I have a confession to make, guys. Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never tried a vegan Philly Cheesesteak….
And a second confession to make. In the decade or so that I’ve been cooking vegan food for myself, I have also never, ever made seitan. Even though I praise seitan a lot and eat the seitan that other people make.
So, I was thinking about this the other day, and decided I would take a crack at making my own. So, I took a look at a couple different recipes (mostly fairly old ones), and threw something together. I have to say, there is definitely a lot of room left for improvement in what I ended up making, and I didn’t really take pictures of the process (though I should have) because looking at it kind of grossed me out until it was fully cooked and panfried. Anyways…
1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp thyme (preferably ground)
1/2 tbsp sage (preferably ground)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup vegan “beef” broth (I use these bouillon cubes)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp braggs (soy sauce)
1 tbsp oil
6 cups “beef” broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
Optional splash of red wine
1. Combine broth ingredients in a soup pot, cover, and let boil.
2. Mix dry ingredients for seitan together in large bowl. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients.
3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry, and mix together. Knead until you have an elastic-y dough.
4. Combine dough into separate clumps (I made two little loaves)
5. When broth has come to a boil, bring it down to a low simmer. Put in seitan pieces, but don’t fully cover with lid. Allow to cook for about 40 minutes, occasionally turning over. Allow to rest and cool in broth for about 20 minutes, or as long as you can wait.
To prepare it for Philly Cheesesteaks, proceed to:
6. Slice fairly thinly with an electric knife
7. Panfry in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil, allowing it to brown and crisp up on both sides.
(I have to say, that in the future, the simmering won’t be my preferred method. I was just referred to a couple recipes that used this method, so thought I would give it a shot. In the future I will probably come up with something else. I hear that if you over cook your seitan this way, it looks like brains, so be very careful.)
Ingredients for the rest of the cheesesteaks:
1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
4 sub buns (I picked some up at my favourite Italian market)
Optional vegan cheese slices (I happened to be trying out the new daiya provolone slices)
1. In a large skillet on medium/high heat, heat oil and add onions. Cook for about a minute or so, they will start to get translucent. Add garlic, and cook for another minute. Add peppers, allow to soften.
2. At this point you may add earth balance or pseudo mayonnaise or whatever tickles your fancy, to your sub buns. Then, stack seitan and veggies, optionally topping with your cheese slices.
3. This is the point where I stuck my oven on broil, and watched these bad boys until the “cheese” started to melt and the bread toasted. I have to say the bread came out a little crispy but manageable.
Alternately, you could just melt the cheese on the seitan and veggies, then put on top of your *separately* lightly toasted bun, or do this in a toaster oven. If you’re not using “cheese” at all, don’t worry about this step.
4. Serve these babes up and enjoy!
In order to make good use of my broth, I ended up dipping my sandwich into some like an au jus. Then I reserved the rest for soup the next day. These were pretty tasty, and my dinner companions agreed. I would tweak the seitan recipe a little bit in the future, and probably use an alternative to the provolone Daiya slices next time as they weren’t my favourite thing. I have always been a bigger fan of the Jack wedge for most things, but I hear the Swiss slices are kind of to die for, so may have to give those a try.
I hope you folks get to making your own Philly Cheesesteaks if you haven’t tried before, as I was totally missing out. Have a lovely day and HAIL SEITAN! ❤