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.
If you love this easy vegan Chinese recipes, you will also want to add Marinated Dried Tofu Stir Fry to the menu!
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:
- 4 tbsp Ketchup 茄汁
- 2 tsp White vinegar 白醋
- 4 tbsp Sugar 糖
- ½ tsp Salt 鹽
- 2 pieces Hawflakes 山渣餅 2片
- 6 tbsp Water 水
- 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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This sweet and sour seitan looks amazing! So yummy and comes in very handy when you are in a hurry!
I love this recipe it's so easy and fast to make, suitable for a busy person like me!:) Thanks!
this sweet and sour seitan turned out amazing! love the flavor!
Amy Liu Dong says
Loving this dish already! Looks amazingly delicious!
Helen at the Lazy Gastronome says
This recipe truly is easy!
I love how easy this recipe is!
Delicious sweet and sour flavor in this recipe.
The sauce was out of this world delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Never tried this dish before. I love the flavors here. Sounds so delicious. I will try your recipe soon.
cant wait to see how it turns out!
Can't wait to try. I love that it only takes 10 minutes.
10 minutes makes for easy meals!
love how well the flavored turned out! so so good!
it's SO addictive!
Wonderful! I love to add veggies as well based on what I have. The sweet and sour sauce is a great balance!
High five to extra veggies!
This Seitan looks so good paired with those sweet and sour flavors! I love all the tips to help make it perfect.
Zero fail recipe!
This is a fabulous, quick, easy meal on a busy weeknight.
It's a great meal prep make ahead snack or side dish!
I've never seen seitan here in the UK. But I ate it a few times in Australia many years ago and really liked it.
really? not even in asian supermarkets?
this seitan recipe turned out amazing! so flavorful and delicious!
Thanks! This sweet and sour seitan recipe is really appetizing!
this seitan dish turned out so good! love how quick it is to whip up too!
I love how simple the seasoning yet how flavorful it is!
Linda S says
This is such a great recipe from just a few ingredients. Where do you normally buy Seitan?
Love all sweet and sour flavors of this tasty vegan appetizer. Thank you for the easy and clear instructions for this 10 minute seitan recipe!
Delicious and easy to make! Great recipe
This sauce is perfect! I make my own Seitan and love playing around with it. Thanks for sharing!
I haven't had seitan in a couple of years. This recipe was a treat! Delicious!
Yum! You can't go wrong with these sweet and sour flavors. Love the use of seitan here.
The sweet and sour sauce went perfectly with the seitan! I served it alongside jasmine rice and broccoli and everyone loved it!
Love this sweet and sour seitan recipe!
love how quick this is! so good!
Great flavors and texture. Thank you!
Such a delicious recipe. Thank you for the step by step instructions
Really yummy! Thanks for the recipe.
Cindy Mom the Lunch Lady says
I tried seitan for the first time a few years ago and loved it. This sweet and sour version looks so delicious. We've been trying to eat more plant based foods, I can't wait to try it!
this will make the perfect appy - it's super appetizing!
Emily Flint says
We loved this easy recipe and the sauce was amazing!
thanks Emily! So happy to hear this!
love the flavor of this seitan! so easy and delicious!
it really is the perfect balance!
This was so good, I can't wait to make it again! I love the sweet and sour flavors!
now you can enjoy this sauce with other ingredients too!
What a delicious recipe, we loved this!! Thank you! The flavors are amazing.
Thanks Sam! so happy to hear that!
So delicious and even better the next day as leftovers straight out of the fridge!
couldn't agree more! we just make extra for meal prep and loooking forward to just the leftovers straight out of the fridge!
Can't have gluten but I do love all of the flavors, making me think I can use this as a marinade or something, thanks for the inspo!
maybe you can sub it with another ingredient in place of gluten!
A wonderful, FAST recipe and we loved enjoying the leftovers cold from the fridge. Delicious!
we love it cold from the fridge toO!
Carrie Carvalho says
Such a yummy sauce and so easy, I always thought Seitan was much more difficult to prepare!
Seitans are pretty easy to prepare and even homemade seitans are pretty easy!
How interesting! I didn't know all the history about mock meats in China. I'm fascinated! Thanks for sharing.
You're welcome Marcellina - it's been around for centuries!!
Delicious! I love seeing creative recipes for seitan
what is your favourite way to enjoy seitans?
Sounds very delicious. I have to give it a try. Never had marinated seitan before.
they are super appetizing!
I have never tasted this Sweet and Sour Seitan before!:) But it will be fun to make this over the weekend I'm sure my kids will love it. Looks delish! and easy to prepare. Can't wait!:) Thanks!
if they love sweet and sour, this one's for them!
What a fantastic recipe - so tasty!
thanks so much Alexandra!
I've only had seitan once before in the past and enjoyed it. Had to make this sweet and sour seitan recipe, turned out so good. Thank you.
So happy to hear that it turned out well Oscar! enjoy!
I'm in love with your recipes. They're all well out of my area of expertise, but they all sound so good and love the ones I've tried. Now I need to find some seitan so I can make this.
thank you so much Choclette! they are really quite easy to make and modernized 🙂
Kayla DiMaggio says
This sweet and sour seitan was so delicious! The perfect easy dinner!
we just had this again last night and it was gone in seconds!
I love your recipes! Learning something new with every recipe!
thank you for your kind words Nora!
This is the first time I have heard of seitan. I found your post very interesting, and I certainly am intrigued! I will be looking for it the next time I'm in the city!
hopefully seitan will make it to your dinner menu more often!
This looks so amazing. Now I just have to source these hawflakes to try it. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Megan - you can get hawflakes from any asian supermarket or from Amazon! If you can't find it, you can skip it too.
They look so delicious! I can’t wait to try them!
You won't be dissapointed!
This turned out absolutely amazing! The whole family loved it
I'm so happy to hear this! Thanks Bianca!
So simple, yet so delicious!
She's a keeper!
I love sweet and sour recipes! I learned seitan after being plant-based. This recipe is perfect with a hot cup of rice.
Oh i totally agree with you Jeannie! It's the best and so appetizing too!
These flavours were absolutely delicious! Didn't miss the meat at all!
Right?! It is super appetizing!
can't wait to try out this one! seitan is the best when flavored right and this recipe looks amazing!
i can't agree more with you! Seitan is perfect with sweet and sour sauce!