SI-Tan, Satan, Seeshan no matter how you say it this thing called Seitan is like vegan crack. It is up there with noosh and ninja vegan products on the list of ‘Things That Excite Your Average Vegan!’. It took me nearly two years of being vegan to finally learn how to make seitan at home, I resisted the whole time because I knew the second I learnt how to make it there would never be healthy eating in my house again. And that is saying something coming from a lady with three bags of frozen chips in her freezer!
You’re probably thinking ‘what the hell is seitan’? Even if you are already vegan (and don’t worry, it is nothing like tempeh. Don’t let the crazy vegans convince you that that stuff is worth a lick of your taste buds! EW!). Seitan is the ultimate meat replacer. Wait, wait! Don’t run away yet! I know most of you omnivores out there think we vegans and our meat replacers are like walking oxymoron’s. I hear it from you all the time “but I just don’t get you people who refuse to eat meat but will eat a “replacement”. Why not just eat the real thing??” Well aside from having morals the idea of eating meat is up there with having your nails pulled out on the list of things to do for a vegan but some of us still like the taste of bacon or beef so it means we can have the taste without the taint.
Have you ever been to a restaurant, most probably located in or close to Chinatown, that you weren’t sure if what you were eating was really chicken or pork or duck or even fish? It probably wasn’t. It was probably seitan. Welcome, you are now eating vegan! Yep, we can make just about any meat product from seitan. Seitan is a mix of wheat gluten and flavours. And trust me, it is amazing!
You can add just about any flavours to the wheat gluten to make seitan at home. This time I wanted something akin to a peppery chicken burger patty. Have a shot and let me know what you think!
For these you will need:
6 burger rolls
1 1/2 onion
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup vegan mayo, I used Praise 99% Fat Free (Ninja!)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 chicken stock cube, I used Massel (Ninja again!)
2 tablespoon BBQ Sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/8 teaspoon browning essence
2 teaspoons tahini
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups wheat gluten
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup noosh
In a bowl combine the warm water, stock, one tablespoon of BBQ sauce,
liquid smoke, browning essence,
and vegetable oil.
Mix well and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the wheat gluten,
noosh, (look at that beautiful waterfall of noosh!! Don’t you just want to stick your head under it and drink it all up?? So much vitamin B goodness!!)
Combine the dry ingredients with a fork and form a well in the center.
Pour the wet ingredients into the wheat flour mix.
And use a dough hook to combine the ingredients. The dough will be sticky to touch but firm and elastic.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to a 1cm thickness.
Cut out rounds that are approximately 10cm in diameter. You should get eight patties out of the dough but I only made six and wrapped up the remaining dough for another night.
Unless you have a very sharp round cutter you will have to use a knife to cut the rounds out – the dough is very elastic. Don’t worry about making them perfect circles, you want them a little rustic.
Lay the rounds out on an oiled tray and bake in a preheated oven at 180°c for 10-15 minutes.
While the seitan patties are baking we will make up the special sauce.
Finely dice half a small onion.
In a small bowl combine the onion, mayonnaise,
the remaining BBQ sauce,
and dill. Mix well and refrigerate.
Remove the seitan patties from the oven when they start to brown. Make sure not to overcook them though as they will go tough. You really don’t want tough burger patties!
As they cool the patties will start to wrinkle, that is perfectly normal and what you want. The wrinkles adds a little extra texture.
In a fry pan fry the remaining onion, chopped into half rounds, with some olive oil.
Once the onions start to brown remove them from the pan but leave the pan on the heat.
Dip both sides of the seitan patties into the special sauce.
Then quickly fry them in the remaining olive oil.
A minute on either side is more than enough!
Butter and slightly grill your burger patties. Cover the base with a layer of special sauce.
Add a burger patty and onion.
Top with a couple of slices of beetroot
I did plan on only eating half and keeping the other half for lunch the next day. Hahahaha that was never going to happen! I dare you to try and eat half a burger. It is undoubtedly impossible.