Perfect homemade seitan steaks (5 ingredients)

Some people dream about gluten-free cake, but I have dreamed about gluten flour for years! When I became vegan almost nine years ago, there weren't many options in Estonia. So I lurked in the internet and watched how all these vegans all over the world were making the most delicious looking seitan in their homes. I had no choice but to roll up my sleeves and make seitan from scratch. Without gluten flour. I made the dough ball, washed out all the starch and then I had my seitan. This recipe has served me for years and I am sure that sometimes I will still use this method, especially when I can't get my hands on gluten flour. But I can't be thankful enough for that they are finally selling the flour in the Baltics. No laundry days for dough balls and I can season if from the inside out.

When I was a meat eater, I wasn't a fan of huge steaks or sausages. But as a vegan, I love to eat them. Weird, I know. I just love the vegan meat's taste and texture and I know that I'm not eating animal flesh. Plus sometimes you just crave for something familiar and satisfying and that is when vegan alternatives come to the rescue. So last night I made these amazing homemade seitan steaks. Outside it was snowing and me and my love were eating these huge vegan steaks with some homemade oven-baked fries, onion gravy (made with the same liquid I used for boiling the seitan) and lingonberry jam. We loved every bite! I'm sure these steaks would also be great at a summer barbecue.

It is an easy recipe. Just mix the dry ingredients with water and soy sauce. Form a ball and knead for a bit. Let it sit for a few minutes, then cut into four and boil in plenty of water. Then dry them with a paper towel and pan-fry until crispy. It is a pretty universal recipe, too, so you can always add your favorite spices or herbs or cut the seitan into different shapes. Like seitan strips for example. Or make a burger with these stomach just literally growled. Have fun experimenting and let me know how they turned out for you! :)

Preparation time: 15 minutes active, 40 minutes passive. Total: about 1 hour.

Serves: 4 big steaks


  • 1 cup / 165 g vital wheat gluten flour
  • (3 Tbsp nutritional yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup / 180 ml cold water
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce

For simmering:
  • 5 cups / 1200 ml water
  • 3 bay leaves


Whisk gluten flour with nutritional yeast, paprika powder and salt. Mix water with soy sauce and add it to the gluten flour. Stir and form a dough ball. Knead for a minute to activate the gluten. Let the ball sit for a few minutes. Knead it for a tiny bit and then flatten it to a thick pancake. Cut the "pancake" into four pieces and massage each piece with your fingers to make them a bit thinner.

Mix water with bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, so then water is only simmering but not fully boiling. This is important, because that way the seitan will become thick and firm, not spongy. Now add the steaks and partially cover the pot. Let the seitan simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, until it's firmer. From time to time, check the water, so it doesn't fully boil, but only simmers. Drain the seitan and press out the excessive liquid from every steak. You can use the leftover boiling liquid for making a delicious gravy. Here's how I did it: I pan-fried some onions, then added seitan liquid and then a couple of tablespoons of vegan cooking cream. So good!

Heat up a pan, add plenty of oil and cook the steaks until crispy on both sides. Now put the pan-fried steaks into a bowl and add 2 - 3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cover the bowl with a plate and shake the bowl, so the steaks will be covered in soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce, if needed. Serve and enjoy!