This seitan bratwurst is a vegan version of the original bratwurst. It retains the delicate spices of the original and has the moist, juicy texture you find in authentic bratwurst.
The great thing about these seitan bratwursts is that they are completely plant-based so you can enjoy them even if you are vegan.
Seitan For Sausages
Seitan is a plant-based protein that is derived from wheat. It is the gluten that is found in wheat that we can use to create the texture that really is meaty.
Wheat protein gives us that meaty texture we need for vegan meat to seem authentic. We can then add flavourings and spices to the seitan to give us the flavour we want.
Seitan is great for making sausages because we can shape it really easily without using casings and it retains moisture after cooking which results in a nice juicy sausage, or in this case bratwurst.
Vital Wheat Gluten
Seitan can be made from ordinary wheat flour like the stuff you use to make a loaf of bread.
It is made by washing the starch out of flour with water leaving behind just the protein. It is a simple but slightly laborious process.
Fortunately, we don’t always have to process flour like this to make seitan (although you can if you want). You can buy a type of flour called vital wheat gluten that has already had the starches removed at the mill.
Vital wheat gluten is exactly like flour but it is around 80% protein. We can then add liquid to the vital wheat gluten along with herbs, spices and fats to make a protein-rich meat substitute.
Flavouring Our Seitan Bratwursts
To flavour our seitan we need to think of two aspects we need to capture.
First, we need the seitan to taste meaty, i.e. savoury, salty and have an umami quality.
Secondly, we need to flavour the seitan to taste like bratwurst. This involves using the herbs and spices that flavour bratwurst sausages. We also need to keep in mind that we are making vegan bratwurst so our flavourings need to be vegan and plant-based.
To give the bratwurst its meaty character we use flavourings that are high in glutamates to replicate the savoury or umami flavour of meat.
- Miso paste
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Vegan broth/stock powder
The bratwurst flavouring themselves are pretty much the same as the spices used in bratwurst sausages:
- Ground ginger
- Ground Mace
- Ground nutmeg
- White pepper
Shaping The Bratwurst
Seitan is great for making any kind of sausage because of the way it can be shaped and how it cooks.
You don’t need sausage casings like meat sausages because when the seitan is cooked it will hold its shape and texture.
Using vital wheat gluten we are essentially making a dough that, although quite elastic, can be shaped and moulded.
These bratwurst use quite a wet mix to make the sausages juicier but they are still quite simple to shape and you don’t have to be too precise because the bratwurst is wrapped in foil and when cooked the sausages expand slightly into the tightly wrapped foil creating uniform sausages.
Finishing The Bratwurst
Once the bratwurst is steamed in its foil wrappings they will expand to the shape of the wrapper. The sausages can then be left to cool and kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
To finish the bratwurst we need to simply brown the outside and heat them through in a pan. Heat a little oil in a skillet or pan and cook the bratwurst over a medium-high heat until browned all over and heated through. The sausages can then be served once hot throughout.
- 200g vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp chickpea flour
- 4 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 420ml water
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp mace
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp crushed caraway seeds
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to ensure thoroughly mixed.
- Add all the wet ingredients to a blender and then blend on high speed until thoroughly mixed and combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula. Knead for 30 seconds to a minute. The seitan dough will be fairly wet with lots of liquid but this is good for producing juicy sausages.
- Leave the seitan to rest for 5 minutes in the bowl before dividing it into 8 pieces.
- Tear off 8 pieces of 12 x 12-inch extra strong foil. Lay a piece of the seitan dough on the foil and roughly shape it into a sausage. Don't worry about being too precise as the seitan will grow into the form as it cooks.
- Roll the foil around the bratwurst carefully into a sausage shape. Twist the ends to secure. The seitan will expand as it is steamed so ensure it is thoroughly secured, two layers of foil may be required if you are worried about how the sausages are wrapped.
- Set up a steamer and arrange the wrapped bratwurst around the steamer basket with plenty of space for steam to move around the sausages. Steam for 45 minutes before removing the bratwurst and allowing them to cool.
- Keep the bratwurst in the refrigerator until ready to use. To finish the bratwursts heat a little oil in a pan or skillet and fry on medium heat until browned all over. Remember the bratwurst is already cooked so heating through is all that is required.
Keep in the refrigerator for 7 days. You may also freeze the bratwurst for longer-term storage for upto 3 months, defrost before heating.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 132Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 461mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 21g