Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Vegetarian & Vegan >
Apr 14, 2013 02:43 AM

How do I make seitan that is fluffy instead of meaty?

I live in Shanghai, China, and will be moving back to the states soon. I discovered seitan, or wheat gluten, just this morning, and have been googling how to make it, to make sure I can still get it when I move - it was delicious!
My only problem is that most recipes cater to people looking for meat substitutes, that want something textured like chicken or beef. What I bought looked more like the picture attached - fluffy and full of holes - and I want to know if there's a step during preparation that makes the difference between fake meat and this weirdly delicious sponge-stuff.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I haven't figured out what makes what what, but the seitan recipe for the tofu scramble in Vegan Yum Yum is more fluffy and bread-like (I reduced the oil, if that makes a difference). I think if you bake it, it will be more bread like, but steaming it makes it more moist and chewy. Ditto for boiling.


    1. I think yeast is the difference.
      I'd suggest just buying it if it's available near you. Most Chinese markets should have it. If not, you could try this method.

      1. Add more water/broth to the dough, knead as little as possible, and cook by dropping pieces in broth rather than baking. I like my gluten denser, so I do the opposite, but the first time I made it it came out exactly like you're describing.

        2 Replies
        1. re: antimony

          That was my experience the first (and only) time I made seitan the "classic" way, by simmering it in broth. I felt it was an experiment gone horribly wrong. The texture was closer to injera than what I think of as seitan.

          1. re: MplsM ary

            I'm not a fan of doing it the "classic" way. I usually steam my seitan. The broth way has never resulted in a seitan I enjoy very much!