Lemon Chicken Style Seitan is a great recipe to swap out for the popular traditional chicken dish. It’s best enjoyed on a bed of fluffy rice.
Lemon Chicken Style Seitan is what I make when the urge for Chinese food hits me. Just pop these puppies into some chow mein, add to a stir-fry, or set atop a bed of fluffy rice. Golden, crunchy coating with a tender, juicy center.
I find that I’m using seitan (say-tahn) a lot in recipes. I normally prepare my own, but if it’s a busy night, I use store-bought brands. It hasn’t been widely known until recently. It’s been around for a long time though.
According to Barbara and Leonard Jacobs in their excellent book Cooking with Seitan, The Complete Vegetarian “Wheat-Meat” Cookbook, “seitan has been a staple food among vegetarian monks of China, Russian wheat farmers, peasants of Southeast Asia, and Mormons. People who had traditionally eaten wheat had also discovered a method to extract the gluten and create a seitan-like product.”
Seitan can be flavored in many ways:
- By adding the traditional broth of tamari, ginger, garlic, and kombu
- Use paprika, cayenne, fennel, garlic, and Italian seasoning for a “sausage” flavor
- Add poultry seasoning or veggie chicken flavor broth powder to make a “chicken” flavored seitan,
There are some store brands that make more convenient food to prepare. I have had the most luck using high gluten flour or Bob’s Red Mill vital wheat gluten, When I’m making my own seitan I knead it a little longer so it comes out more dense. I like it to be quite firm, as it substitutes more easily for animal foods in recipes.
This is a basic recipe for seitan:
2 cups gluten flour
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp ground ginger
1-1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tbsp. Braggs liquid amino acids, or tamari
1-3 Tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
Add garlic powder and ginger to flour and stir. Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 10 to 15 times.
Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. Let it rest another 15 minutes before proceeding.
Cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 30 to 60 minutes.
4 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3-inch piece of kombu (a type of seaweed)
3-4 slices ginger (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring broth to a boil. Add cutlets one at a time. Reduce heat to barely a simmer. Seitan may be used, refrigerated, or frozen at this point.
Commercially prepared seitan is offered by Westsoy or Sweet Earth, You can find it in tubs or vacuum packs soaking in marinade in either the refrigerator or the freezer section of many natural food stores. You may also find frozen or fresh gluten in Asian markets by the name Mi-Tan.
Lemon Chicken Style Seitan tastes great with either the home-made or store-bought seitan. Add the toppings of your choice. I went with green onions, crushed red pepper flakes, and Trader Joes balsamic glaze.
- 8 oz. (when drained) seitan
- 1½ tsp tamari
- 1½ tsp sake
- 1 green onion, finely minced
- 1½ tsp ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
- Grapeseed oil for shallow frying
- For sauce:
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1½ tbsp water
- ½ tsp arrowroot powder
- Place the seitan in a bowl, and add tamari, sake, green onion, ginger, garlic. Mix
- Set aside and let marinate.
- Heat oil in a wok or small skillet for frying.
- Stir the arrowroot powder into the seitan mixture.
- Once the oil is hot, tip everything in and let it fry on high heat.
- Turn pieces to cook evenly
- When it's golden and crispy, take it out of the oil and set aside.
- Pour away the remaining oil.
- Mix lemon juice, sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, toasted sesame oil, water, arrowroot powder.
- Add that into the hot wok and mix for a few seconds until it begins to thicken.
- Add the seitan back into the wok, and stir until hot: