We’ve been buying a lot of mock duck recently. For a while we were making food for Niko with it (she can’t get enough), but then it sort of became a staple. It’s simlar to – but not exactly the same as – seitan, which is incredibly easy to make.

The canned stuff is imported from Taiwan – I don’t know too much about the brand (Companion). Our Food Co-op sells it for $2.79/can (10 oz.). White Wave makes some packaged seitan. But, beware: White Wave is a subsidary of Dean Foods, a distributor of Horizon Organic and Hershey’s!

Rather than spend $2.79 for a 10-ounce a can (or supporting Corporate America), you can make a couple of pounds of seitan for about $5. If you have a food processor, preparation time is less than 2 minutes.


Combine in a food processor:

  • 2 cups wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • (optional) spices and flavorings to taste. Cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, sage, rosemary, thyme, and chili powder are some ideas.

Blend quickly until everything is mixed. Then mix together:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oil

Have another cup of water on hand.

Start the food processor and slowly pour in the mixed liquid. The gluten should form a blob… you may need to add a bit more water, but the ball of gluten should completely absorb the liquid. It should look a bit moist, but should not be juicy. Process for 1 – 2 minutes. (You food processor will wobble like crazy).

Seitan Loaf

Take out the loaf and shape it into a log. It should be really stretchy and tough to tear apart. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.

Uncooked Seitan

Cut seitan into manageable pieces. You’ll need a sharp serated knife (a steak knife works well). It’s a bit hard to cut, so I usually cut it into about 8 large chunks.

Boiled Seitan

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the seitan pieces (one at a time so they don’t stick together), bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain (reserve the liquid – it makes a good stock), cool, and cut into desired shapes.

If the seitan cooked through (depending on how thick your slices are), you can eat them as-is. It’s much better after it’s been fried up with some onions.

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