What Is Seitan?
It might seem odd that a popular meat alternative is formed with wheat, but that’s what you get with seitan. This incredibly popular and often protein-packed meatless “meat” ingredient is often referred to as wheat meat, wheat protein or wheat gluten.
How Is Seitan Used?
Seitan is used as a base in vegetarian and vegan recipes, much like tofu or tempeh. It has naturally occurring protein and is often described as having a savory taste like bland chicken or an unseasoned portobello mushroom. Much like tofu, however, seitan can take on many more flavors to act as the perfect substitute for meat in your favorite dishes.
What About Tofu or Tempeh?
Unlike tofu or tempeh, seitan has a texture more akin to meat. For recipes where people would enjoy more texture like vegan “ribs” or “steaks,” seitan is a more appealing option. Additionally, seitan is typically more protein-dense than the other meat alternatives.
Try seitan for yourself with this delicious recipe for vegan butter chicken!
Vegan Butter Chicken
2 cups chicken-style seitan
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp. hot paprika
¼ tsp. BareOrganics Cayenne Powder
½ tsp. BareOrganics Turmeric Powder
1 garlic clove, minced
1 thin slice of ginger, minced
For the sauce:
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 slice of ginger, minced
- 1 small red chili pepper, minced
- 1/8 tsp. nigella seeds
- ½ tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- ½ tsp. garam masala
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp. ground fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
- 1 small can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- salt and black pepper to taste
- extra coconut oil for cooking
- Mix seitan pieces with marinade ingredients. Add more oil if needed. Cover and put in a fridge for 30 minutes.
- Heat just enough oil in non-stick pan. Fry seitan pieces until golden. Flip and repeat. You want to see nice crispy chicken pieces. Set aside.
- You can use the same pan and add more oil if needed. Sauté onion until soft and translucent. Then throw in garlic, ginger, chili pepper and tomato paste. Cook for few more minutes.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and simmer on low until half of the liquid evaporates.
- Meanwhile blend cashews, nutritional yeast and water in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Finally add the spices and cashew mixture in a pan with tomatoes, stir and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer into high-speed blender and process until very smooth.
- Return the sauce into a pan, slowly bring it to boil and season with salt and pepper. Add seitan pieces, cover and let it simmer for another 5 min.
- Switch off the heat and serve.
Which meat alternative do you prefer?