Monday, April 09, 2007

The Infamous Seitan Recipe o' Greatness

Mother of god--when I actually have a rare burst of spare time on a weekend with absolutely nothing I'm obligated to be doing, man, do I cook. (And watch way too many movies--but movies are good, what can I say.) This weekend it was ribz, sweet potato fries, orange chocolate-chip cookies, peanut butter brownies, baked seitan, pizza, and Steph's sockarooni pasta. Utter madness.

Where to start?

Well, I guess I'll head off the week with the Seitan Recipe o' Greatness which has spread through the vegan internet community like chickenpox. Or like leprosy. Or like the blustery snow this weekend over the streets of Cleveland.

I've been itching to try baking this seitan since I first saw it, primarily because it was WAY too easy-sounding to make. I've made the VwaV recipe before, but it requires too much effort for someone as lazy as me. Mixing stuff and throwing it into the oven: that's my cup of tea.

And this recipe is the cutest (if a recipe can actually be cute). 90 minutes after tossing this log o' goodness in the oven, it came out all red and pretty and looking like an animal-friendly Pepperidge Farm salty log o' saltiness. It was so cute that I just wanted to keep squeezing its cheeks and mumbling "Oh isn't the little loggy the cutest EVER! So cute, little loggy loggy. A-boo-boo-boo. Is da loggy cute? Yes it is! Loggy loggy."

And it was tasty to boot. Like I've mentioned before, I'm always skeptical when people act like a recipe is the second coming. But man, this was good stuff. I enjoyed nibbling on it all by itself. And it also tasted delightful tossed on a sammich.

My hopes for the future: to try out some variations on the cute little loggy log. But until then, I definitely recommend the recipe, as it is a good (and ridiculously easy) one.

Oh yeah, and months after having baked my vegan ribz, thinking that there was a different between vital wheat gluten and vital wheat gluten flour, I finally realized that the two things are THE SAME DAMN THING. Yeah. I'm a dolt sometimes.

  • 1.5 c. vital wheat gluten

  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast

  • 1 . salt

  • 2 t. paprika

  • 1/4 t. cinnamon

  • 1/4 t. cumin

  • 1-2 t. pepper

  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper

  • 1/8 t. allspice (I skipped this)

  • 3/4 c. cold water

  • 4 T. tomato paste

  • 1 T. ketchup

  • 2 T. olive oil (I used canola because I was out of olive oil)

  • 2 T. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce--I used soy because I had no Worcestershire)

  • 1-3 cloves garlic, crushed well (I just sprinkled in garlic powder to taste)


Preheat oven to 325°.

In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for several minutes.

Form into a log (6-8" long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

[Oh, and belated side-note: For those of you who are vegan or have been privvy to another vegan's gas, you already know that vegans have 100x more filthy disembowelingly nasty farts than the rest of the human race. {{It's the veggies!}} Anyways, this seitan will a) triple the frequency of your gassiness for the day and b) somehow manage to quadruple the raw-egg stench of it to the point that you might actually be able to blind someone with your farts and/or take over the White House with them. I swear, yesterday after eating some of this for lunch, my cats every once in a while would look at me with a "Are you fucking kidding me? Did we do something wrong and you're trying to punish us??" look. So be forewarned.]


  1. amazing recipe and i suddenly laughed so loud when i read about the farting thing that i scared my cat.. guess he should get used to being startled. :)


  2. I just made this. I couldn't even wait till it cooled. This is the best seitan ever...and now I'm going to be making it weekly. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! *My kitten might hate you later. But I love you.

  3. This looks GREAT and a welcome change from tofu. I'm going to slap this sucker down on the table at Easter and watch the faces drop!

    I also laughed out loud about your gassy comments, but my cat slept right through it. (She has her own gas issues, so I don't think she should point any paws at ANYONE!!!)

    Anyway, I have found that taking digestive enzymes really cuts down on the gas production.

  4. Browsing the 'net for seitan recipes I found a lot of them. Much of them with the same ingredients (or mostly) that yours has, but none of them have the glowing fart recommendation. And that, for my husband and I, is a very good reason to use your recipe. If we can gross out ourselves or the animals we live with merely with our ass exclamations, then my friend, we have a winner!

  5. max wright10:43 AM

    hey you are funny. loggy log you are a nice writer. i will try recipe... my standard seitan process involves kneading the seitan as you run a trickle of water over it so as to alledgedly expell the excess starches... you're supposed to get a meatier seitan by kneading it? i don't know. i usually knead for about ten minutes. and you have to add the liquid to your gluten flour gradually or you will lose the elasticity... one day i will knead my seitan for a very long time so i will know what the true effect of kneading is; for now i do it only for show. if you notice your seitan having two different tones in its flesh, i.e. darker greyish and lighter tan or beige or something... oh i don't know... then lets see i always just fry it fry it fry it chili ginger garlic soy... i have to learn how to bread the stuff to make that nasty fatty coating like general tsao's chicken! like general tsao's chicken! like general tsao's chicken!... when i can have a fatty bready spicy sweet schticky citrusy seitan then i will be a seitan master...

  6. Erica5:52 PM

    I tried this and it was delicious! I made a large log with the standard recipe and a couple smaller ones (approx sausage sized) with chopped olives mixed in. The mini ones were gone immediately and the large one didn't even last 2 full days since everyone kept sneaking slices of it from the fridge. It was fantastic on sandwiches paired with lots of mustard. Fortunately the mentioned side effects didn't happen to us.

  7. Anonymous4:24 PM

    After hunting everywhere to find the ingredients for this i couldn't wait to make it - but mine came out a bit dry and very bread like - any ideas what i did wrong??


  8. Anonymous7:54 PM

    I can't find the spot where you said you awoke in the middle of the night to your cat's threats. Recently I have been eating a lot of seitan. Since I figured out how to make it taste real good, and it is soooo much cheaper than prepackaged meats. I too have become a flaming fart machine. Yes. I could easily take over a country with the smell. After a certain number of them they begin to burn. I have used the beano and it cuts down the gas some, but not nearly enough.

  9. Anonymous1:21 AM

    A little gluten intolerance, maybe? [re: fart warning]

  10. Sounds delish!
    How much salt?

  11. I was hesitant about using all that tomato paste but man, this turned out GREAT!! After making the seitan I turned half of it into Buffalo Wings:
    w/ vegan blue cheese dressing:
    OMG! I am in heaven! I had to stop myself from devouring all of them. Make this now!!

  12. Anonymous5:14 PM

    Yeah, I'm going to second someone else's comment and elaborate a bit:
    If you've noticed an increase in gastro discomfort after eating alternative meat products (besides straight tofu), probably should get checked for gluten intolerance with a doctor. Many people have it (an esitmated 3 million in the USA), and it is commonly misdiagnosed. Almost all alternative meat products and a lot of other foods are made with a gluten or wheat product (wheat has gluten in it). It results in many different symptoms, everywhere from just upset stomach and fatigue to miscarriages, nervous system disorders, etc... And as we've grown wheat over hundreds of years, we've selected grains with higher gluten content (better binding for breads I think, etc), so bread, pasta, etc contains more gluten than back in the day, which possibly explains increasing numbers of gluten intolerance and celiac disease (or that more people are just more aware and are getting tested).

    My boyfriend is gluten intolerant, so unfortunately he can't have this, but I''m definitely going to make it for myself for making to-go lunches. Thanks for the entertaining recipe and hope my gluten rambling might help someone out...

  13. Anonymous6:51 AM

    I got the farts, too, but I don't think it's gltuen intolerance at all. I have eaten seitan many times before, either store-bought or homemade (but it was boiled). I think it's something to do with baking it vs. the "traditional" simmering/boiling method...

    It was good, but the small amount of time saved by not simmering it isn't worth the noxious smell :P

  14. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Thanks for the recipe. I enjoyed it, but next time will leave out the cinnamon.

  15. So good!! Thank you! I'm thinking of making sausage links (seasoning with basil, oregano, and caraway seeds) out of this and bringing it with peppers and onions to thanksgiving.

  16. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Friends- in this recipe its not the gluten that gives the gas- its the nutritional yeast...

  17. My loaf turned out much like a dry-sausage...kinda like that Hillshire Farms Summer sausage log, but vegan (Solstice Sausage??).
    Nice degree of chewiness and spice, I really like this recipe! I think it'll be very tasty fried up like Canadian bacon slices or shaped into mini-links. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Very good. I had never made seitan before yesterday,and oh my goodness, this is delicious (and easy to make!!) Thumbs up from me :)

  19. Hullloooo!
    Nice sunny-ish spring day here in Oxford, England. Made this to take to our allotment meeting - can't let it go without sharing!!
    Texture is fab as well as taste...
    Thanks for posting.

    (PS not looking forward to the "after" effects! )



  20. Just made this I did everything to a T but it came out like a loaf of french bread. What did I do wrong?

  21. Erica, I was wondering how long you cook your "mini sausages" for?

  22. Anonymous8:47 AM

    This is awesome. For the spices do garlic, ginger, and crushed red with soy sauce and then use this in vegan black metal chef's iron noodle stir fry. It's amazing.

  23. Anonymous12:27 PM

    I can't wait to make this and laughed out loud at your farting note especially since I'm sitting next to a cat who has been farting all evening and they are vile lol.

  24. Anonymous8:05 PM

    wow. every seitan recipe i have tried to make turned out horribly. until now. this is the best seitan recipe EVER!!! thank you for posting!

  25. Anonymous9:48 PM

    I substituted the tomato paste with red curry paste and it turned out fantastic! Strongly recommend it!

  26. Anonymous3:08 PM

    i cant wait to make this! my last attempt was via ppkitchen and while that was pretty good this sounds even better. i'm curious about the cinnamon tho' but i guess ill trust and give it a shot. thanks for sharing!

  27. Thank you for such a great recipe! I've been asked by many friends to start a vegan blog, and I am just in my beginnings. I am a part time vegan, 6 days a week pretty much. I too was finding, like many of the commentators, that vegan meats are pricy! I made one recipe from the current book I am sampling, and it was foe vegan Italian sausage, but the flavor really fell short... but this recipe here. Oh my heavens was it good. Very happy with this one :-)

  28. Wish recipe included 1 WHAT measure of the oven now, used 1tsp, as I can add later...!

  29. Okay I've made this several times and I FINALLY mastered it. For those of you who are getting a summer sausage beef jerky consistency ... Bake for an hour flipping once and also after u place the seitan in the foil add a tablespoon of water before you close. When you pull it out of the oven it will be tender and bouncy. Once it cools it will be the PERFECT texture!

  30. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Yes, it is true about vegan gasiness (taking over Congress might be a good idea!). But, for me, it wasn't the veggies it was the BEANS! (and related bean based products) AND carbs! I noticed that my energy had gone down, my weight had gone up, and so had my gas! I thought it might be gluten (or the very rare dairy that I had at social functios to prevent myself from fainting due to an utter lack of protein). Sad to say, I just couldn't get enough protein without eating more refined soy than I was willing to for other health reasons (I know it works great for some, more power to you!). So, I cut out the carbs (potatoes, bread, normal pasta, rice and BEANS! other than whole soy). Result: many of my health issues are resolving, I dropped some weight... and almost no more gas! So, if you are frustrated by gasiness, try dropping the beans with higher carbs just for a week (make up your protein with other sources... I actually kinda like pea powder) and other high carb foods and see if that makes the rumbles, bloat and gas go away. BTW -- I found out it wasn't gluten, so I can't wait to try this wonderful recipe!

  31. Anonymous8:07 PM

    So Just made this and it is very good, but not really what I was hoping for. Looking for a much "beefier" tasting meat analogue... Would be a great base for a meatloaf though!

    Anyway for all of you with eye watering gas, I would recommend investing in Shreddies. They're odor absorbing underpants that use carbon graphite filters (similar to materials chemical weapons protective gear is made of) and they really do work!