Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pressure Cooked Seitan Roast - Mild flavor

This seitan is a little softer than the pressure cooked seitan lunchmeat due to the addition of the tapioca flour. By including nutritional yeast, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce this seitan also has more flavor than the lunchmeat version. These are the flavors I normally include in seitan and I wanted to use it here since this seitan would be used as a “chicken or pork” substitute in the coming week.

I always use an entire box of vital wheat gluten when I am making a roast. Seitan roast freezes better than beef or chicken. Unlike its animal counterpart I have not had seitan deteriorate from freezer burn even after a month. I like to keep at least 4 servings of seitan in the freezer at all times for those nights when I haven’t planned dinner and don’t know what I am going to make. You can defrost it in the microwave and then heat it up on the stove in any number of sauces.

If you are unfamiliar with the blog and don’t know what I mean by seitan master stock you can read more about it here. Essentially I make a simmering liquid that I use for my seitan and then I save it in the freezer until I need it. I add more water and seasoning to the master stock as necessary. The roast will absorb some of the master stock so that you will need to add to it each time. I reuse the seitan cooking liquid because it gets more flavorful as you use it. I adapted the concept from Asian cooking and it works well with seitan.

Pressure Cooked Seitan Roast - Mild flavor
Makes 8 servings


1 ¾ cups of water
4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup of tapioca flour
10 ounce box of vital wheat gluten
5 cups of water or seitan master stock, for simmering


Warm the water or master stock to a low simmer in the pressure cooker while you make the seitan dough. I like to taste my simmering liquid and add seasonings until I like the flavor. Some of the simmering liquid will be absorbed into the roast so don’t be afraid to season the cooking liquid.

Whisk together water, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and tapioca flour until thoroughly combined.

Add vital wheat gluten to the wet ingredients and knead until a stiff dough forms. I kneaded my dough for under 5 minutes. Form the seitan dough into a fat log shape that will fit into your pressure cooker. Cut at least 24 inches of cheesecloth and wrap the dough with the cheesecloth and tie the ends with kitchen twine. I try to make certain the roast has at least two complete wraps with the cheesecloth so that it doesn’t bust out of the cheesecloth and get misshapen. It won’t hurt the flavor or the texture; it will only make the final roast look “odd”.

Lower the seitan roast into the cooking liquid. You want the liquid to come most of the way up the sides of the roast. If you are short of liquid add a little water and season until you like the flavor. I normally add Marmite, vegan Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and onion powder to the cooking liquid.

Cook the seitan under high pressure for 30 minutes. Then allow the pressure to release naturally. When the seitan has cooled it can be refrigerated or frozen in a roast shape or cut into cutlets or shaved depending on how you plan to use it. It will hold in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days. If you don’t plan to use in a few days it also freezes and defrosts well.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 163.99
Calories From Fat (4%) - 5.89

Total Fat - 0.66g
Saturated Fat - 0.1g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 342.12mg
Potassium - 279.35mg
Total Carbohydrates - 10.54g
Fiber - 0.56g
Sugar - 0.31g
Protein - 29.2g


I use this seitan roast in place of pork roast, or chicken cutlets. It has a mild flavor that doesn’t compete with sauces for top billing. No, it doesn’t taste like pork or chicken, it tastes like seitan. The texture however is very close to medium well animal protein.

When I first started cooking vegan at home I wanted recipes that tasted like what I was accustomed to. It has taken a while but I now appreciate seitan for what it is, a vegetarian protein that provides nutrition while not harming animals in the process.

You can change the flavor of this seitan by taking dried porcini mushrooms and grinding them into a powder in your spice grinder or Vitamix. The porcini powder makes a wonderful addition to the seitan. You can add it the roast or the cooking liquid, or both.


  1. Marmite
    what is this? also this might be a dumb question but do you re-use the cheesecloth? or is it pretty much done with after you use it?

  2. dirtyduck,

    Marmite is an English product. It is a yeast extract spread that they smear on toast. It has the "umami" taste you asked about previously. I buy it at Wegman's, but they sell it at Amazon grocery. It comes in a little jar and lasts a long time.


  3. dirtyduck,

    I forget to answer the cheesecloth question earlier. Sorry it is very early and I am not completely awake yet.

    You can reuse the cheesecloth if you run it through your washing machine. It tends to fall apart even if you put it in a lingerie bag when you wash it. I normally wash it, but then use if for cleaning instead.

    Don't buy your cheesecloth at Williams Sonoma they charge 2 - 3 times what it costs elsewhere. My grocery store (Wegman's) carries it near the canning supplies.

    I put a link in the post for the Marmite which takes you to the product at Amazon Grocery.


  4. Just FYI on cheesecloth. I use organic, unbleached FLAT (not prefold) birdseye weave diapers instead. They stay together even after many, MANY washes. I also use it to strain nut milks, wring spinach, drain tofu, strain homemade soy yogurt into "sour cream" and make coffee in a pinch...

  5. Stephanie,

    I use that cheesecloth sometimes but I still throw it away. I tend to be OCD about things so after I washed it then always ended up boiling it serveral time to remove the soap. In the end it was easier for me to toss it then deal with it. However I should have mentioned that there are different types so thank you for that.



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