Smokey Seitan


Juicy, meaty, smoky, and satisfying – with no guilt, since no little animals were used to make it.

You’re house will smell like a smokehouse when you make this insanely yummy seitan.


Don’t let the red juice scare you – it’s just the paprika from the broth!

Please don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients; it’s likely stuff you just have around your house, and it’s mostly spices. It will take about 2 hours or so from start to finish (including prep and clean-up), but a good majority of that time is really just waiting for the seitan to cook. It takes longer than that to roast a turkey! Hand-on time is only about 25-30 minutes.

It really isn’t hard to make your own wheat meat – the biggest challenge is just maintaining the proper balance of wet and dry ingredients. My only advice for this recipe, after “follow it as closely as you can,” is “trust your own judgement” (see paragraph on kneading).

Smoky Seitan – makes about 15 ounces
(Click here for nutrition info, calculated using Calorie Count).

Simmering Broth:
4 cups vegetable broth
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
3 TBSP molasses
1 TBSP pure maple syrup
2 TBSP minced garlic, jarred or fresh
2 TBSP smoked paprika
2 TBSP liquid smoke
1/2 TBSP salt

Combine all simmering broth ingredients in a large pot, turn on stove to high heat, and cover until boiling. In the meantime, make the gluten mixture:

Gluten Mixture:
1 1/8 cup vital wheat gluten (I used about 160 grams)
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP smoked paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP water

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a glass measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, using a wooden spoon (NOT A WHISK-the gluten will get all stuck in it) to mix until it’s as incorporated as you can make it; it should almost look like a paste, but it should be sticking together. If there’s a little wheat gluten left in the bowl that wasn’t able to get mixed in with the rest of the gluten, that’s okay (about 1 TBSP of my gluten was left behind). You can then use your hands to knead the gluten “ball” it on the counter or a cutting board for about 3 minutes, until everything is combined. READ BELOW BEFORE KNEADING.

//While you’re kneading:
– If you notice that the mixture is too dry, that’s okay; it is a little tough and hard to knead. However, if it’s ridiculously dry, just sprinkle a teaspoon or so (but NOT too much; see next paragraph) of water over it and continue kneading. Remember: your gluten “ball” won’t look absolutely beautiful while its “raw,” but it will look much nicer after it simmers.
– If your mixture is wet and spongy, it WILL FALL APART in the simmering broth (trust me, I know). So, if water is coming out of the ball as you knead it, you need to sprinkle about 1 TBSP of vital wheat gluten on the gluten ball and another TBSP the surface on which you’re kneading.//

When you’re done kneading, form the gluten unto something like a rectangle, about 4 X 6 inches and 1 1/2 – 2 inches high. Turn the heat of the simmering broth to LOW, carefully put your gluten rectangle into the pot, and replace the lid, keeping it cracked so that steam can escape. Simmer for 45 minutes.

After the 45 minutes, CAREFULLY remove the gluten from the pot and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the gluten into thin slices (see my pictures), about 1/4 inch thick (something like thick strips of bacon). When you can’t cut anymore strips (I couldn’t due to irregular shape of my rectangle), you can just cut  the remaining gluten into chunks, about 2 x 1/2 inch, 1/2 inch thick, or something like that.

Add the strips back to the pot and cook for an additional 25 minutes. Store seitan in its broth in the fridge (I’ve heard that it will keep for about a week) or the freezer.


3 thoughts on “Smokey Seitan

  1. Pingback: What a busy, vegan college student eats . . . | Naturally Paradise

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