Just 20 minutes to make, and only 7 ingredients, this is by far the quickest and easiest seitan recipe ever!! This vegan chicken alternative is simple to whip up and perfect to add to any meal. Crispy crunchy on the outside, and tender chewy in the middle. The perfect meaty texture to amp up any vegan meal! If you are new to making seitan this is the perfect recipe for beginners to try.
I came across a video on TikTok by @futurelettuce showing a 15-minute seitan recipe. I had to try it immediately! Unfortunately, even after trying it a few times, I wasn't super happy with the results. The seitan is first fried, and then you cover the pan with a lid for 10 minutes to cook it through. The problem with this is that by covering the seitan after it is fried, it tends to lose the crispy outside due to the steam. Or if you cover it and there isn't much moisture in the pan, then it can run this risk of burning before the seitan is cooked through. And I don't know about you, but soggy burnt vegan chicken just isn't my thing. The end result is spongey and rubbery, and just not super delicious.
But I loved the idea of making a quick seitan recipe so I had to play around with different techniques until I came up with my recipe for the quickest and easiest seitan recipe! In my experience, no matter how many techniques I try, steaming seitan is always a must. Boiling seitan makes it have a brainy spongey texture, frying seitan (without first steaming it) makes it rubbery and spongey, baking it makes it dry and rubbery. Steaming seitan, on the other hand, will yield the perfect meaty, juicy, chewy, yet tender seitan every single time. So even though I tried to get away with a one-pot recipe, it just didn't work for this recipe. The key is to first steam the seitan (which takes only 10 minutes) and then pan fry it for that crispy outside. Vegan chicken perfection!
The result is seitan that is crispy, juicy, chewy, tender, and absolutely amazing!!!! While I love all of my seitan recipes, (you can see them here), they do tend to take an hour or even longer to prepare. So I have fallen madly in love with this recipe as you just can't beat the speed of this one!
How to make the quickest and easiest seitan recipe:
Add about an inch of water to a pot with a steamer basket and bring to a light boil.
In the meantime, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, flour, vegetable broth powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Pour in the water and mix to form a ball of dough.
Lightly grease the steamer basket, then tear off bite-sized pieces of the seitan dough and place them in a single layer in the steamer basket.
Cover, and steam the seitan for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, in a small bowl or a measuring glass, mix together the Thai sweet chili sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside. (See notes for other sauce options).
When the seitan is done steaming, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan. Use tongs to remove the seitan bites from the steamer basket, and place them into the hot oil in the pan. Be careful as it may splatter. Cook the seitan bites a few minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy.
Remove from the heat and add the sauce and toss to coat.
Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve hot.
When preparing the seitan with the provided sauce recipe I love to serve it over a bed of rice with a side of cooked greens such as broccoli or spinach. Of course when you are using different sauce recipes, you can get as creative as you want! BBQ seitan bites would be great served with vegan potato salad, macaroni salad, or mac and cheese. Yum! For jerk seitan bites, try serving them with rice and peas and coleslaw. If you're using an Italian sauce try tossing them onto pasta. The options are endless!
The Quickest & Easiest Seitan Recipe!! (Vegan Chicken!)
For the seitan:
- ¾ cup vital wheat gluten
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vegetable broth powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup water
For the sauce (optional, see notes for other sauce ideas):
- 3 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce
- 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons light oil for frying (such as canola or vegetable)
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds for garnish
- 1 small handful chopped green onions or chopped chives for garnish
- Add about an inch of water to a pot with a steamer basket and bring to a light boil.
- In the meantime, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, flour, vegetable broth powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the water and mix to form a ball of dough. Lightly grease the steamer basket, then tear off bite-sized pieces of the seitan dough and place them in a single layer in the steamer basket. Cover, and steam the seitan for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl or a measuring glass, mix together the Thai sweet chili sauce, hoisin, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Set aside. (See notes for other sauce options).
- When the seitan is done steaming, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or non-stick pan. Use tongs to remove the seitan bites from the steamer basket, and place them into the hot oil in the pan. Be careful as it may splatter. Cook the seitan bites a few minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from the heat and add the sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve hot.
Sooo good. And sooo versatile. I have made with multiple spices and multiple sauces. I have started substituting 2T of white vinegar for some of the water. It covers that little wheaty flavor. Definitely a gateway recipe into the world of seitan!!!
Just out of curiosity, is there a reason for adding extra flour to the vital wheat gluten? Is it a texture thing? At any rate, i'm super excited to try out this recipe as soon as the gluten comes in the mail!
Super easy but the final product was so incredibly hard to chew. Any ideas where I went wrong?
Jess @ IDTLC Support says
Sorry to hear you didn't have a good experience. It sounds as though the dough was worked a little too long. Hope that helps next time!
This was the second seitan from Sue that I made.
Easy, quick, tasty.
The texture was a bit off, but I'll try amending the flour and the steaming times and will get there.
Both The Darling Wife and I are happy to have found these meat tastin substitutes.
Jess @ IDTLC Support says
Practice makes perfect as they say! 🙂
I've made this twice and it was unbelievably easy. I'd like to make it a little less chewy. Should I add more water, or more AP flour, or steam it longer or for less time?
I've made many different kinds of seitan and didn't think this recipe would be any good, it was so simple. I received a bottle of teriyaki sauce in error so I decided to give it a try. What a wonderful surprise, it was amazing and delicious I had to exercise all my self control to not eat every last piece straight out of the frying pan. I can't wait to make it again and to try different sauces.
Jess @ IDTLC Support says
Thanks for sharing your experience, Susan!
words cannot express how amazingly creative and talented you are!!! you always deliver! my experience with seitan involved boiling (gah), steaming (meh) and baking (yah ok) to make a semi palatable product that I'd drown in sauce or bury in rice or stew. full disclosure I'm not vegan and luckily I don't have a gluten allergy. I made 6 batches of this in the last 24 hours. that's no exaggeration. my husband and I cannot get enough and have been trying it in everything we can think of. I even swapped out the savory spices for cinnamon vanilla and some monk fruit... came out with the exact texture of mochi. last night was teriyaki, ramen, and McDonald's dipping sauce. tonight is bbq sauce and tartar sauce... it's an understatement to say you are a genius. thank you! love love love!!!
This is my go-to seitan recipe. I make it all the time now! I've been able to replace the seasonings to turn it into vegan ham, too!
can this be made with store bought seitan?