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Easy Seitan

Ali Rosen


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Chef notes

    If you are interested in giving plant-based meat a try, you can certainly purchase seitan if you aren't looking to spend your time washing flour, and most of the ingredients will be as simple as the homemade version. But if you want to give the recipe a whirl yourself, it truly is as easy as washing and waiting with the two-ingredient wonder that is seitan.



    Combine the flour and water in a bowl (it is always a 1:3 ratio so scale up or down depending on how much seitan you want to make). Knead the mixture until it comes together in a ball. Put the dough in a bowl of cool water for at least an hour (but no longer than 6 hours) to allow the gluten to form.


     Then it's time to rinse the starch away. Knead the dough under the water and every time it gets very cloudy, dump it out and add new water; use a colander here to ensure you don't lose any dough. The dough is ready when the water is almost clear, and the dough looks stringy. Let it rest in the colander for 30 minutes to an hour.


     Add in whatever flavoring you want: Spices, seasonings and other ingredients can all be incorporated at this stage. Stretch and knot the dough to help shape it. Allow the seitan to rest for at least 20 more minutes (or you can keep it in this stage for up to a day, if you'd like).


     When you are ready to cook, place a deep pan on medium high heat with a bit of oil. Cook the seitan for approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until it browns. Then add water or broth to cover and let it cook covered on a low simmer for approximately 2 hours (whatever liquid you cook it in will impart its flavor into the seitan, so use more or less flavoring as you'd like).


     When the seitan is done cooking, you can eat it, but it is best to let it rest in the refrigerator in the liquid for at least 8 hours to fully firm up. Use the seitan as you would any piece of chicken — add it to tacos, stir-fries, casseroles, pasta and whatever else your heart desires.