For my latest Cook With Me video, I tried my hand at making this Two-Ingredient Seitan Meat! Did I make it? Find out by watching the video below or scrolling down to read the blogpost!
If this is your first time hearing about seitan (vegan meat), it is a wheat-based food that is often used to substitute meat in terms of texture and taste (depending on the recipe). I’ve seen some seitan recipes floating around the internet lately, particularly those from The Viet Vegan on YouTube and George Lee on Tiktok, which caught my eye, so I thought that it was high time that I tried it for myself.
And the best part? This recipe only has TWO ingredients!
So yes, the cheap vegan in me had to try it out!
Don’t forget to check out the video above or to scroll down below to read about the process I went through (and whether or not this 2-Ingredient Vegan Meat journey was a successful one for me LOL!)
Trying Out a 2-Ingredient Vegan Meat Recipe
NOTE: This blogpost is mainly for the purpose of sharing my experience making this – not meant to be a tutorial. The steps I followed are the ones from Lisa a.k.a. The Viet Vegan’s video.
The Two Ingredients
The two ingredients that I used here are 3 cups of water and 1200g flour (yep, just those two!). Some recipes use seasonings or spices to flavour the seitan, but this is the most basic recipe of all which is why I decided to do this specifically.
Making the Seitan
The first step I did was to pour the water into the bowl with the flour, and mixed them together using my hands. This felt weird at first, very sticky and flaky but after 5-10 minutes of mixing and kneading, it’ll come together to form a beautiful dough (at least in Lisa’s video, it did LOL!).
The instructions say to keep kneading until the flour and the water come together and until the dough bounces back when you poke it. I’m telling you; this was a workout! I wasn’t really sure when to stop kneading, to be honest – I struggled with this part and didn’t know when was the right time to stop.
Once you’re satisfied with the bouncing back situation of your dough, the next step is to place the dough in cold water and to let it sit for 2 hours before moving on.
After leaving it soaked for 2 hours, the next step is to wash out the starch from the flour by rinsing it in cold water. It actually felt oddly satisfying, similar to playing with soft clay in water. You might have to repeat this several times until the water runs clear, which means all the starch has been washed out (disclaimer: I had to wash it 10 TIMES! Some have told me that I should’ve washed it more and got more of the starch out each time I was washing…).
TIP: You can drain the starch-y water into a colander and store it in a container. You can use it for recipes like rice noodles and can serve as a thickener for some sauces. I decided to save some to use for later.
After several washes, this is what the dough looked like (I mean, I was like “is it supposed to look this way…?” sort of confused but I decided to carry on because I’m strong-willed like that LOL). I think my face says it all…
Earlier, it looked like it was going to break apart but by the 10th wash, it has now come back together to form this smaller mass. Once I came to this point, the next step was to leave it on the colander and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax (whatever this means; I am not an expert!).
After 20 minutes of rest, I do not know what happened but I could not stretch the seitan without breaking it! If you’ve seen some videos of other people doing this (look at Lisa’s), then you’ve probably seen theirs looking so strong and stretchy that they were able to make braids with it, but mine didn’t. I do not know what I did wrong! Again, based on some people’s comments, I think it was mainly because I didn’t wash out the starch enough before… but I’m still unsure.
Instead of crying over it, I decided to just jump straight to slow-cooking it because there was no way I could braid it like this LOL (in addition to not having the patience and the time).
Slow-Cooking the Seitan
Into my slow-cooker, I added about 4 cups of water, a veggie stock cube, and some of this Chik-Style Seasoning from Butler Foods (I think you can use any seasoning). I mixed everything well and just dropped in the seitan pieces and let it slow-cook for 2 hours.
2 hours later, this is what the seitan looked like…
It definitely didn’t look its best — it looked so raw, weird, even slimy. My initial reaction was to throw it away but I decided to steam it for 40 minutes just to see if I could redeem it. I ended up dividing the seitan pieces into two — the first half I stored in a container with broth and left it in the fridge overnight. The other half, I decided to pan-fry.
The Pan-Fried Seitan
Surprisingly, the pan-fried batch didn’t look so bad. I tasted it and it was definitely “edible” — it only had a strange texture and kind of reminds me of the texture of fish cake. It’s chewy, a little rubber-y, not the worst seitan I’ve tried but definitely not that great. When I initially ate it after pan frying, it wasn’t too bad but then I left it in the fridge in a sealed container and tried it the next day. It turned out to be too rubbery and I couldn’t get past the texture so I had to throw it out.
The Overnight Seitan
This one had a similar texture (less dry due to being in the broth) and had a similar taste to chicken (obviously because of the Chik-Style seasoning). This was a better method at keeping the seitan in the fridge because the texture was less tough and chewy the next day. I’m going to try this in a stir fry and see what happens!
So there you go, that was my third attempt at following a seitan recipe. It wasn’t what I hoped for since there were a lot of things that went wrong with the consistency, the texture, and the taste. I do not know what I did wrong (let me know if you have any idea), but this definitely was a fun experiment. I’m willing to try again – maybe with a little less flour next time so it’s a little easier to knead!
Once again, I followed The Viet Vegan’s video, so head over there if you want to give it a try (and maybe you can create it better than I did LOL).