Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan or skillet over medium heat and when hot add the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and white miso pasted until smooth. Now add the sun-dried tomatoes, nutritional yeast, dried basil, brown sugar, fennel seeds, dried rosemary, salt, crushed red pepper flakes, liquid smoke, and all of the sautéd onions and garlic along with any oil leftover in the pan, and stir to combine. Lastly, add the vital wheat gluten and combine to make a dough. Knead the dough to make sure it’s all combined, but once combined, stop kneading. The more you knead the tougher the sausages will get so only do as much as is needed to incorporate the vital wheat gluten.
Cut the dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. Take one of the pieces of dough and place it on a sheet of aluminium foil. Shape the dough into a rough sausage shape, but don’t worry about making it look pretty or neat. Some pieces of onion and sun-dried tomato may fall out but just tuck them near the dough and it will all incorporate and shape up nicely as it cooks. Roll the sausage up loosely in a piece of aluminium foil then twist the ends closed. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough to make 6 sausages.
Add several inches of water to a large pot with a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the sausages to the steamer basket and steam for 40 minutes. After steaming remove the sausages from the steamer and allow to cool completely in the fridge, overnight is best. The logs will have puffed up in the foil and become tight. Once cooled, remove the foil and they are ready to enjoy as is or you can fry, grill, slice, or enjoy them any way you like.
Oil-free: for the oil-free version, sauté the onions and garlic in water or broth instead of oil. Use the sun-dried tomatoes (the dry kind, not in oil), but soften them before adding them to the mixture by soaking them in hot water, and then draining the water once they are softened.Aluminum foil alternative: if you prefer to avoid aluminum foil, roll the sausages up in parchment paper, and then roll the parchment paper wrapped sausages up in cheesecloth and tie the ends closed.Freezing tips: once cooled completely in the fridge, transfer them to an air-tight freezer container and toss in the freezer. Before using, allow them to thaw completely and then cook with them as you like.Vital wheat gluten is essential to this recipe, and there is no substitute. Therefore this recipe cannot be made gluten-free. For a vegan gluten-free chicken inspired recipe try my Baked Tofu Bites recipe.Steaming tips: you need to steam the seitan tenders before using them. I recommend getting a steamer pot if you plan to make seitan often, or you can use a DIY method if you do not have a steamer.Cleaning tips: vital wheat gluten is very sticky and can destroy dish brushes and cloths. So what I like to do is save old clothes, sheets, or towels that are too shabby to donate, and cut them into rags. I use these rags to clean up after preparing a seitan recipe and discard the rag once finished.