Make seitan from scratch using the Instant Pot ! Easy to make, versatile & only requires 6 ingredients. Stovetop instructions included.
If you have yet to try making your own seitan at home, you definitely need to give it a go ! It is actually really easy to make, and only a few simple ingredients required. Plus, it is way cheaper than the store-bought ones.
What is Seitan
Also known as wheat gluten, it is a popular meat substitute among vegans and vegetarians. They are mainly made from vital wheat gluten, which is basically pure gluten. Herbs, spices and seasonings are oftentimes added to make them more flavorful.
What does it taste like
It is actually quite bland and neutral-tasting on its own, think plain, unsalted steamed chicken. ( if you ever taste them before ! )
The popularity of seitan is mainly due to its texture. Unlike many other meat substitutes like beans and tofu, it actually taste really meaty and springy.
What you will need
- The whole wheat flour can be substitute with other kinds of flour like chickpea flour, all purpose flour or soy flour. Alternatively, you can replace it with more vital wheat gluten.
- All the seasonings in this recipe are optional, but they will make your seitan taste so much more flavorful !
- If you don't do soy, use ½ tsp of salt in place of soy sauce.
- Feel free to add any other dried herbs and spices that sounds good to you ! This recipe is super versatile.
🔪 How to make
Start by combining the whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
Add in the soy sauce together with 1 cup of water. Mix until well combine. The dough will be on the moist side, but not sticky. ( It should not stick to your fingers. ) Add more water or vital wheat gluten, if needed.
This is the part where it gets experimental. If you prefer the seitan to be tender, I recommend kneading it for 15-30 seconds. But if you prefer it to be tougher and chewier, knead it for up to 1 minute.
Form the seitan into a log and loosely wrap it with aluminum foil or a cheesecloth. Do not wrap it too tight as the seitan will expand while cooking !
Cooking in the instant pot / pressure cooker
Place 1 cup of water in the inner pot and place a steaming tray / basket in it. Transfer the wrapped seitan onto the steaming tray.
Seal the lid and set the vent to the sealing position. Cook it at high pressure for 40 minutes.
When it is done cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Then, quick release the remaining pressure.
Open the lid and let the seitan cool down slightly before removing it from the instant pot.
Steaming on stovetop
In a large pan / pot, place in a few inch of water and insert the steaming tray / basket. Bring the water to a boil, and lower the heat to a simmer.
Place the seitan on the steaming tray. Place the lid on and let it steam for 20 minutes.
Then, using a pair of tongs, flip the seitan to the other side and steam for another 20-25 minutes, or until it is cooked. It should be firm when cooked. You can also slice it through the middle to check for its doneness.
Carefully remove it from the steamer basket using a pair of tongs.
You can now serve it immediately, or refrigerate it for up to a week for later use.
How to use
- You can just slice it up and enjoy it as it is.
- Use them in stir-fries ! I really like substituting the tofu in my Asian broccoli mushroom stir fry or Indian tofu stir-fry with seitan.
- Marinate them with your favorite sauce and pan-fried / bake them until crispy.
- If you are feeling fancy, try making vegan Philly cheesesteak or gyros with them !
❔ Commonly asked questions
This is largely due to over kneaded dough. The more you knead the dough, the more the gluten develops, hence yielding rubbery and chewy seitan. Cut back on the kneading next time for a meatier texture.
It is naturally really high in protein and low in carb, hence making it keto-friendly. I would recommend using more vital wheat gluten in place of flour to further reduce its carbohydrate content.
Yes, it can definitely be freeze. To do so, portion out the seitan into chunks and place them into zip lock bags or storage containers. Alternatively, you can straight away freeze the whole log.
To reheat frozen seitan, first let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, slice and cook them up, or simple reheat it in the microwave oven and eat it just like that !
🍽 More high protein recipes
- Chinese Style Vegan Tofu Minced Pork
- Indonesian Sambal Tempeh
- Vegan Cream of Spinach Soup with White Beans
- Curried tofu scramble
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Instant Pot Seitan ( Stovetop Instructions Included )
- In a large mixing bowl, add in the vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder. Stir until well mixed.
- Add in the soy sauce together with 1 cup of water. Mix until well combined. The dough should be moist but not sticky. Add more flour or water, if needed.
- From here, you can choose to knead the dough for 15-30 seconds for a more tender seitan, and up to 1 minute if you prefer it to be tougher.
- Form the dough into a log and wrap it with aluminum foil or a cheesecloth loosely.
Cooking in the instant pot
- Place 1 cup of water into the inner pot. Insert a steamer basket / tray and place the dough in.
- Place the lid on and make sure that the vent is set to the sealing position. Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, before quick releasing the remaining pressure.
- Let the seitan cool down slightly before removing it from the pot.
Steaming on stovetop
- Fill a large pot / pan with a few inches of water. Insert a steaming basket / tray in and bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
- Place the seitan into the steaming basket.
- Let it steam for 20 minutes. Then, carefully flip it and steam for another 20-25 minutes, or until it is firm. You can cut it down the middle to check for doneness.