I had a lot of fun making this recipe. The goal was to make a vegan buffalo sauce burger that was epic. All the flavor. All the texture. All the everything. The result was a seitan burger that has now become the foundation recipe for a lot of my burgers. It combines both baking and steaming so that the patty is firm but moist while being tender still and able to not fall apart like so many vegan burgers. I love me some black bean burgers, but I like to chew my food still. You can skip the buffalo sauce and you can even skip the battering step and still have a great burger patty. It even holds up to grilling!
Is this a healthy recipe or low cal? Hell no. That wasn’t the goal. The goal was something to bite into that will make you say, “Damnit that’s good.” Which, mission accomplished, that’s exactly what I said when I took my first, second, tenth bite. It’s that good. So, this recipe has several parts and I’ll include the seitan patty in the official recipe section, but read on for the buffalo sauce.
First off. What is seitan? It’s made out of pure wheat gluten. That stretchy stuff in bread dough that gives it its chewy texture. You can buy pure gluten powder at most grocery stores, and by combining it with herbs and spices and a liquid you get a dense dough that can be cooked with a variety of methods to produce different textures and consistencies. Boiled makes it spongy and more airy, baked keeps it dense and firm, steamed makes it puff up, and fried makes it crisp. It is 75% protein by volume, and when you combine the powder with other protein sources, like chickpea flour, tofu, or a nut butter, you get a complete protein source. It is the most “meatlike” of plant based products because it offers the most chew.
- 1 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 1 cup vegan butter
- 3 Tbl white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.
The sauce makes enough for many batches of these burgers and I generally have a jar in my fridge at all times. Don’t try to healthify your buffalo sauce by omitting or reducing the butter. It’s sauce and you’re not going to drink nearly 3 cups of it, so don’t stress the butter factor.
Now that you’ve got the sauce we can get to the good stuff. The burger…
Crispy Seitan Patty
- 2 cups vital wheat gluten (It comes in powdered form)
- 1/4 cup chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika (Could sub non-smoked)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt (I used Forager unsweetened cashew yogurt)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (Or can use another neutral frying oil like canola)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients. In the measuring cup, or a separate bowl, whisk together the broth and Worcestershire. Mix the wet into the dry using a heavy spoon or a stand mixer. Mix until no dry ingredients remain and the dough is even in color.
- Divide dough into 8 equal portions (could divide more if you want smaller patties). Roll the divided dough into balls and flatten to be about 1/4" thick or 4" in diameter. Place 4 patties on a baking sheet, spray the top of the patty with cooking oil, and cover the baking sheet with aluminium foil. The foil is necessary. It is best if you wrap the foil over the sheet so that it isn't directly in contact with the patties. Repeat with the remaining 4 patties.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the patties, recover the sheet with foil, and bake a further 15 minutes.
- At this stage you could be finished and simply enjoy a burger patty for the grill or straight onto a bun. Ooooorrrrr you can go on to the next step to make it even more epic!
Battering and Frying
- Whisk together the flour, corn starch, pepper, and salt in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the yogurt and mix with a spoon to make it smooth.
- Dip the cooked burger into the yogurt then into the flour mixture. Make sure that the patty is completely covered in the flour mixture. Set back on the parchment paper until you have coated all of the patties.
- Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Carefully place the coated patties into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Add more oil as needed.
- You can enjoy the patties as a coated and fried burger or you can coat it in any sauce of your choosing. I prefer to cook the sauce onto the fried patties but you can just brush a sauce on or pour it on.