Steamed White Seitan Failure

I'm not really sure where I went wrong here. The red seitan from Viva Vegan turned out great. Not rubbery, not dry, not weird tasting. And so, I thought I'd give the more chicken-like version ("Steamed White Seitan") a go. I followed all the directions and made up some sausages and a cutlet or two.

I steamed them in the foil for the appropriate length of time. I let them firm up in the fridge for a day. Then I fried the sausage one up to put in some spaghetti. It looked gorgeous and browned beautifully. I was so hopeful that I was now going to have a go-to chicken sausage recipe for spaghetti nights.

I mean, look at that! Yum!

And then we started eating... and it was not so yum. Everyone was quiet, but not in that "the food is so good and my mouth is too full to talk" kind of way. The first thing that came out of anybody's mouth was:


And they were right, I suppose. I've never actually eaten playdough (though I have written articles about it, and plenty) but it did have that playdough sort of smell when I put it in my mouth. I spit it right back out. This stuff was not good. I threw out the whole batch. I don't know how I could have fixed it, really.

I can only conclude that I messed up somewhere along the way. Was my steamer too full? Did I miss a step? Did I forget to add something or maybe did I not add enough liquid? Has anyone else made this recipe with success and should I give it another go?


  1. Oh no, I'm so surprised! Of those two seitan recipes - the red and the white - the one that didn't quite work for me was the red. I had to add more vital wheat gluten and more chickpea flour, because the dough was too runny. However, the white seitan has worked for me every time and tasted great. Flavor-wise there's not a ton of difference between the red and white except that the red has tomato sauce and tamari. So the chickpea flour taste is a bit more prominent in the white seitan recipe; could that be what you didn't like?

  2. Oh now! I think something must have gone wrong because that is probably my most favorite seitan recipe! Maybe it is the brand of VWG you used? I bought some in bulk once and it didn't go well so now I use the Bob's red mill.

    Also humidity can affect seitan, sometimes I have to use a little more VWG.

  3. I don't think it's the chickpea flour, because I use that in just about every seitan I've tried so far plus I use it for other stuff like pancakes and cutlets. Hmmmm... ????

    The brand of VWG I use is from Arrowhead Mills.

    I have to wonder if it was undercooked. Because the taste was doughy. Except weird doughy. I was using the smaller steamer that day so maybe it was just too big of a batch to cook through.

    I'm going to give it another try since you guys say you like it so much. The red is my favorite, though, from that book. In looking at the two recipes, the red has about 7 tablespoons of additional fluid with the soy sauce and tomato paste, so maybe I will add a little extra fluid when I make the white again.

  4. I meant Oh No! not Oh now!

  5. I think it could be a crowding issue, that sounds like a possibility, also there were some more tip on the Viva Vegan thread on the ppk


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