How to Prepare Seitan “Cutlets”

Seitan (or Seitain) is a wonderful meat replacement that you make out of vital wheat gluten.  (Vital wheat gluten is the protein portion of flour, with the bran and fiber removed. Gluten flour is used to help make bread rise quicker and higher and it can be found in most grocery stores, including Walmart.)  It has a great texture and taste and is easy to make, although it does take a little extra time than other dishes I prepare.  Nothing beats Seitan when it comes to making recipes that use cutlets.  Many a people have been fooled by these cutlets!

Nancy Walker, healthy eating, minit meat

Start with 1 1/4 cup gluten flour.  Add seasonings like sage, pepper, poultry seasoning or whatever you want.  The flour has almost no taste, so add whatever you like.  You will get the flavor  you want by the sauce, gravy or toppings you add to the cutlets at the end.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, minit meat

Add 3/4 cup water….



…. and stir until a ball of glutenous mass is formed.  Sounds delicious doesn’t it!


Nancy Walker, healthy eating, minit meat

You’ll only have to stir for about 30 seconds to get the right consistency!


Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Yummy!  Looks like a potato, but it’s really just gluten flour and water.  The raw ingredients for a delicious meal.  Just don’t let anyone who isn’t committed to trying a vegetarian meal watch you make this.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

With a serrated knife or a really shape knife, slice the “lump” of gluten into thin slices.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Kind of looks like cookies, but it’s not.  The dark spots you see are just a beef-style flavoring I added. Make sure your slices are only about 1/4 inch thick – the cutlets “plump” when you cook them.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

If you want something to simulate strips of steak or chicken, then slice into strips instead of small slabs.


Now, this is a really important step.  If you skip these next few steps, you will end up with a type of chewing gum rather than a nice tender cutlet.


Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Bring about 4-6 cups of water to a rolling boil in a medium-large saucepan.
I get the pot of water hot while I am making the seitan.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Add some soy sauce directly to the water.  No, I don’t measure it, probably about 2-3 tablespoons. Just make the water brownish color.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Any type of soy sauce will do.  Feel free to use tamari or Bragg’s amino acids.
I just use what I have on hand.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Add about 1-2 teaspoons of ground, dried ginger.  Fresh ginger would work too,  but today I only had dried on hand.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

As the water and spices are boiling, slowly add the seitan cutlets. Before going in the water, the cutlets are like wet, gooey dough –  although the do hold their shape pretty well. I add one slice at a time.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Stir the mixture gently after each addition.  This just makes sure they don’t all stick together.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Keep the water and cutlets at a rolling boil for approximately 15 minutes. No need to be exact. Anywhere between 12 and 18 minutes should work just fine.





Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Looks really yummy now doesn’t it!  It smells great even if it doesn’t look like dinner. But, close-up pictures of meat don’t look very appetizing either!




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

After approximately 15 minutes, turn off the burner and this is what they look like.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Remove the pan from heat, and with a slotted spoon or fork,
carefully remove the cutlets and let them drain.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Let the cutlets drain for a little while.  Often, I fix the seitan up to this point early in the day and then finish them right before dinner.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Once the seitan cutlets are drained, place them in a frying pan with just a tiny bit of oil. Remember, the seitan is already cooked, now we are just trying to slightly brown both sides. This helps both the appearance and texture and doesn’t take very long at all.




Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

I’ve used my electric skillet here so you can see all of the cutlets cooking at once. This is a pretty big skillet and the cutlets are more than enough to feed our family of 5 hearty diners.


Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

It only takes about 5 minutes to lightly brown the cutlets on one side. Once browned nicely, simply flip the cutlets over for another 5 minutes or so.



Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Now, we’re talking good looking main dish!


Nancy Walker, healthy eating, seitan

Once browned on both sides, remove the cutlets from heat. Now is when your imagination can go wild. There are so many wonderfully delicious gravies and sauces to top these with.  We love to use them in Marsala dishes or top them with a nice brown gravy.  Click here for step-by-step “beef” gravy.


For more picture recipes, click here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie September 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Thank you for this recipe; I’ve read how to do it, but seeing it as well is very helpful for me. One question … can these be frozen if I cooked the batch and only needed one or two for a meal?
Thanks.

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2 admin September 29, 2011 at 10:09 am

You shouldn’t have any problem freezing extras for later use. We usually use up any leftovers within a day or two, but I believe I froze a few once and they turned out fine.

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