Monday 19 April 2021

Vegan Chicken | Easy Seitan Recipe

If you're an avid TikTok watcher, you may have come across the viral "chicken made from flour" videos that were circulating a few weeks back. However, there's nothing new about this technique or recipe. The practice of making mock meat using vital wheat gluten can be traced as far back as the 6th century when Asian monks developed it as a substitute to meat. In this week's video, I show you my attempt at making vegan "chicken" using this method.

What is vital wheat gluten?

Vital wheat gluten is made by hydrating wheat flour to activate the gluten. The starch is washed away and discarded and the gluten is retained. It is possible to make mock meat straightaway using the gluten obtained from this process. However, the gluten can also be dried and ground back into a flour. This flour can then be used to make seitan, but it has a bunch of other uses too. It's great as a binder in plant-based burgers to stop them from falling apart. It can also be added to bread recipes to improve the chewiness and crumb texture of the loaf.

Where can you buy vital wheat gluten?

You can buy vital wheat gluten online or at most health shops (check the baking section). 

What is seitan?

Sounds weird when you say it out loud. We are not referring to the devil here, but rather the name for 'wheat meat' which originates from 6th century Asian cuisine. Seitan is made by mixing vital wheat gluten with water and spices to form a dough. This dough is then boiled, steamed or baked, causing it to develop a chewy meat-like texture. 

There are tons of seitan recipes you can try, using a variety of spices and additional ingredients to achieve various textures and results. You may make a seitan sausage or seitan 'shredded meat' or seitan 'chicken', etc.

Are vital wheat gluten and seitan suitable for those with gluten intolerance? 

As the name suggests, gluten is the main ingredient here so it is NOT suitable for celiacs or those with a gluten allergy. 

Is seitan a healthy meat substitute?

On the plus side, seitan is high in protein, low in fat and a good source of selenium and iron. However, because of its highly processed nature, I wouldn't recommend that you make this a staple part of your diet. It's good as an occasional addition to your meals or for those times that you find yourself craving something with a meaty texture. Enjoy it as part of a balanced whole food plant-based diet. Other healthy and unprocessed meat substitutes include mushrooms, aubergine/garden egg, beans and jackfruit.

Easy Seitan "Chicken" Recipe

- 1.5 cups vital wheat gluten

- 3 garlic cloves, minced

- 1 tsp smoked paprika

- 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder

- 1 tbsp black pepper

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1 cup warm water

- 1 tbsp sunflower oil

- 1 red onion, roughly chopped

- 1 cup liquid vegetable stock


Combine the vital wheat gluten, garlic, paprika, bouillon powder, black pepper, salt and water in a large bowl. Mix until well combined, then knead for a couple of minutes in the bowl to form a dough. Please note, the dough will not be perfectly smooth as you might expect from a bread dough.

Stretch out the dough, twist it and tie into a knot.

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and add the dough. Brown on both sides for about two to three minutes. 

Pour in the vegetable stock and add the red onions. Cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. Be sure to flip the seitan over halfway through the cooking time. If the stock dries up too quickly, you may add a little bit of water.

Once cooked, remove from the pan and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Shred, dice or slice the seitan. Why not add it to your red stew or egusi soup or efo riro

Sunday 11 April 2021

Vegan Blueberry and Strawberry Cake

Looking at my most recent posts, you would think this is turning into a full on cake appreciation blog, but my mum's birthday was a couple of days ago and in keeping with tradition, I baked her a scrumptious vegan cake to celebrate. After posting the picture/video on Instagram, a lot of interest rolled in for the recipe. Here we are! This cake is soft, succulent and fresh, with bursts of juicy blueberry in every mouthful. I hope you enjoy trying it out and I would love to hear what you think.

It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since I made the vegan orange cake for my mum's birthday - definitely check it out if you haven't because it is fabulous! This year, I kept the fruit theme going as my mum's a big fan of fresh fruit in cakes. The blueberries really take centre stage in this, with the strawberries acting as a featured guest.

The recipe below is enough to make one layer of the cake, but if you are making a two layer celebration cake like I did, you can go ahead and double the ingredients and sandwich the cake with your buttercream of choice, such as the strawberry one below or chocolate buttercream or vanilla buttercream

You'll see below that the measurements are in cups and spoons. I recommend this set of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons. There are also online tools that allow you to convert from cups to grams if necessary.

On a side note, I've been considering setting up a vegan cake delivery business here in London. A side project to indulge my love of baking while providing people with tasty treats. If anything comes of it, you'll hear about it. In the meantime, if you know for sure that it's something you'd be into, feel free to message me on Instagram to express your interest.

Where appropriate, I have included links to the exact brands (ingredients and equipment) I used to make this cake. If you need any more product recommendations, just drop me a comment or message.


For one layer of cake

- 2 cups self-raising flour 

- 1 tsp baking soda

- pinch of salt

- 1 cup caster sugar

- 1/3 cup sunflower/vegetable oil

- 1 cup vegan milk (such as almond, oat, soya etc.)

- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste 

- 1 cup fresh blueberries (approx. 200g)

- 2-3 strawberries (thinly sliced)

For the strawberry buttercream and toppings

- 4 heap tablespoons vegan margarine 

- 1 cup icing sugar

- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam

- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

- 4 drops red gel food colouring 

- 1 cup chopped cashews 

- fresh blueberries and strawberries


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, vegan milk and vanilla together. Pour this into the dry ingredients and use a spatula to gently fold the mixture until a cake batter forms. Do not over whisk or stir too vigorously otherwise you may lose the fluffy cake texture.

4. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the blueberries (in a bowl) and toss together until the berries are well coated. Gently fold this into the cake batter.

5. Lightly grease a round 20cm cake tin with oil or vegan margarine then line the bottom with a round piece of baking paper. Pour the batter into the tin and use a spatula to smooth out the top. Layer the slices of fresh strawberry over the top. If you are icing the cake later, no need to be too neat. If you are not icing the cake, you may wish to make a pretty pattern with the strawberries.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing/serving

6. To make the strawberry buttercream, combine the vegan margarine, icing sugar, strawberry jam, vanilla bean paste and red food colouring. Whisk until you have a fluffy buttercream.

7. Decorate the cooled cake with the strawberry buttercream and garnish with chopped cashews and more fresh berries. As mentioned earlier, you can turn this into a 2 layer sandwich cake by doubling the ingredient quantities. 

I made mine a two-layer cake and put the buttercream between the layers and around the side. I then pressed the chopped cashews into the buttercream all the way around and sprinkled some more on top.