broth topped with crunchy tortilla strips and creamy avocado hits each textural factor and taste be aware to depart us fully happy. The addition of seitan actually takes this soup over the sting to absolute contentment. 
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7 Candy and Bitter Vegan Ribs

Vegan or in any other case, typically you simply wish to embrace your carnal aspect and eat together with your arms. Seitan is the star of this intensely meaty recipe that includes a sticky-sweet glaze and a lemongrass “bone” to seize maintain of as you tear into every chunk. Preserve napkins on the prepared—you’ll want them. 
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