Seitan is a protein-rich food that is made with gluten wheat used in preparing vegetarian dishes. Just like meat, seitan has a chewy texture, which makes it a good vegan-based meat substitute. Seitan is identical to tofu as it takes the flavor from other food, making it an amazing dish in a lot of recipes.
Seitan can be added to stir-fries, filling for tacos and burritos, and it is also available in a lot of forms either the dry or seasoned form. You can find seitan in a lot of food stores around you, mostly in the Asian markets.
Unfortunately, seitan is not very available all around the world, which is why you will often need other seitan substitutes, such as tempeh, lentils, tofu, jackfruit, vegan meat, mushroom, beans and legums for dishes that calls for seitan.
Now, let’s look at these alternatives and see how you can use them to replace seitan in your meals!
Best Seitan Substitutes
Tofu is generally a great substitute for meats, fish, pork, beef, and even plates of seafood. The tofu is made from soybeans and it is also high in calcium and protein.
Just like the seitan, tofu is also a staple in Asian dishes and what comes to people’s mind first when they hear of tofu is “vegetarian”.
Tofu gets a bad outlook as being soft, spongy, and bland but sometimes, it is not true and it can also be made as hard and chewy like meat.
To achieve this, you can simply just put your tofu in the refrigerator and then press it or instead, get very hard tofu and press it also which makes it as soft and chewy as meat.
Tofu is an excellent substitute because it absorbs the flavor of other ingredients or seasonings just like the seitan. Tofu can serve as a substitute in soups, stews, and marinades.
Tempeh is one of the best seitan substitutes. It is made from soybeans and has a nuttier flavor and when it comes to texture, tempeh is much firmer than the tofu.
Tempeh is very nutritious as it contains a good amount of calcium, fiber, and vitamins, and an advantage that tempeh poses is that you don’t need to press it as it can work just as it is in either sliced, diced, and chopped forms.
Sometimes, you can find tempeh a bit bitter so you should consider steaming it before adding it to your dishes. Tempeh has a great texture similar to that of fish and beef chilies.
3. Textured Vegetable Protein
The textured vegetable protein is a very easy-to-apply substitute coupled with the fact that it is also cheap to buy.
The TVP comes in granules and chunks making it suitable for ground beef dishes, cutlets, meatloaves, and burgers. You may find this substitute as texturized soy protein, so you shouldn’t be worried.
4. Vegan Meat
Vegan meat is just like a gluten-free version of seitan. certain people created the vegan meat alongside the vegan turkey, vegan sausage, and vegan turkey.
A lot of different ingredients are used to create this dish that has a very similar texture to real meat. And can also be flavored in a lot of different ways.
Vegan meat is also very versatile as it can be rolled, sliced, minced, and made into chunks and cutlets. So, if you want to so if you want to create a meat-like dish, you should opt for vegan meat.
You may be wondering how a “fruit” can be a proper vegan substitute but yes, you would be shocked at home amazingly tropical and maty this substitute is.
The jackfruit on its own is very chewy but if you want a chewier texture, you should roast it on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes.
Even if the jackfruit has a sweet pineapple-like taste, it is more like a blank canvas and you can mix in whatever spice you like.
Mushrooms are not just sweet; they are also very healthy and filling and you can use them instead of meat in a lot of recipes.
Ever since the beginning of veganism, lentils have always been a stand-in substitute as they are healthy and can also replace the seitan in a lot of recipes that involve anything meaty.
Lentils also make amazing substitutes for marinades as they come in a variety of colors like black, red, green, and brown.
Lentils are also very inexpensive and can also cook up quickly and with an amazing flavor, just a small portion of this dish can go a very long way.
You can try out lentils in delicious dishes like the double-decker lentil tacos, lentil meatballs, lentil tacos, and the south Indian lentil stews.
8. Beans And Legumes
Just like the lentils, the beans and legumes are filling, inexpensive, and also a very tasty plus, there are a lot of varieties to choose from ranging from the black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas.
Beans make heartwarming and hearty stews that would taste meaty without the meat.
These are some of the amazing substitutes for seitan but this does not mean that there are no other substitutes. Some other amazing substitutes include eggplants, cauliflower, potatoes, coconut, and beets.
The eggplant has a rich and meaty taste and cauliflower too, even if the cauliflower is highly overrated. Beets are perfect for salads but then, they can also work well in savory dishes that involve meat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Seitan a Good Meat Substitute?
Yes, it is. Seitan is also a very healthy meat substitute as it is high in protein and low in fats. Apart from all these, it is also high in minerals like selenium and iron. you can make your seitan at home with just a few ingredients like wheat gluten, water, and flavorings if you want to.
Does Seitan Taste Like Chicken?
Seitan tastes like chicken, just like the portobello mushroom. The original flavor of the seitan is mild and savory but it can always adopt more flavors from different recipes. When hot and spicy, it is said to taste like the original chicken wings.
What Is Vegan Meat Called?
Vegan meat can be referred to as faux, fake, mock, meat, plant protein, or analogs. Not just the vegan meat, these names are also used to identify food that posse’s animal-meat-like characteristics in both flavor and appearance.
Why Is My Seitan Rubbery?
This happens mostly when the seitan is hot or still boiling. It becomes soft, jiggly, and spongy more like meat jello. You shouldn’t worry about that as that is how all seitan is; just ensure that you gently simmer your seitan to ensure that you archive the proper texture at the end.
Can You Eat Seitan Raw?
Please do not attempt eating seitan raw because this meat-like textured food is meant to be hardened, braised, and then properly simmered before it can be enjoyed. Raw seitan does not have a pleasant taste and texture; tastes more like raw meat.
Apparently, meat lovers can eat healthy and meaty foods without eating actual meat.
And if you are worried about people asking you why you are vegan and still want meat at the same time, then you can just say you are being satisfied and compassionate at the same time and that is a win-win.