Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soft Shell Seitan Tacos

This was my first time cooking seitan "bain-marie" which also means in a water bath. I love the texture it resulted in verses the way I am used to seitan being after I steam it. It had a harder top but still very moist on the inside. Also making it this way created a huge loaf of seitan, verses having them in separate little logs. I swear, even though I cook regularly, I am still learning something new everyday. I liked having the seitan as a loaf because it was easier to cut up into the desired shape and would also make for some great seitan cutlets in the future.

The filling for the tacos must have taken 20 minutes tops to make. I cooked mine in a wok because there was so much filling and the raised sides made it easier for stirring. My boyfriend really liked this dish and he said it reminded him of his favorite tacos that he always orders at a local restaurant called Pure Luck. I made some spanish rice and refried beans to complete this meal.

Serves 6 or 12 Tacos

* 2 tsp canola oil
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
* 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
* 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
* 1/2 jalapeno chile, minced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 1/2 tsp paprika
* 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 12 ounces Basic Seitan, cut into 1/4 inch cubes ( Recipe Below )

* 12 corn tortillas
* 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
* shredded vegan cheddar cheese ( optional )
* pico de gallo salsa or any other salsa ( optional )

1. Heat 2 tsp of canola oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and bell pepper and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender.

3. Add the tomato, jalapeno chile, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and black pepper, and saute for 5 minutes, or until the tomato is tender.

4. Stir in the seitan and stir occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through and the flavors are well blended.

5. Warm each corn tortillas either on the stove at about 5 to 10 seconds each side on medium heat or 30 seconds in the microwave.

6. Spoon 1/4 cup of filling in each tortilla. Fill each taco with lettuce, cheese and salsa if desired. Serve immediately.

Basic Seitan

Makes 2 pounds ( 32 ounces )

* 1 1/2 cups gluten flour
* 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
* 1/3 cups nutritional yeast
* 1 tsp ground coriander
* 1 tsp ground sage
* 1/2 tsp ground ginger
* 1/2 tsp sea salt
* 2 cups water
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1/4 cup tamari

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with 2 inch high sides of parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment paper.

2. Stir the gluten flour, whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast, coriander, sage, ginger, and salt in a large bowl to blend.

3. In another bowl, whisk the water, oil, and tamari to blend.

4. Quickly stir the tamari mixture into the dry ingredients until a very wet dough forms. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Cover with aluminum foil.

5. Place the pan of seitan dough in a large roasting pan, then add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the pan of seitan. Bake for 2 hours, or until the seitan is firm on top, adding more water to the roasting pan if necessary. Cool the seitan to room temperature and quarter it into 4 equal squares ( 1 pound each ).

The seitan will keep for 2 days, covered and refrigerated. For longer storage, wrap the seitan squares separately in plastic wrap, then enclose them in a resealable platic bag and freeze up to 2 weeks.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Vegetable Filling : 27 calories, 1.67g fat, 3.28 carbohydrates, 90.18mg sodium, 0.83g sugar, 11.98g protein

Seitan : 79 calories, 24g fat, 3g carbohyrdates, 658mg sodium, 13g protein


  1. Homemade Seitan?! That's wicked awesome (smile). Seriously though. Will be trying this soon, Jacklyn. But what is gluten flour?

  2. I have never heard of making seitan this way, but your cubes look so delicious I should try it. I've also never seen a recipe that includes pastry flour (it's always just been gluten and seasonings). Actually, though, I've only seen a handful of recipes so don't let my astonishment worry you.

  3. Stella - Gluten flour is what makes the seitan. Its the key ingredient. Looks like flour but when added with wet ingredients and kneaded, the dough starts turning stringy and more "meat like". It also goes by, vital wheat gluten flour. I buy mine in the bulk section at Whole Foods. I've also seen it at other natural food markets like Henry's. I don't know if you have one of those out there. I am sure Bob Red Mill also makes there own version.
    Homemade seitan is 100x's better than store bought. Completely different taste and texture.

    Jessica - I know! I also have never heard of adding pastry flour to a seitan recipe. That's what attracted me to trying this recipe out. It's very different from steaming and the taste is unique. Not heavily seasoned, just right! I hope you try it out sometime : ]

  4. We're having tacos this week, too! I love the pic of the tortillas sitting on the burner :)

  5. Looking at those terrific tortillas gives me the desire to make some homemade tortillas tomorrow for dinner with some Puerto Rican Beans...hmmmmm.

  6. Seitan tacos would hit the spot right about now. I don't do hard shell so these would be purrrrrfect.

  7. Cassie - I love tacos..I think they're just one of those meals that everyone enjoys eating.

    Millie - Oh you should! I still haven't made any but always wanted to try. I hope you do so I can read your post.

    Tender Branson - Yeah I don't really like hard shell either. The original recipe called for the tortillas to be deep fried..I decided not to do that.

  8. This looks (and sounds) absolutely AMAZING!

  9. I think your nutritional info is off!

    The vegetable filling would be ~75 calories if the fat/carb/protein is correct. Carbs and Proteins have 4 Calories per g, and Fat has 9.

    The Seitan would have 280 Calories per serving.