The best vegan roast no-turkey turkey (or chicken!) v2

This is an updated, and improved, version of my seitan no-turkey turkey (or chicken) recipe. WITH a video of the process! 👌
Read the recipe, watch the video at the end and you’ll smash it.


Ingredients

Below are links to some of the products that I use. These are affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So if you wanted to buy any ingredients through here I would be very happy!

Massel chicken flavour stock powder
Amazon UK link, Amazon US link
Vital wheat gluten
amazon UK link, amazon US link
Kala namak
amazon uk link, amazon us link
Savory
amazon uk link, amazon us link
MSG
amazon uk link, amazon us link
Mushroom soy sauce
amazon uk link, amazon us link

For the wet mix

  • 360g pressed extra firm tofu
  • ½ cup sweetcorn
  • 1tbsp kala namak (or farty-egg-salt as we call it)
  • 1tbsp massel chicken flavour stock powder
  • 3tbsp good quality apple cider vinegar (yes, 3! But if you feel your acv is too pungeant, use less)
  • 1tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ small thumb size ginger (optional, I can’t decide if I like it better with or without)
  • 1tsp msg (if you’re worried about msg (don’t be), use another source of glutamate like white miso)
  • 1 heaped tsp mixed herbs (I use a mix of parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and savory)
  • 1 heaped tsp savory
  • ½ cup water

For the dry mix

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten (if using US cups you might need another couple tbsp)
  • 1tsp baking powder

For the simmering stock

  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1 bulb garlic (minus the 4 you used for the seitan)
  • 2tbsp massel chicken flavour stock powder
  • 3tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1tbsp savory

For the ‘skin’

  • 1tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1tbsp mushroom soy sauce
  • 1-2tbsp cornflour/starch
  • 3tbsp vegetable oil

Method

1. Pop all wet mix ingredients in a blender. Mix until completely smooth.

2. Pour (scrape) wet mix into a bowl. Clean the blender (I pour water in the blender cup, shake it about and save it in the pot for the simmering stock) and dry it well.

3. Add baking powder and vital wheat gluten. Stir the mix until it’s all incorporated. It will be very sticky.

4. Process the mix in batches. How many and how long for depends on your blender. (I use a NutriNinja 900w and for me it takes about 3 batches and a couple of minutes in total.)

You want the mix to be stringy and very sticky.

Once everything is mixed, take a handful (~150g) of the mix, put it back in blender, add another tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and mix the living daylights out of it until you have the consistency of taffy. This will be your ‘skin’ which you will wrap the rest of the seitan in, so it needs to be more firm and elastic. Put it aside when done.

5. Now you need to twist the seitan to create the texture. First work the seitan in your hands so you know it’s been processed enough. Then lay it on a plate, form it into a sausage shape, pull it out slighly, then start twisting it. You won’t be able to twist it tight, just until it starts breaking is enough. Then fold it over and give it another small twist. Tuck the ends into the seitan so you have a round-ish shape.

Take the ‘skin’ batch and stretch it out enough to cover the twisted seitan. Then wrap it around the twisted seitan and seal it well. You don’t want any holes or seams that can unfold when simmering.

6. Make the simmering stock and put it on the lowest heat possible for the slowest simmer. I recommend adding the leftover wet mix from step 1. ☝️ I use my simmering stock as a base for gravy so I don’t put too much seasoning in it, you can obviously season it as you please.

7. Once the stock is at a low simmer (surface stirring, occasional bubble), put the seitan in and simmer, uncovered, for 3hrs. Leave it to do its thing but come back to turn the seitan over a few times. You’ll probably need to top up with water once or twice too.

After 3hrs, take the seitan out and place it in an ovenproof dish. Pour the toasted sesame oil over it.

8. Turn the oven on high or grill. Once the oven is hot, sprinkle cornflour/starch over the top of the seitan and rub it in so it’s evenly coated. Put it in the oven.

Pour the oil in a cup. Take some garlic and herbs from the simmering stock and mash it up in the oil.

Open the oven and pour the oil/garlic/herb mix over the seitan.

Leave the roast in the oven for about 10-20mins, depending on how good your oven is, basting it with the oil mix regularly. You don’t need the top to go too dark as the mushroom soy will take care of that.

9. When you’re happy with the top and it has a nice crunch, take it out of the oven and pour the mushroom soy over the top. It will separate because of the oil, so keep scooping the soy sauce that has run off it, over the top until evenly coated. Then put it in the fridge to cool for several hours before serving.

the whole process in double speed (no sound) ☝️

The roast will taste best after 24hrs in the fridge if you have time to wait. 👌 Take it out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature before eating. Mix some of the the simmering stock with vegan gravy granules for a tasty gravy. Save the rest for another roast.

Roast vegan no-turkey turkey (or chicken!)

Note: this recipe was originally made last year using a chicken flavour seasoning that is no longer vegan so the name has been removed. I’ve also made an updated version of this recipe!

Got my slightly flat seitan no-turkey turkey (or chicken, what have you) recipe sorted for a very merry vegan christmas. 👌


Ingredients

Below are links to some of the products that I use. These are affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. So if you wanted to buy any ingredients through here I would be very happy!

Massel chicken flavour stock powder

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Vital wheat gluten

Amazon UK link (this is the one I use)

Amazon US link (I see this one recommended all the time)

The wet mix
  • 1 packet of firm tofu (396g net weight)
  • 4 tbsp good quality, low salt, chicken flavour seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Massel chicken flavour stock powder
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • About 1/4 – 1/2 cup of water
The dry mix
  • About 1½ cups vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
The simmering broth
  • Water
  • About 2 tbsp massel stock powder
  • About 3 tbsp chicken-flavour seasoning
  • A whole bulb of garlic (if you like garlic!)
  • About 1 tbsp each of parsley/sage/thyme/marjoram/whatever other herb you like with your no-bird bird

Instructions

Step 1. Pop unpressed tofu in a blender (I use a NutriNinja 900w) with seasoning, stock powder, oil, water and mix until smooth. Only put just enough water so the tofu can be mixed, it should be quite thick. Start with 1/4 cup and add more if needed.

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Step 2. Pour tofu sauce in a bowl, add baking powder and start mixing in your vital wheat gluten. You will have put enough vital wheat gluten when the dough is still very moist, but firm enough for you to just be able to knead it lightly.
You might need more than 1 1/2 cups depending on how liquid your tofu sauce is.


Step 3. Now, take a small handful of the dough and pop in your blender. For my Ninja I normally pulse for about 30sec -1min in total (pulse 1-2 secs, stop, pulse another 1-2secs, etc).

If using a food processor you can put bigger pieces of dough in and let it run for longer.

Stop to unwrap the dough off the blades if the engine starts struggling (almost set mine on fire first time I made this!). You’re done mixing when the dough is super smooth and kind of feels like soft chewing gum. Sticky, warm, elastic and smooth. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.

How each batch should look once processed:

When they’re all mixed, just gently push them together in a bowl to make the seitan more uniform. The dough pieces should be sticky enough to attach to eachother. Don’t knead too much, you want the gluten fibres going in different directions.

This is how my dough looks once it’s all processed, pre-shaping:

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Step 4. Prepare simmering broth. Use a pot that isn’t too much wider than the seitan to prevent it from expanding too much sideways. Fill it up with enough water that you know would cover the seitan. Pop all broth ingredients in and bring to a simmer.
Taste the broth. It should be chickeny, but not salty! This is important as the broth will be used later on.

Step 5. Once the broth is simmering, take a sharp knife and stab the seitan all over. No mercy. We want the simmering broth to reach all the way inside. Then pop the seitan in the broth and let it simmer (make sure it’s a low simmer!) for about 2hrs. Turn dough a couple of times during the simmering process and as you do, stab the seitan a few more times in the middle to make sure broth keeps getting in there.

The seitan is done once you check on it and it’s suddenly gone ‘poof’ and turned into a sponge. Worry not. This is good.
Now gently transfer seitan to an oven dish roughly the same size as the seitan, cover and set it aside to cool. I put mine outside in the snow for an hour or two.

Step 6. As seitan is cooling, mash up the garlic cloves inside the broth. Taste to make sure it’s not too salty. If it’s too watery you can reduce it a bit.

Step 7. Turn the oven on, quite high. About 200-210C fan / 220-230C conventional (which is like a bazillion (430) in fahrenheit).
Pour about 1/2 cup of the broth over the seitan. Save the rest for something fun (like gravy). Then rub a couple of tablespoons of oil, a teaspoon of soy sauce and teaspoon of chicken seasoning on it. This + the high heat will make the skin.
Finally put seitan in the oven, until top has a nice colour. Take it out, flip it around and brown the other side too if you want. The seitan will now be much firmer than its previous sponge state.

Step 8. When the seitan is done and out of the oven, flip it around in the broth so it gets juicy all over. Then, sorry guys, pop it in the fridge overnight. It will firm up beautifully and really soak up all the juices.

When it’s time to eat, I’d recommend slicing the roast cold, dipping slices in broth and then letting them heat up by pouring hot gravy all over your plate. 👌

I love it when my recipe is shared, but please do it by linking here instead of copying the recipe. :))