Saturday, November 21, 2009

Seitan “White Meat” Paillards

(pictured: seitan paillard topped with tropical salsa and millet on the side)

I wanted to make a seitan that I could top like a chicken paillard or a schnitzel. These cutlets are crispy like schnitzel and a little thicker than a paillard. My seitan recipe is too tender to get much thinner. I may have to make version of seitan without my favorite breadcrumbs to get dough that I can make any thinner.

I intentionally made this seitan light in flavor, as I wanted a chicken or pork approximation. These paillards are very mild in flavor and are a good vehicle for sauces or toppings with big flavor. The crispness is so similar to schnitzel it is rather scary. We used sharp knives to cut bites from the seitan. The tropic salsa was a nice counterpoint to the crispy paillards. I will post the salsa recipe next. I wanted to keep this paillard recipe separate since I think I will be linking to it often in the future. Here is what I made tonight for dinner.

Seitan “White Meat” Paillards
Makes 8 large paillards


1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
4 coves of garlic, peeled and smashed
½ cup of water to water sauté the onion and garlic
¼ teaspoon mustard powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion flakes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon saffron
¼ teaspoon oregano, dried
enough water to make two cups of liquid total for your wet ingredients
2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs (approximately 4 slices crumbed in the food processor)
1 cup vital wheat gluten


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the onion and garlic in water until soft. Add the cooked onions and any remaining liquid to the blender. Add enough water to the blender to make two cups of liquid. Include the seasonings in the blender and puree until smooth. Pour the wet over mix over the breadcrumbs and allow to stand for ten (10) minutes so the crumbs will be completely soft. After ten (10) minutes add the vital wheat gluten to the wet breadcrumbs and knead to combine the wet and dry ingredients together.

Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet (I used a well seasoned cast iron pan) that is lightly greased.

While the pan is heating divide the seitan dough into 8 roughly equal pieces. Using your hands flatten the dough as thin as you can make it without forming holes. Sear two seitan paillards at a time and move to a waiting half sheet pan. Continue searing the paillards until they are all crisped on both sides of the exterior.

Add ½ cup of water to the bottom of the half sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes remove the pan from the oven. Add another ½ cup of water and return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes. If you don’t have a convection oven when you return the pan to the oven turn it 180 degrees to even cook the entire pan evenly. By the end of the cooking cycle the pan should be dry this will ensure the bottom of the seitan will be crispy. If the pan isn’t dry return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or cook the seitan in a heavy bottomed skillet to recrisp the bottom.

The cutlets will keep for months in the freezer if wrapped in a plastic cling film and stored in a zip top freezer bag.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 131.49
Calories From Fat (10%) - 13.78

Total Fat - 1.58g
Saturated Fat - 0.24g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 145.23mg
Potassium - 121.42mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.18g
Fiber - 1.82g
Sugar - 1.62g
Protein - 13.99g


Everyone enjoyed this seitan tonight, vegans and omnivores a like. My father commented that I am getting really good at “fake meat”. I guess from a meat and potatoes guy that is as much of a compliment as I can expect. When I asked the hubby what he would do to change these he said nothing. My mother, the most finicky of the bunch, ate all her seitan so I think I scored three points tonight with this meat substitute.

I think these would be a great as a base for seitan parmesan. That may have to go on my short list of recipes to make.

I will be back in a little while with the tropical salsa I served on top the seitan.


  1. What a delicious-looking seitan! I'm so happy for you that everyone loved it. I read the recipe twice and told myself "this is not that difficult to make like I thought". The only thing I need to buy is just vital wheat gluten so I'll be ready to make this wonderful recipe pretty soon. Thanks for sharing, Alicia:)

  2. Oraphan,

    Seitan is much easier that you think. I was worried before I made it too. It really is easy though. The thicker cutlets are much easier than these thin ones. I would start with one of those. There are quite a few seitan recipes on my blog to choose from. I think the steam/baked version that I have been making recently is the easiest and most predictable recipe that I have come up with so far.


  3. This looks great! I have been making seitan for years, and I am always looking for new recipes. However, I have yet to try one of yours (as wonderful as they all look) due to the fact that most (all?) of them seem to include ww bread you mind me asking why? I have never added bread crumbs to my seitan before, and since I try to avoid wheat (yes, I am aware this is wheat gluten), I have avoided your recipes based on that fact. Have you tried other recipes and found that the ww breadcrumbs really add something to the seitan?

    Thanks so much,

  4. Courtney,

    I have tried many other recipes for seitan and didn't love the texture. All of the other recipes I have tried were too chewy almost tough in a rather unpleasant way like overcooked meat. One day I wanted to make seitan but didn't want the tough texture and decided to try soaked breadcrumbs. Being part Italian I know that soaked breadcrumbs are the magical component of tender meatballs. I tried it in the seitan and it worked beautifully. They get crispy on the outside and are tender on the inside when I steam bake them as I did in this recipe. I do make my own whole wheat bread and turn it into breadcrumbs in the food processor and then freeze it. That way I know the breadcrumbs are fresh, tender, 100% whole wheat and without additives.

    If you had a question I didn't answer please let me know.


  5. Interesting--thanks!



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