Salami is packed with flavour so creating a vegan salami poses some tricky problems. Like my seitan chorizo, this seitan salami is a really good approximation of salami and checks all those boxes of flavour, texture and appearance.
A traditional meat salami is a sausage that has been spiced, fermented and air-dried so recreating this combination of factors without the process is a little tricky. The process of making this seitan salami is a little laborious but results in a really good vegan alternative to salami and it can be used in exactly the same way as you would the meat version.
One of the things it is important to try and replicate when making any mock meat is the appearance. If it doesn’t really look like meat this alters our perception of how the thing is supposed to taste.
Vegan Seitan Salami
If you haven’t heard of seitan before, don’t worry, it is not hard to make. Seitan is made from wheat gluten which is the protein that is found in wheat.
Traditionally seitan would have been made from wheat flour. The flour would be made into the dough just like bread, then the bread dough is submerged and kneaded in water which would wash away all the starch in the flour leaving just the protein or gluten.
Rather than having to do this process ourselves, we can source an ingredient called vital wheat gluten. This is basically flour that has already had the starch removed so you have a highly protein-rich flour. Vital wheat gluten can be mixed with water and flavourings and this is how we are going to make our vegan salami.
Creating The Look Of Salami
Salami has a very distinct look because of the way the fat content creates a speckled or marbled colouring. This look can be replicated by the way we combine the seitan in the recipe.
Although it is not totally necessary, creating the look is part of how we perceive the taste and also it creates a unique texture more akin to an actual salami. To make a vegan salami from a seitan that looks like a salami we need to create two parts to the seitan dough: a reddish coloured part and a light coloured part that will be the fat element.
If you decide you don’t really care if it looks like a real salami then you can create just the one reddish coloured seitan and it will still have all the same flavour just a change in appearance and a little texture.
Vegan Salami Flavouring
To try and achieve the same flavour of salami with seitan is pretty simple. As we are using vital wheat gluten we are creating a dough similar to bread dough.
As we incorporate the vital wheat gluten with liquid we can introduce herbs, spices and liquid flavourings that will all add huge amounts of flavour to the seitan. Choosing what flavours to add needs to reflect the flavour of salami which means we need savoury flavours to create a meaty taste as well as the herbs and spices that are synonymous with salami.
Our main flavourings for this salami will include the following:
- Black Pepper
- Mustard Seed
- Coriander Seed
- Fennel Seed
- Onion Powder
- Red Miso Paste
- Nutritional Yeast
- Smoked Paprika
- Red Wine
- Tomato Paste
- Red Wine Vinegar
The spices listed at the top are what you may expect to find in a typical salami type product.
We then include flavourings like onion powder, miso paste and nutritional yeast which add savoury, umami and meaty flavourings.
The wine, smoked paprika, tomato paste and wine vinegar all add flavourings and importantly some colour to the seitan salami to recreate the look we want.
Using Seitan Salami
The seitan is precooked so once you have done this it can be kept in the fridge. You can then eat it cool or you can fry slices in a pan in a little oil.
You can, of course, use this salami in any way a normal salami would be used. Serve it on a vegan cheese board, used in sandwiches, on pizza, in pasta or just eaten on its own out of the fridge as I do.
How Long Does Seitan Salami Last?
Once cooked the seitan salami can be left to cool which will improve the texture, making it firm and denser.
The salami can be kept in the refrigerator for up to seven days. Keep it wrapped up or in an airtight container so it doesn’t dry out and then slice as and when needed.
Alternatively, for longer-term storage, I like to make a lot of salami and then slice it all up and freeze it in freezer bags. You can then grab out as many slices as you need and defrost before using.
Seitan Salami Fat
- 60g vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 120ml water
Seitan Salami Meat
- 240g vital wheat gluten
- 60g chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 235ml water
- 120ml red wine
- 3 tbsp red miso paste
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Set up a steamer and bring it up to temperature.
The Make The Fat Part Of The Salami
- If you want to make the fat part of the seitan salami begin with this. In a bowl add the 60g vital wheat gluten with the sugar onion powder and salt, mix thoroughly. Add to this the water and olive oil. Combine with a spatula and knead for 20 - 30 seconds until just combined.
- Layout a 12 x 12-inch piece of foil and shape the dough into a short, fat sausage shape. Roll the seitan in the foil and securely twist the ends. Wrap with one further piece of foil.
- Cook the wrapped seitan in the steamer for 30 minutes and then take off the heat and allow it to cool.
- once cool enough to handle open the foil and slice the seitan into small cubes or chunks which are intended to resemble the fat content of the salami.
The Meat Part Of The Salami
- Combine the peppercorns, mustard seeds, coriander and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar or a sandwich bag and break them up slightly. They don't need to be completely ground and some larger pieces are good.
- In a bowl combine the wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, and salt. Add the spices you have just ground and the seitan chunks that make up the fat if using and give everything a good mix together.
- In a separate bowl combine the water, red wine, red miso, tomato puree, oil and red wine vinegar. Whisk to mix everything together.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix. Knead together for 30 seconds or so. The fat chunks may fall out but don't worry, push them in and we are then going to wrap the seitan.
- Place an 18 x 18 sheet of foil on the surface and then lay the seitan dough on top. Roll the dough into a 6 -7 inch long sausage which should be fairly fat. Roll the sausage firmly in the foil and then twist the ends to secure. Wrap this again in another layer of foil and secure.
- Steam the salami in your steamer for an hour before removing and then leaving to cool completely. Once cool place in the fridge to firm up the texture.
- The salami is now ready, it can be sliced and used cold, as-is or you can slice and then heat these in a pan with a little oil to fry off slightly. You can also add to sauces, stews or ragu and it will retain its shape and texture with no problem.
Store the salami wrapped to prevent it from drying out in the fridge for up to 7 days. Slice and use as needed.
Store for up to 3 months in airtight bags in the freezer. Pre-slice so you can use as little or much as required and defrost before using.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 66Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 302mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g