Friday, October 30, 2009

Steam Baked Seitan Cutlets with a hint of Worcestershire

(pictured: Seitan cutlet with sea salt and asparagus from last night)

I was decidedly unproductive yesterday. It is amazing what a headache does to my ability to get things done.

My precious husband requested that I make seitan cutlets yesterday because they are one of his favorite things to have for dinner. Once I started adding breadcrumbs and steam baking the cutlets he really embraced this from of seitan. These come out crispy on the exterior, but tender while not being spongy on the interior. The flavor is very mild but with a subtle umami background from the nutritional yeast and Worcestershire. I use these mild cutlets where I would have previously used chicken breast. They are really good sliced on a salad with Caesar dressing. Here I what I did.

Steam Baked Seitan Cutlets with a hint of Worcestershire
Makes 8 cutlets


2 ¼ cups water
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – vegan
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
2 cups vital wheat gluten
commercial pan spray (or pump mister filled with olive or canola oil)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (convection).

Combine the water, garlic, ginger, onion, salt, pepper, yeast and Worcestershire sauce in your blender. Puree until the liquid is thoroughly combined. Pour the liquid into a large bowl. Add the fresh breadcrumbs to the liquid and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes so the bread will become completely moist. This is more important if you are using dried breadcrumbs. Add the vital wheat gluten to the wet mixture and knead well.

Form the seitan dough into a rough ball and cut the ball into 8 pieces. Using your fingers and palms of your hands form each smaller seitan piece into a cutlet shape. I let mine form whatever shape they choose. I like the organic shapes the dough will form.

Heat a heavy bottomed skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat. Spray the pan with oil and cook three cutlets at a time until crisp and lightly brown. Then flip and cook the other side. I would say it took 3 minutes per side to get a nice brown crust. Move the crisped seitan to a large roasting pan or half sheet pan and continue cooking the remaining cutlets.

Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the pan with the cutlets and bake for 20 minutes. Now remove the pan from the oven so that you can turn it around and add another ½ cup of water and bake another 20 minutes. The cutlets are now ready to be used or frozen. I use a stainless steel roasting pan and the cutlets release easily from the pan. If you have trouble add a little water and that should loosen the cutlets.

To reheat, I put the cutlets in a cast iron pan with a few tablespoons of water or sauce and cook for a few minutes. I don’t turn the cutlets, as I want the top to remain crispy. These cutlets turn out crispy on the exterior but tender (not spongy) on the interior. If you are reheating them from frozen you may want to recrisp the exterior before serving.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories -200.47
Calories From Fat (7%) - 14.43

Total Fat - 1.5g
Saturated Fat - 0.29g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 384.24mg
Potassium - 124.34mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.63g
Fiber - 2.14g
Sugar - 1.86g
Protein 27.11g


I like to a have at least 2 of these in the freezer at all times. Then I know I can make a really fast dinner by adding a big serving of vegetables. They defrost well in the microwave but you will need to put them into a skillet to get them a little crispy once they have been frozen (assuming you like crispy that is).

At our house these are normally served with a gravy, sauce, or salsa. Like chicken breast I think they need a sauce to give them a big flavor pop. Plus ….. I like to make sauces so it is a twofer for me.

These cutlets are very similar to a recipe I posted here. By eliminating the lemon and mustard this version has a more neutral flavor than the prior recipe.
I will be back in a while with a seitan sausage recipe.


  1. Those sound delicious! I'll have to try your recipe. And mmmm, asparagus. :)

  2. Brigid,

    Thanks for commenting. We really like these cutlets. Please let me know what you think if you try the recipe.


  3. That seitan looks pretty tasty.

    I'm going to post about seitan today too, but I think you'll find it disappointing; I bake mine and it turns out more like bread than meat...but it works for us.

  4. Rose,

    Thanks! :)

    I have the apple and leek seitan sausage in the oven now. Since my husband likes that method I decided to make something that looks more like patties than links. It smells wonderful. I added a little agave for sweetness, clove, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Maple syrup would have been wonderful but I used it all last weekend.

    I can't wait to read your seitan post. The method I use is something I devised to get both crispy and tender. We were actually surprised how well it worked. Now the hubby doesn't want me to try any other techniques. He can get really stuck on things sometimes. See, you aren't the only one with a husband with food opinions. ;)


  5. Those patties sound amazing; I can almost smell them baking from your description.

  6. Rose,

    I just had one of the apple leek patties. OMG, they are fabulous. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I am writing up the recipe now. Expect to see it in a hour or less.

    thanks again for the suggestion, I know the hubby will love them,

  7. So if one does not have a skillet that goes in the oven, we can just move the patties to a oven-ready type pan to do the steaming part?

  8. Shenandoah,

    You can bake in any pan that is oven ready. A well seasoned cast iron pan works well because they don't stick to the pan. However, I have also used my turkey roaster, a half sheet pan or a glass lasagna pan. You can keep the patties from sticking by lining the baking dish with easy release aluminum foil or parchment paper, or a silpat if you are using a half sheet pan.

    The only thing to be careful of is that you don't add too much water during the steaming part, otherwise they will be squishy on the bottom. If that happens bake them longer, or recrisp the bottom in a pan on top the stove.


  9. Wow! That looks absolutely beautiful, just like a dish served in the restaurant! I'm wondering if you have any easy version of seitan recipe for me to try. Believe it or not...I've never eaten seitan before! What does it taste like?

  10. Oraphan,

    If you have ordered vegetarian chicken in a Chinese restaurant you have had seitan (that is normally what it is made of). They sell 10 ounces boxes of vital wheat gluten (I believe the brand is Arrowhead Mills). On the back of the box at the bottom is a basic recipe for seitan. It will be bland but will give you a basic idea of how to start.

    Seitan is a little like tofu it is very bland. It tastes like what ever seasonings you add to the wet ingredients in the dough or the wet ingredients you simmer or steam it in. I find it easier to season the dough. The texture of seitan has a very meat like chew, which is why is make a great vegetarian meat substitute. If that doesn't answer your question let know and I will try to explain it differently.


  11. Thanks, Alicia for the very helpful information about seitan. I'll start with a basic recipe. If I like it, I'll try your recipe and let you know how it works.

    p.s. I'm very excited to make seitan for the whole family. I hope they will like it.:)

  12. Michelle and Oraphan,

    My hubby likes the crispy exterior on this version of seitan. I think this may work for your families as well. Even my 80 year old parents like this when we have them over for dinner. The first time I made this for them they asked me what was going on and why I was serving meat (and that happened after they tasted it). I do always serve this with a sauce of salsa, but the texture is surprisingly meat like. Let me know how it works for you if you try it.


  13. I still have last week's seitan to use up (Isa's recipe). Then I will try this.

  14. Shenandoah,

    Great! :) I can't wait to hear what you and the hubby think of it. I am proud of this recipe and technique.



Related Posts with Thumbnails