Smoky Seitan Kebabs With Peanut Sauce

Ignite your taste buds with these sensational smoky seitan kebabs, complemented by a rich and creamy peanut sauce, all ready in just 30 minutes from start to finish. These plant-based kebabs combine the boldness of smoky seitan with the irresistible nutty goodness of the peanut sauce that are sure to impress vegans and non-vegan alike!
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Seitan kebabs on wooden skewers, drizzled with peanut sauce.
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The newest vegan cookbook to hit shelves is Food Is the Solution by Matthew Prescott.

You may know Matthew as the Senior Food Policy Director for the Humane Society of the United States. His talents extend beyond that, however. He is also a great chef (and photographer!) who is, for the very first time, sharing a full collection of his favorite sustainable plant-powered recipes with the world.

This gorgeous hardback book is filled with inspiring quotes, mind-expanding infographics, and artful food photos, and is worthy of prime placement on your coffee table. It takes you through the environmental challenges we’re facing in our world today and how food can be a central force to overcome them.

The first half of this book will empower you with knowledge and resolve to take action on issues that could make or break our world. The second half will empower you with recipes so that you can put that resolve into action by cooking up delicious planet-friendly vegan meals right in your kitchen.

Matthew has kindly offered to share one of his favorite recipes from the book—his beloved smoky seitan kebabs—with our World of Vegan readers. Enjoy!

What Is Seitan?

Seitan actually dates back over 1,500 years to ancient China, where Buddhist monks discovered the wheat meat after soaking wheat dough in water. They were left with a high-protein wheat gluten and found it made the perfect meat substitute!

In 1961, the term “seitan” was coined by George Oshawa, a Japanese advocate of the macrobiotic diet. Seitan has long been a staple in diets across various Asian cultures and has taken countless forms—from mock duck to baked spongy gluten.

Asian cuisine has long been one of the most vegan-friendly and it is quite common to find seitan on the menu at an Asian restaurant that also serves meat! Seitan is now a meat-free staple around the world and can easily be found at standard supermarkets and on the menu at many eating establishments.

How To Season Seitan

Seitan is incredibly versatile—you can make it as spicy or salty as you’d like! While this recipe provides specific spices to include for the seitan kebabs, here are some ideas of what you could use to flavor your wheat meat:

  • Oregano
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Mushroom Powder
  • Maple Syrup
  • Fennel
  • Parsley
  • Basil

How to Make Seitan Kebabs

Combine vital wheat gluten, spices, and nutritional yeast in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix liquid smoke, vegan Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, tomato paste, soy sauce, and water.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry, knead to form a ball, then shape into 6 seitan kebabs.

Place the kebabs on a baking sheet and flatten them out. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove and turn the oven to broil. Using metal skewers, or soaked wooden skewers, skewer each kebab and return them to the baking sheet. Broil each side for 2 minutes. Serve with peanut sauce and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Vegan seitan kebabs on parchment paper, next to peanut sauce, lime wedges, and cucumber slices.

Expert Tips

  • Proper kneading: When kneading the seitan dough, ensure that it reaches the right consistency, resembling ground beef. This step helps create the right texture for the kebabs. If the dough feels too sticky, you can add a little more vital wheat gluten to adjust the consistency.
  • Let it rest: After shaping the kebabs, allow them to rest for a few minutes before baking. This helps the flavors meld together and improves the overall texture.
  • Broiling Tip: While broiling the kebabs, keep a close eye on them to prevent burning. Broil each side for 2 minutes or until they develop a slightly charred appearance for added flavor.

Storing Your Seitan

Seitan stores well in both the fridge and the freezer. In the fridge, it will keep for up to about 4-5 days when stored in an air-tight container. In the freezer, it will last for about three months when stored properly in a tight container. If freezing, it’s also advised to wrap it in cling wrap and/or foil to keep some of the moisture in. Feel free to go wild with your favorite marinade, too!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does seitan taste like?

Seitan, or “wheat meat”, is a fascinating plant-based protein that’s as versatile as a chameleon at a color-changing party! It has a mild savory flavor similar to tempeh, with a slightly chewy and meaty texture, making it a superstar in absorbing all the bold and zesty flavors you throw its way.
It’s like a culinary sponge, soaking up marinade, spices, and seasonings like a pro!

Is seitan high in carbs?

While seitan is a fantastic source of protein, it does contain carbohydrates, mainly from the wheat gluten used to make it. The exact carbohydrate content can vary depending on the recipe and any additional ingredients added during the preparation. However, compared to whole wheat products like bread or pasta, seitan tends to have a lower carbohydrate content since the process of making seitan involves washing away some of the starch in the wheat flour, leaving behind primarily the gluten protein.

For those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet, seitan may not be the most suitable option due to its carbohydrate content. However, for individuals seeking a plant-based protein source with lower carbohydrates compared to legumes or grains, seitan can be a great addition to their diet. As with any food, moderation and balance are key, and it’s essential to consider your dietary goals and nutritional needs when incorporating seitan or any other food into your meals.

Can you make seitan kebabs gluten-free?

While seitan cannot be made gluten-free, you can easily make vegan kebabs using other protein sources. Tofu kebabs and vegan meatballs are a great alternative! You can also make meaty dough using chickpea flour instead.

Seitan kebabs on skewers, topped with peanut sauce.

More Must-Have Meat-Free Recipes

  • Vegan Pepperoni is a meat-lovers dream come true! Check out the store-bought brands or make an easy at-home recipe!
  • Want more seitan? Barbecue Seitan Wings are so meaty and delicious, tossed in a South Carolina-style barbecue sauce!
  • Meat Lover’s Beefy Vegan Tacos are perfect for Taco Tuesday!
  • Tofu Skewers are another fun recipe! Throw the on the grill for an easy side or main dish at your next backyard BBQ!
  • Mix it up with hearty quinoa meatballs in this Italian Soup recipe. It’s both comforting and filling!
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Smoky Seitan Kebabs With Peanut Sauce

Author: Matthew Prescott
5 from 6 votes
These smoky seitan kebabs with peanut sauce are delicious! Did you know that beef and lamb come with a high eco-footprint (especially when the animals eat grass, resulting in higher methane emissions)? This vegan kebab recipe uses simple homemade seitan instead, drastically lowering its footprint. These are served with a homemade peanut sauce that will most certainly have you coming back for more.
Seitan kebabs on wooden skewers, drizzled with peanut sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 kebabs

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, aka “nooch”
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • lime wedges, for serving

Peanut Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, if you like a little spicy kick

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the vital wheat gluten, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, thyme, and nutritional yeast in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, place the liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, tomato paste, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and ½ cup of water. Stir to combine.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Stir gently as you pour, until it vaguely resembles ground beef. Knead the dough in the bowl for 2 minutes. It shouldn’t stick to your hands at all.
  • Once you have a loose ball, break it into 18 small chunks. Press 3 chunks together to form one larger piece, then flatten it out. That’ll be one kebab. Repeat this until you have 6 kebabs.
  • Place the kebabs on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten them out and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Turn the oven to broil.
  • Wet your skewers with water, and skewer each kebab. Place them back on the baking sheet and return to the oven, broiling each side for 2 minutes. Remove and serve topped with fresh herbs, with the peanut sauce and lime wedges alongside.

Peanut Sauce

  • Combine the peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, maple syrup, and Sriracha (optional), in a small bowl. Stir until well-combined.

Nutrition

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 2262mg | Potassium: 584mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 639IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 6mg
Course — Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine — Middle Eastern
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Food is the Solution cookbook by Matthew Prescott

This Smokey Seitan Kebabs With Peanut Sauce recipe is excerpted from FOOD IS THE SOLUTION: What to Eat to Save the World by Matthew Prescott. Copyright © 2018 by Matthew Prescott. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. Article written by Michelle Cehn and edited by Amanda Meth. All rights reserved. Photography by Matthew Prescott.

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Recipe Rating




6 comments
  1. 5 stars
    Delicious!! looks so good perfect for a bbq day!

  2. 5 stars
    When I was young, I used to go to a Thai restaurant and order “chicken on a stick” (that’s what I would call it), and it was my favorite!! It’s been decades since I’ve had anything even remotely similar—until now! These are sooo good, and I love the creative way to use seitan to create vegan meat skewers.

  3. 5 stars
    Love a good kebab! So yummy!

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