Seitan Schnitzel

Both my husband and I are of German descent. I took German as my foreign language in high school and I loved learning about my heritage. I figured I would not be able to partake in their fare when I became vegan since they’re all about meat, meat, and more meat with some potatoes on the side. However, one day I got the craving for some schnitzel and decided it wouldn’t be hard to veganize. I thought I was being original and that no one else would have come up with this idea. After a quick google search I found I am not so unique. Oh well, what’s a girl to do? I wasn’t that impressed with the recipes I found so I still wanted to try making my own.

Anything fried is not all that healthy for you but sometimes it’s nice to have comfort food. I paired mine with mashed potatoes and “Brussel Sprouts with Game” found in the cookbook My Beef with Meat that I reviewed in a previous post. Traditional schnitzel isn’t served with a sauce so I didn’t bother making one. The seitan recipe I’m using for this actually comes from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions which they call “Baked Seitan Cutlets.” Their recipe is meant to resemble steak, with a few changes it makes for a perfect schnitzel.

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Makes 4 large Seitan Schnitzel cutlets

Ingredients for the seitan:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1-1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegan pork seasoning (I used a blend from Penzey’s)

Ingredients for the breading:

  • 1/4 cup flour, more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (make sure it’s not flavored and unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1-1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • oil for frying

Directions for seitan:

  1. Whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, water, and oil in a small bowl.
  2. Add gluten, yeast, flaxseed, garlic powder, onion, and seasoning, stirring with a spoon. The more water you add the less elastic and more delicate the seitan becomes. 3/4 cup water is sufficient but you can add a little more if you think it is needed.
  3. Knead for a minute.
  4. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Cut dough into four equal parts.
  6. Between two sheets of parchment use a rolling pin to flatten out each piece of seitan. 1/4″ to 1/2″ would be fine. Allow the seitan to shrink back to see if more flattening needs to be done. Set aside for breading.

Directions for breading:

  1. Using three separate dishes prepare your breading station.
  2. Mix flour with paprika, salt, and pepper in the first dish.
  3. Whisk the milk and mustard together in the second dish.
  4. Place bread crumbs in the third dish.
  5. Coat seitan in flour mixture. Shake off excess.
  6. Dip in milk mixture.
  7. Press into bread crumbs making sure they stick. Set aside for frying.

Directions for frying:

  1. Preheat 1/4″ oil in a cast iron skillet over medium low heat. You can tell when oil is ready if you drop in a bread crumb and it starts to fry. Do not fry seitan before the oil is ready or it won’t cook properly. Also fry one seitan schnitzel at a time. If you crowd the pan the temperature will drop and not fry correctly.
  2. Using tongs place seitan in heated oil. Fry for 5 minutes on each side. This is not a time to walk away. Watch the seitan carefully in case it starts to burn so you can turn it over.
  3. After frying place seitan on a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil and serve.

I’m pretty sure I had the heat too high which is why mine look so burnt. I had my skillet on medium heat and as a result they fried too quickly and didn’t cook enough on the inside. Hopefully lowering the temperature to medium low will enable them to fully cook. Despite my issues they were a bundle of crispy wonderfulness.

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