These breaded seitan patties probably will remind you of those crispy patties you can find in the frozen food aisle — they're crunchy, savory, and best of all, addictively meaty. You can serve them with the Shiitake mushroom sauce, but they'll go well with anything, from salsa to just plain ketchup. Serve them on buns like burgers and add all of your favorite toppings.

Breaded Seitan Patties With Shiitake Sauce [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the Seitan Patties:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups dry vegan bread crumbs mixed with chopped parsley, or use flour instead of breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, for frying

For the Shiitake Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 8 Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • A handful fresh thyme, or 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 cup white wine (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or cooking liquid from the seitan
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Preparation

To Make the Seitan Patties:

  1. Place the vital wheat gluten, water, and salt in a bowl, and mix with a wooden spoon until dough pulls together, which will not take long. The dough will be spongy, not sticky.
  2. Cut the dough into strips.
  3. Knead and squeeze the dough for a minute or two, just to make it compact and then shape into an 8-inch long, 3-inch diameter cylinder.
  4. At this point, you can proceed with the recipe or wrap and freeze the dough for later use. If you freeze the dough, cut it into patties while it is still frozen. It is not necessary to defrost.
  5. Cut the cylinder into 1/2-inch slices and set aside. If they squish as you slice, flatten them with you hands into disks.
  6. Bring 5 cups of vegetable broth to a boil.
  7. Add all the seitan patties (don’t worry, they will not stick together), lower heat to low, and simmer, partially covered, for 40-45 minutes. Stir them down now and then to keep them submerged and moist.
  8. When the patties are ready, remove with a slotted spoon into a plate or a sieve to drain.

To Make the Shiitake Sauce:

  1. Add onion and cook until softened and lightly golden but not browned
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until they exude their juices.
  4. Add the flour and stir to cook it for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated.
  6. Add 2 cups of the seitan cooking liquid and the herbs and cook until the sauce is thickened. Thin it out with more stock if needed.
  7. Taste and add salt as necessary.
  8. Add freshly ground pepper.

To Assemble:

  1. Press the still-moist seitan patties into the bread crumbs and parsley mixture, so the crumbs adhere to both sides of the patties. This is intended to provide a very light coating, not the type of coating that you would use for fritters. If you use flour instead, then dredge the patties in the flour on both sides to create a light coating. It helps the patties brown better when fried.
  2. Heat up the olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet) and add the seitan patties in batches, frying them on both sides to create a crusty exterior.
  3. Spoon the mushroom sauce on top of the patties or serve it in a sauce dish alongside.
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