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Vegan Korean Bulgogi Style Seitan Recipe

February 4, 2011

our homemade seitan

A couple of people asked about the recipe for bulgogi style seitan, so here it is!!

I often use tempeh for bulgogi as it is so quick and easy, but when I want a chewier bulgogi texture, I use my bulgogi style seitan. It really works well for both soy sauce bulgogi and pepper paste bulgogi! So try it out; it’ll be very different, almost like a Kalbi (Korean ribs) texture! [Korean ribs use pretty much the same sauce as soy sauce bulgogi, adding a bit more agave nectar/sugar.]

Vegan Korean Bulgogi Style Seitan Recipe
(Makes about 6 loaves: One loaf for 2 servings of bulgogi)

3/4 cup tightly packed dried Shitake mushrooms, (Soak overnight in around 3 cups of water and squeeze out water. Make sure to squeeze them well, or your seitan will be too soft. You can use the mushroom soaked water later if you don’t have vegetable broth. Vegetable broth tastes better though!)
2/3 cup dried soybeans (Soak them overnight)
2/3 cup nuts (mix of cashew/almonds/peanuts/walnuts/ground flaxseed)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 medium sliced onions (or a selected mix of the following: potatoes, radish, green onions, carrots, beets)
3 garlic cloves
1 Korean or small Jalapeno pepper (sliced)
around 3 cups of vegetable broth (to barely cover the ingredients)
1/2 Tbsp ground black pepper
4 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of salt
around 23-27 oz of vital wheat gluten

1. Soak the mushrooms and soybeans overnight.
2. Squeeze the mushrooms well.
3. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until fine and then add all the remaining dry ingredients, except gluten.
4. Add liquid ingredients, including enough of the vegetable broth so the other ingredients are barely covered. (Do not put too much broth, as it will make your seitan too soft!) Blend until very fine.
5. Mix gluten and the blended ingredients in a bowl (just make sure the ratio of gluten to other ingredients is about 1:1), and transfer to a wooden cutting board to knead. You need to knead enough so it’s chewy. If it’s too dry, add some water. If it’s too watery, add more gluten. [Obviously, it would be nice to have a dough blade in your food processor.]
6. When it is done, shape into small bread loaves. It usually makes six for us.
7. Take a loaf and slice into half inch slices and cook on an oiled skillet until brown on both sides.
8. Put a splash of water into the skillet and cover, turn down the heat and cook for several more minutes. Remove lid and stir for a while so that they are not soggy. [If you fee like your seitan is too soft or soggy, skip Step 8.]
9. Remove from heat, cool, cut and use for bulgogi.
10. Freeze the leftover loaves for future use. Just thaw and slice and cook again.

Seitan ingredients

Seitan ingredients. There are several gluten brands and they all work pretty well, but we definitely prefer Bob’s Red Mill to this Hodgson brand, which we are now trying to use up. We also think cashews are a yummier alternative to the other nuts and I sometime add beets, carrots or potatoes if I feel like it. So be creative and experiment with different ingredients for your seitan!

Seitan Blending

Blend till it’s very, very fine.

Seitan Blend

The blended seitan mix – without the gluten yet!

Seitan Knead

Add the gluten, and make sure to knead for a while so it gets a nice texture!

Seitan Loaves

It usually makes around six small loaves for us. We use one loaf for about two generous servings of bulgogi.

Homemade Seitan

Slice the seitan loaf!

Homemade Seitan

We cook the slices in a skillet and cut them into small pieces before we use it for bulgogi, yummy!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    February 4, 2011 7:04 pm

    Your seitan looks delcious! I can’t wait to try it. One question, though. I am onion intolerant, so I can’t use onions or any of it’s relatives, like leeks or shallots. I can oddly enough eat scallions. Can I replace the onions with some scallions or should I just try to omit the onions all together?

    • Sunnie permalink*
      February 4, 2011 9:25 pm

      Hi, Julie!

      I’d use a mix of scallions, potatoes and carrots in place of onions. Hope it turns out well! 😉

  2. Julie permalink
    February 5, 2011 8:08 am

    Hi Sunnie! Thanks! I am going to make it this week for your gochujang bulgogi recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Though I am sure it’s going to be great. 🙂 Oh and I prefer Bob’s Mill gluten too. It’s the only brand I use now, though it can be hard to find.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      February 5, 2011 11:48 am

      Awesome, yes let us know if it turned out okay, I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Julie permalink
    February 7, 2011 12:58 pm

    Hi Sunnie! I ended up making the seitan for the gochujang bulgogi for my brother’s superbowl party. Everyone tried it and loved it! They were all meat eaters except for my neice who is vegetarian. I used 2 scallions and enough potoato and carrot to make 1 cup to replace the onions. Thanks again for the recipes! 🙂

    • Sunnie permalink*
      February 8, 2011 6:03 am

      Julie, that is wonderful. I am so happy to hear that it turned out well and that everyone liked it. Thanks for letting me know, it made my day!

  4. January 3, 2012 12:17 am

    Wow, your recipe is very inspirational. I just started veganism, planning on a “31-day challenge” and then we’ll see after that. 😉 Everything I’ve read says to boil the dough, but I notice that you just sautee it. I thought it had to be boiled/simmered in broth, but I guess not, huh? 🙂

    • Sunnie permalink*
      January 3, 2012 8:46 am

      Hi Marivonne!

      Thanks for visiting. It’s so wonderful that you started the challenge. I hope you find how wonderful veganism can be – it has done amazing things for us. The bulgogi sauce is very strong, so we don’t need to boil the seitan in seasoned water. I see that you have started a blog about your challenge, we will come visit! 😉


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