Marinated wheat gluten is a satiating and delicious, healthy traditional Chinese vegan dish that typically comes in soy, curry and sweet and sour. Today we are making a simple 齋鹵味酸甜齋 Easy 10 Minutes Sweet and Sour Seitan Recipe. Enjoy this tasty vegetarian version of a Chinese classic plant-based protein recipe hot or chilled!
What Is Seitan?
麵筋 Seitan (pronounced say·tan) and meat analogs date centuries to dynastic China.
While it seems that mock meats are recently claim-to-fame in Vegan cultures, vegetarian meat substitutes are deeply rooted in Chinese culinary history.
This movement stems partially from Buddhism to help people transition to vegetarianism.
"Wheat Meat" is a wheat-based meat substitute, particularly chicken. Often, Seitan is also called wheat gluten or wheat protein.
What Is Seitan Made Of?
Although Seitan is made with flour, sugar, yeast and water, it resembles nothing like bread.
The kneading, raising, gluten wash process and steaming removes the starch and transform the dough to create a fibrous chewy, spongey, meat-like texture perfect for using it as plant-based meat substitutes.
Seitan is perfect for making Shanghai Kao Fu and vegan chicken recipes with an easy sweet and sour sauce. It is a much healthier version then your run of the mill late night Chinese restaurant takeout sweet and sour pork prone to deep frying.
Seitan sometimes is also referred to as Vital Wheat Gluten. However, when talking about bread recipes, Vital Wheat Gluten like Bob's Red Mill is a super wheat gluten flour with very little starch used to make bread flour.
Side Note: You can make bread flour by taking 1 cup all-purpose flour - 1 ½ teaspoons all-purpose flour + 1 ½ teaspoons vital wheat gluten = 1 cup bread flour substitute.
Seitan Health Benefits
You may wonder is Seitan healthier than meat? Generally, Seitan is protein and iron rich and low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. It is an excellent choice for wheat gluten meat substitutes, particularly in Chinese vegan recipes, because of its ability to carry and absorb the sauces.
Seitan Nutrition Facts
As the name Vital Wheat Gluten suggests, seitan is not gluten-free. Seitans are high in protein and low in calories, fats and carbohydrates.
They are ideally used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes.
Is Seitan A Type Of Tofu?
Some people confuse Seitan with Tofu and Tempeh. Tofu and Tempeh are plant-based proteins made from soybeans. Seitan is made from gluten, and it is the protein in wheat that gives it its springy texture.
Where To Buy Seitan?
Typically we purchase Seitan from our local Asian grocery stores or natural foods store instead of making Seitan from flour at home.
Making seitan from scratch is not hard but does take some time and planning.
How To Cook Seitan?
Store-bought Seitan is usually made deep-fried. Therefore, there is an unpleasant oily canola taste.
It is important to boil it in hot water for two minutes to remove the oiliness and staleness.
Some websites suggest that you dice it up seitan pieces, throw it in a pan with a dash of oil and cook. I do not recommend this! It is so vital the Seitan is thoroughly rinsed.
After the hot bath, remove and drain the Seitan in a colander.
Rinse the Seitan under cold water to cool it down.
Once it has cooled down, squeeze out as much water as possible and pat dry with a paper towel.
Is Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce Vegan?
We've had a few people ask this question, and the answer is Yes! The sweet and sour sauce is simply a combination of sugar, ketchup, vinegar and water.
However, some Sweet and Sour Seitan recipes include Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies or fish sauce, so it is not vegan.
So, if you want to ensure that your vegan sweet and sour sauce seitan recipe is 100% vegan, you will want to avoid using Worcestershire sauce in the vegetarian sweet and sour recipe.
You can also try this sweet and sour sauce in a sweet and sour tofu recipe. Or make your own Vegan Worcestershire sauce with our Vegan Fish Sauce recipe.
What You Will Need To Make Homemade Sweet and Sour Sauce?
This homemade sweet and sour sauce guarantees the perfect sweet-sour balance. There is no need for pineapple chunks, red bell pepper, peanut oil, tomato paste, orange juice or corn starch thickening slurry common to Chinese American buffet places.
One of our favorite ways to to make Sweet and Sour sauce is just with simple pantry ingredients. Give this a try next time you are looking for a healthy but colorful seitan stir-fry.
Optional but highly recommend:
Haw Flakes - 山渣餅 Chinese sweet thin, small, pink discs made from Chinese hawthorn fruits. Hawthorn is appetizing with a sweet and tangy profile and is perfect in well-balanced Hawthorn Goji Berry Digestion Tea! As an added bonus, you can snack on haw flakes while you cook!
In a large bowl, add all the wet mixture together. Mix well.
In a large nonstick skillet, add all the ingredients together and boil over medium heat for couple minutes.
Once it melted, reduce to low heat, simmer and add Seitan to the sweet and sour sauce.
If your sweet and sour sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
Mix well and evenly coat.
Remove from heat and place in an air-tight container.
Chill the sweet and sour Seitan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Allow the flavours to deepen and develop.
Stores in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Ours usually never last that long. We are lucky if it is not all consumed this vegan chicken-style variety in the same evening with white rice.
Did you make this Vegan High Protein Food Recipe? I'd love to see how your vegan sweet and sour chicken went with my recipes! Leave a comment below or tag me on instagram @INSTANOMSS #INSTANOMSSPrint
Sweet and Sour Seitan 齋鹵味 酸甜齋
Marinated wheat gluten is a satiating and delicious, healthy traditional Chinese vegan dish that typically comes in soy, curry and sweet and sour. Today we are making a simple 齋鹵味 酸甜齋 Easy 10 Minutes Sweet and Sour Seitan Recipe. Enjoy this tasty vegetarian version of a Chinese classic plant-based protein recipe hot or chilled!
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 2-4 persons 1x
- Category: Appetizers, Snacks
- Method: Stir Fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
- Diet: Vegan
- 227g (8oz) Seitan 麵根
Sweet and Sour Sauce 酸甜汁:
- In a medium pot, boil water over high heat.
- Add in Seitan and cook for two minutes to remove the oiliness and staleness.
- Remove and drain the Seitan in a colander.
- Once the Seitan has cooled down, squeeze out as much water as possible and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Optional to cut the Seitan into smaller pieces.
- In a medium non-stick pan, add all the sweet and sour sauce ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Mix well.
- Once the sauce combines and the Hawflakes are melted, reduce heat to a low simmer and add Seitan to the sweet and sour sauce. Mix well and evenly coat.
- Once the sauce has reduced, remove Seitan from heat.
- Serve and enjoy hot or chilled.
For Chilled Sweet and Sour Seitan:
- Place Seitan in an air-tight container.
- Chill the sweet and sour Seitan in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Allow the flavours to deepen and develop.
- Serve and enjoy chilled.
- Adjust the sweet and sour ratio to the sauce by adding or reducing the sugar. 試試味道，太酸可以加少許糖。
- Stores in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Ours usually never last that long. We are lucky if it is not all consumed in the same evening.
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 88
- Sugar: 16.6 g
- Sodium: 453.5 mg
- Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 21.8 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: Vegan, Chinese, Seitan, Wheat Meat, Wheat Gluten, Cold Appetizer, appetizer, vegetarian, sweet and sour sauce, 麵筋, 酸甜齋 , 齋鹵味, high protein, vegetarian meal prep
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