Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Slow-cooked red seitan

August 30, 2015

I've hit my seitan stride this year and it's high time I blogged my preferred recipe. It comes from Steen and Noyes' Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day, with only the most minor adaptations from me. Originally called 'moo-free seitan', it's clearly aimed at replacing red sandwich meats and has tomato paste, tamari and smoked paprika worked into the dough. Besides these reddening agents, there's also garlic, onion, nooch and liquid smoke to reinforce that savoury flavour.

I also like that this recipe makes use of my oft-neglected slow cooker. It's little trouble to rustle up the requisite ingredients, submerge a couple of dough loaves in broth, and allow them to slowly simmer over the course of 8 hours. Once done, that's one loaf for the fridge, one for the freezer, and a couple litres of stock as a bonus. 

I've found that the seitan slices brown and crisp up nicely in a frypan while remaining juicy (and even pink!) in the centre. They fare well as simple chops, but also hold up to stir-frying and gravy-smothering.

Slow-cooked red seitan
(slightly adapted from Celine Steen & Tamasin Noyes'
Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day)

seitan dough
2 cup gluten flour
3 tablespoons soy flour
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon 'beef' stock powder
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup tamari
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 1/4 cups water

cooking broth
2 teaspoons 'beef' stock powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon tamari
4-8 cups water
4 cloves garlic, sliced
black pepper

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the gluten flour, soy flour, nooch, spices and stock powder.

Place the tomato paste in a small bowl. Whisk in the tamari and liquid smoke, and then 1 cup of the water. Pour all of this liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir them together with a wooden spoon to form a dough. The aim is to make a dense, firm dough - add in as much of the extra 1/4 cup water you need to bring all the dry ingredients together. Knead the dough in the bowl for a few minutes, scrunching your fingers right in to stretch the gluten strands. Divide the dough into two little loaves and place them side by side in a slow cooker.

Prepare the cooking broth by whisking together the stock powder, tomato paste and tamari, then stirring in 1 cup water. Pour this mixture over the seitan loaves in the slow cooker. Continue pouring in more water until the seitan is just covered. Drop in the garlic slices and add a few grinds of pepper. 

Cook the seitan on low for 8 hours, using tongs to turn the loaves over at the 4 hour mark. Allow the seitan to cool a while in the broth before cooking with it or storing it. We refrigerate or freeze the seitan, and reserve the strained broth to use as stock (often freezing it too).


  1. Wow, I've never even thought to attempt my own seitan. I can't wait to try this recipe though- I just need to find a slow-cooker. (: Thanks for the idea.

    1. Welcome, Quincy! Steen and Noyes also offer an oven-baked method - they suggest about 3 hours at 150°C.

  2. Now that is interesting. You've mentioned home made seitan before and I've thought, yum, but then never gone any further. This looks easy-ish. Two, possibly slightly dumb, questions:

    * What do you mean by gluten flour? Is that normal, high gluten flour, like Bakers' flour, or something different?
    * And any advice if you don't have a slow cooker?

    Thanks for posting this Cindy, you've got me thinking. And I do like the idea of it as sandwich filling. Plus, I love seitan, but so many of the shop-available brands are full of dodgy sounding ingredients, I'd like to make my own.

    1. Hi Kathryn! Gluten flour is indeed different, with a higher gluten content again than baker's flour. I buy the Lotus brand from health food shops here in Melbourne.

      Luckily Steen and Noyes offer an oven-baked approach to cooking their seitan as well - they suggest 3 hours at 150°C.

  3. I am so into trying this! I have only attempted seitan once and it was spongey and weird. I like the idea of chucking it in the slow cooker and letting it do its thing. I would love to become somewhat adequate at making seitan :D

    1. Hi Little Vegan Bear! This seitan could still be described as spongey so I'm not sure whether or not it will appeal to you. I like that it holds its moisture, as I've found that some other recipes can be rather dry.

  4. Ooh, nice new blog look! :) I've never cooked seitan - sounds like your version has heaps of awesome flavours.

    1. Thanks, leaf! We set it up for our 2000th post. :-)