Vegan Seitan Burgers

These amazingly tasty and juicy burgers will surprise any meat eater!

Ingredients

  1. 2 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten (300g)
  2. 1 cup water (237ml)
  3. 3/4 cup canned beets, drained (125g)
  4. 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons tomato juice (90ml)
  5. 1 tablespoon ground dried porcini mushroom
  6. 1 tablespoon concentrated vegetable base**
  7. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  8. 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  9. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  10. vegetable broth enough to cover burgers completely
  11. oil for basting
  12. salt and pepper (or your favourite burger seasonings)

Making the burger seitan dough

  1. Blend water, beets, tomato juice, mushroom powder, concentrated vegetable base, balsamic vinegar, paprika, and black pepper until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add about 75% of the vital wheat gluten. Mix well with clean hands until no dry flour remains. Depending on the wetness of the ingredients, you may or may not have to add the rest. You want the dough to be fairly dense without any dry bits. Do not over knead or it will be too tough to shape.
  2. Separate the dough into 6 for thick burgers or 12 for thinner burgers. Shape the burgers by kneading the rough edges into the middle. *It will spring back as you shape it — you will require a bit of elbow grease!* Use a rolling pin to flatten the burgers to your desired width/thickness. Keep in mind that the burgers will double in size after cooking. Next, you’ll cook the burgers in the oven or on the stove.

Stove top method

  1. Place the burgers in a large pot. You may stack the burgers to fit. Cover completely with vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a low boil. Do not allow the broth to come to a rolling boil. Turn the heat down to low or medium low and cover. Allow the burgers to cook at a steady low simmer for one hour, flipping the burgers 30 minutes into the cooking time.

Storage

  1. When the burgers are cooked, you may grill them right away or store them. Store in broth to keep the burgers juicy. They keep in the fridge for 3 to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Grilling (recommended)

  1. Baste the burgers on both sides with oil. I like using olive oil infused with fresh garlic. You may use other infused oils and liberally add seasonings of your choice. Grill at 450-500°F for about 4 minutes per side for thick burgers or until charred to your preference. Thin burgers take about 2 minutes per side. Keep basting the burgers during cooking to prevent moisture loss.

Pan-frying

  1. Baste the burgers on both sides with oil. I like using olive oil infused with fresh garlic. You may use other infused oils and liberally add seasonings of your choice. Cook on medium to medium high until both sides develop some colour.

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