I’ve tried a few different flavours of homemade seitan sausages, but these ones are really good. Mr Thrifty says they’re the best yet, but he says that every time I make seitan sausages.
I usually put all of the ingredients, other than the wheat gluten, into a blender and process until smooth. This time, I wanted little bits instead of a uniform texture, so the fennel, pepper and sundried tomatoes were stirred in after the other stuff was blenderised.
These sausages have Italian-type seasonings, which goes well with the sundried tomato flavour. They’re a bit softer than my other veggie sausages because of the tomatoes.
If you try the dough before you cook it, you’ll probably think there’s too much garlic, but the garlic flavour really mellows when they’re cooked.
Some bloggers wrap their sausages in foil before steaming. I don’t like to use foil right next to food. When I first made seitan sausages, I wrapped them in parchment paper, then in foil, before steaming, but sometimes they can burst the foil. Also I found I had to use new foil every time because it always tore when I unwrapped the sausages. Last time I tried wrapping them in parchment, then in cheesecloth. This worked better, and the cheesecloth can be reused. I also love Monique’s idea of wrapping veggie sausages in handkerchiefs before steaming, and I want to try that method as well.
One note about the gluten. It seems that every time I weigh gluten, then measure it by volume, I get a slightly different result. If you are using American (volume) measurements, you may find you need a bit more or less gluten.
The dough should soft, but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands. It won’t matter if the measurements are off a bit… the sausages will still cook through okay, they just might be a little softer or firmer than you want; take notice of the texture of the dough before you cook them, and adjust it accordingly next time.
Sundried-tomato seitan sausages
|vegan bouillon cube (I used mushroom)
|(enough for 2 cups water)
|oil from sun-dried tomatoes
|finely chopped onion
|minced fresh garlic
|sundried tomato halves, finely chopped
|cracked black pepper
|toasted fennel seeds
|vital wheat gluten flour
|1 cup + 3 tablespoons
1. If you’re starting with whole almonds, grind them in the blender first while it’s still clean and dry, then remove and set aside.
2. Crumble the tofu into the blender. Put the bouillon cube into a glass measuring cup and add a couple of tablespoons of boiling water; stir to dissolve the cube. Add red wine and soy sauce to measuring cup, then add enough water so the mixture equals 100ml (6-1/2 tablespoons). Add this to the blender.
3. Add remaining ingredients to blender EXCEPT tomatoes, pepper, fennel and gluten. Blenderise until completely smooth. Empty into a large mixing bowl.
4. Toast fennel seeds in a clean, dry skillet (I use cast iron) until fragrant and starting to turn light brown. Remove from skillet and grind coarsely in a mortar and pestle.
5. Add fennel, cracked pepper and sundried tomatoes to tofu mixture in bowl and stir until evenly combined. Then add gluten and mix well, until you have a uniform soft dough.
6. Divide dough into six pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape (make sure you don’t roll them longer than your steamer!). Wrap each sausage in parchment paper and then in aluminium foil or cheesecloth. Lightly twist the ends together if using foil, or tie them with string if using cheesecloth.
7. Bring water to boil in a pot that has a steamer insert. Arrange wrapped sausages in your steamer insert. If using foil, arrange with seam side down as this reduces the likelihood of a foil blowout. Packing the sausages tightly in the steamer also reduces this chance. I arrange three sausages on the bottom of the steamer insert, then another three at a 90 degree angle on top of them.
8. Steam for 40 minutes over gently simmering water. If you’ve arranged your sausages in two layers, switch their positions halfway through the cooking time (bottom ones on top and top ones on bottom). Turn heat off and let cool.
9. To cook, gently pan fry until golden.
Can be frozen for future use (leave them wrapped and place in a plastic freezer bag).
Makes six sausages.