As implied in the name, vital wheat gluten is not gluten-free so if you are and you're a fan of that chewy, moreish texture, I recommend using firm tofu. Tip: freeze your tofu (for at least one day or overnight), thaw, and squeeze out the water before using for the best texture.
Vegan Char Siu Seitan (Chinese Vegan BBQ)
- 3 cups Seitan, mushrooms or tofu
- 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce (vegan)
- 2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Tomato sauce
- 1 tsp Chinese Five spice
- 1 tsp Shao Xing chinese rice wine
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Natural red food coloring (optional, for the color)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
2. Combine the hoisin sauce with light soy sauce and tomato sauce. Add the shao xing/Chinese rice wine and optional food coloring. If you don’t have shao xing, you can use dry sherry, mirin (but this will be sweeter) or sake.
3. Stir in the five spice and pepper. Your marinade is now complete.
4. If using tofu: Drain the tofu, press gently, slice once horizontally then once vertically. This means you’ll end up with four long rectangular blocks. Coat in the marinade. It’s okay for these blocks to look pretty large. You’ll slice them further after the marinade forms a crunchy bbq crust.
If using mushrooms: Rinse mushrooms, slice into quarters or thick chunks, and coat in the marinade. Make sure the slices aren’t too thin because they shrink in the oven.
If using wheat gluten: Roll into long sausage shapes and coast in the marinade.
I used a brush to ensure they were coated evenly with as much of the marinade as I could use. If you can, I recommend this method.
5. Bake for 25 minutes. The bbq should appear slightly charred as in the photos.
6. Slice and they’re ready to serve. Enjoy! I served mine with kale, pumpkin, and avocado. You could serve with bok choy and rice or noodles as well.
Also see: Vegan Stir Fried Eggplant in Garlic Sauce
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Photo: Debbie Tan