Friday, November 5, 2010


I had a big post all ready to go last night, just needed one final picture... and then I fell asleep at 6 pm until 11 am*.

So, today will be a two-part Seitanic epic*.


Seitan can be awful if not done right (braaaaiiiiiinsssss), and some of the ways of doing it right are... hard. Like boiled/simmered/poached? Yeah, I can't do that. I've tried them so many times and failed, and yet I still tried because every time I'd had seitan it was so good.

And then, when I was about to give up because making my own was so hard and the store bought was expensive, in a moment heralded by a chorus of angels with really awesome electric guitars, the recipe for Seitan o'Greatness appeared in front of me. (Or... you know... on the ppk forums)

This is a really good recipe for a lot of things, especially soups, but there's some thing that it probably wouldn't be so good for, since it's really heavily spiced.

I dunno how much longer the recipe will be online in the original location, so...
The Recipe O' Greatness:

1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper (I use 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (you can use 1/8 tsp if you like it less spicy)
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tamari 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Weird ingredients for the uniated members of the cult non-longtime-vegan readers:

  • Vital wheat gluten: This really awesome stuff you get by getting all the protein out of flour. You can make your own, kinda, by washing and kneading dough, but it's easier and not too expensive to buy it at the store.
  • Nutrional yeast: Cheesy, eggy smelling and tasting stuff. It's not brewer's or bread yeast. That would be gross, in the case of the first, or prohibitively expensive, in the case of the second. It also is kinda a many-purpose savoryish thing
  • Vegetarian worcestershire: worcershire has anchovies in it, so don't use it here. I buy the kind with a wizard on the bottle (wizard sauce, like rooster sauce) because it's the cheapest everywhere I go.

First (or last, if you're in a state like mine) preheat the oven to 325 F.

This is how we do mise en place in college. But really, do mise en place. Mise en place prevents the otherwise ineveitable "Oh crap, I'm out of ____!" right in the middle of something important. Every time I don't get my ingredients out ahead of time, I'm out of something...

Dump all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix them together (more than I have in the picture). Don't spill the vital wheat gluten on the floor, it's a pain, even with a vacuum. (No, I've never spilled it. Why do you ask?)

Liquid ingredients in a bowl. If you think ahead, leave out the water until the next step. I always forget and add it with the rest.

Whisk all the ingredients together. I've found that if I leave the water out until after I whisk together the rest, the oil goes together with everything else a lot better, but it doesn't really hurt the final product at all either way.

Dump the liquid in the dry. Mix together with a spoon or spatula at first, then your hands if you want, to make it faster (I kept using the spatula). It's at about the halfway point in the picture (really!).

Once it's all together (no big white patches left) and kinda looks like a big brown brain, put it on a sheet of aluminum foil. 

Roll it out into a vaguely log-ish shape. You don't need to worry about getting it perfectly cylindrical or anything, just log-ish enough to roll up.

Roll the log up in the tin foil, twist the ends together really tight, and stick it in the oven. Take it out about 90 minutes later...


Same as with the black bean burgers, but with pinto beans this time.

*bad CS major, bad. You're only supposed to sleep on national holidays...
**two parts because blogger gets mad when I have this many pictures.


  1. Well, I might have to be brave and give this a try 'cause you make it look very simple here!

  2. It really is. When I'm not taking pictures of it, and the oven is not 5 floors away, the ingredients-to-seitan-loaf-in-oven process takes less than 5 minutes. It cooks for a long time, so preheating isn't really that important.

    And if you think ahead a bit, clean-up is just as fast. Just two bowls, a big mixing spoon, and some measuing spoons.

  3. I've seen this come out of the oven at home and for us non-vegans - it looks pretty passable as a "meat" -- kinda' like a Hickory Farms summer sausage. It's a pretty good fake meat. Hey - where is Phil in the Chili Blog?

  4. Oh - question - how do you clean up the cooking mess in your room? Where do you wash things? Poor Michelle.