Vital wheat gluten, a.k.a. seitan

I’m trying to buy a bag of vital wheat gluten, to use when making whole wheat bread with a high percentage of whole wheat flour (more than 60%). In looking up information on it, I read that one can make seitan from it. Seitan appears to be suitable to incorporate in a veggie stir fry as a protein item, and I instantly saw myself adding some Bragg’s Liquid Amino to that, to bring out the umami character.

Has anybody here made seitan? Because I plan to use VWG in whole wheat bread anyway, I might as well use some of the bag to make seitan, too.

I’m not vegan or even vegetarian, just like to have variety, especially nutritious variety.

I sometimes use VWG in bread-making, but have not attempted seitan. Will be interested to hear about how it goes.

As a vegan, I regularly make seitan. It is much healthier & tastes better than “fake meats”. Just google recipes for seitan and you will be led down a deep, fascinating rabbit hole…no rabbit involved!

JDoan, can the raw seitan be directly pan-fried, or must it first be steamed?

I managed to snag the last bag on the store’s shelf but have not used it yet.

I avoid the new fake meat products but do like Morningstar’s Original Sausage Patties precisely because they are not quite like pork sausage (which I also like) but instead have nutty, chewy bits with some of the same spices.

I don’t see why not…as long as it has been worked & rested enough.
Although I have never pan fried, I do not steam when making “cutlets”
that are rolled into shape & baked.

I know it is not Seitan, but I use Vital Wheat Gluten with Tofu to make vegan bologna (Vegan Baloney (Bologna)). I steam it then cool it overnight - it works quite well.

Sometimes I will refry it for a warm sandwich.

Yeah, I love bologna and miss it…

Well, you got me curious, and I looked up some recipes. I plan on trying it at some point, thanks for the idea!

Thanks! I don’t mind letting wheat dough rest, so treating seitan similarly won’t bother me.

I’ve been searching for palatable “meat” analogs too, as well as non-dairy (found out 2 years ago I don’t tolerate milk protein). I don’t know who was actually manufacturing the “meat-lovers vegan pizza” that Trader Joe’s used to carry under their own brand but it had faux Italian sausage, ground beef crumbles and pepperoni on it that were all undetectable from the “real” things in both taste and texture (and even their cheese substitute was passable.) I was heartbroken to learn they had discontinued the pizza a few months ago. Have tried some other brands and they were so bad that I threw most away after a couple of bites.

The hardest adjustment for me (after a lifetime of eating cheese daily, sometimes at all 3 meals) has been finding a substitute for that salty, nutty umami of toasted cheese (like that of Swiss, Asiago, Gorgonzola, ultra sharp Cheddar, etc.) Trader Joe’s non-dairy shredded Parmesan analog is relatively palatable and affordable but it doesn’t melt or brown up (OK tossed cold in salad, sprinkled over a bowl of pasta or rolled up in a flatbread sandwich). The Trader Joe’s faux feta is decent but comes in a package so large I can’t eat it all before it spoils. The other faux cheeses I have tried are rubbery when cold and only kind of pool into a unpleasantly goopy mass when heated, with little flavor.

Haven’t ventured much into soy products since I’ve had some gastointestinal issues with tofu, but I have heard seitan is more digestible. It occurs to me that my local natural foods co-op has a take out deli with prepared vegetarian and vegan foods so maybe that would be a place to start sampling options.

I stay away from most soy as well. After all, soybeans make cows sick and they have four stomach compartments!

Found some Vital Wheat Gluten flour in a health food store today. I will try either seitan or meat alternative something soon.

By the way, most tofu is made from Mung Beans, not endame (soy).

I don’t think so, at least not commercially.

The phytoestrogens in soy (analogous to human estrogen) concern me too. My mother had estrogen reception breast cancer (after starting to take Premarin as she began menopause) and I used to fuss at my New Age vegetarian sister in law for the large amount of soy based food she fed her twin boys during early childhood (to no avail.) She herself has thyroid problems, another possible side effect of overconsumption of soy. This isn’t tin foil hat paranoia as there are lots of white paper studies on soy impact on humans. This article summarizes a lot of the downsides to soy consumption including the phytic acid component that blocks absorption of iron, calcium and magnesium. USA grown soybeans are also heavily cultivated with RoundUp (glyphosphate) weed killer.

Thanks for the link!
Re natto “… a fermented soybean dish that’s either delicious or the most disgusting thing you’ll ever taste” I’m afraid I fall into the second group.

I would classify most of the “non-dairy” cheeses I’ve tried as comparable to that description of natto. Just tried another one tonight, an alleged “smoked gouda” made of oat milk and coconut oil. Tried to melt it under the broiler on a sandwich and all it did was sweat. Flavor? meh.

You are right, the definition of tofu is that it is made with soy milk.

The package I have comes from a small local company and is Mung milk, do alternatives are out there, but probably rare finds.

As a vegetarian for almost 40 years (and a practicing herbalist since 1992) I have to point out that eliminating soy doesn’t eliminate phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens, which include isoflavones, are found in many foods - legumes, plums, grape skins (and wine!), many vegetables and grains.

From the NIH (emphasis mine): “ Evidence from preclinical studies suggests these compounds may have an effect on hormones and health, although the results of human trials are unclear. The effects of dietary phytoestrogens depend on the exposure (phytoestrogen type, matrix, concentration, and bioavailability), ethnicity, hormone levels (related to age, sex, and physiological condition), and health status of the consumer.” (Effects of Dietary Phytoestrogens on Hormones throughout a Human Lifespan: A Review - PMC).

In other words, some people shouldn’t eat soy and over consuming it may be problematic.

Phytic acid, known as PA, exists in beans, legumes, nuts and oil seeds. It also has benefits: “Particularly, PA exhibits advantageous effects for human beings, including scavenging free radicals, prevention of type 2 diabetes, anti-inflammatory properties and anti-cancer attributes……”

It would seem that eating a variety of foods, as tolerated by the individual, in moderate amounts will provide good nourishment for the body.

This is a long winded way of saying what Paracelsus said far better: “ All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities. It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.”.


My local Martin’s (like a Kroger or Safeway) has soy-free tofu. I’ve never looked closely at the ingredients so I have no idea what’s in it. It is however commercially packaged.

You can also make tofu from lentils and beans other than soy beans. There’s actually quite a bit out there about it and how to make it.

Look into

Saw the product on a documentary that looked at diet. One set of twins in the study were actually cheese makers and thought this product was good One twin had to eat vegan so they could compare health benefits). It’s made with cashew butter just in case that’s not acceptable.

That makes sense. It seems to me that a “curd” could be made from any plant protein. I suppose the texture would change according to the protein structure, how it’s processed, moisture content and probably other factors.
Soy is the dominant raw material, but that may be more about tradition and cost than anything else.