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Easy Seitan 'Chicken'

This seitan ‘chicken’ is new favourite of mine. It’s easy to make, tastes great and has a succulent, chewy texture. It can be torn into chunks and used as a meat substitute in traditional dishes that call for chicken (such as 'Butter Chicken'), or it can be sliced and used for sandwiches. I especially love to slice it into discs and pan-fry it in a little olive oil for a warm sandwich filling. It's so delicious! 
 
Recipe lightly adapted from Sasha Gill’s Butter ‘Chicken’ from her debut cookbook Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian Favourites, Made Vegan, featured in Vegan Life magazine, Issue 48
Hands-on time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Meat Alternative, Seitan, Vegan

Ingredients

  • 180ml / ¾ cup vegetable stock (broth) (I use water and 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder)
  • 95g / ½ cup cooked butter beans (or chick peas)
  • 4 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp chicken-style seasoning (I use 1 tsp dried sage, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 TBSP light tahini
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 135g / 1 cup vital wheat gluten*

Instructions

  • In a blender or food processor, whizz all the ingredients except the vital wheat gluten, until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the vital wheat gluten and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a wet dough.
  • Knead for about 7 minutes. It is ready once the dough appears drier, has defined strands, and bounces back when stretched.
  • Set a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water.
  • Divide the dough in half and shape into logs. Roll each log tightly, first in non-stick baking paper, followed by foil. Twist the ends to seal it tight, like a sweet wrapper.
  • Steam the seitan for 30 minutes, then remove from the steamer and leave to cool for 30 minutes (I find it firms up as it cools). Tear into chunks and add to any dish that traditionally uses chicken (like ‘Butter Chicken’). Alternatively, cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

Notes

* The key ingredient in seitan is a type of flour called 'vital wheat gluten'. It’s this flour which provides seitan with its characteristic firm, chewy consistency. In the UK, vital wheat gluten is currently available from independent health food shops, as well as online.