Kumquat Braised Seitan

I bought some kumquats the other day and they are so sour they’re practically impossible to eat raw, just popping them in your mouth.I was wondering, therefore, what I could do with them. There are many recipes for candying them, which I considered doing, but we don’t eat a lot of sugary stuff. So instead, I decided to do a riff on this recipe for Kumquat Braised Oxtail.

I don’t know – don’t want to know – what oxtail is, but I think it is part of a cow, so I first made some “beefy” seitan. I’ve used a pressure cooker for both the seitan and the braising and it took about an hour from start to finish. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, it will probably take about an hour and a half or a bit longer.

Kumquat Braised Seitan

For the seitan:
10 oz (1 box) vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp white pepper
5.5 oz tomato juice
1 vegan “beef” bouillon cube
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Marmite
1 tsp gravy browner (Kitchen Bouquet) (optional) (actually it’s all optional but the vital wheat gluten and water!)

For the dish:
18 oz (about 1/3 recipe above) “beefy” seitan (freeze the rest)
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kumquats, chopped
1″ ginger, grated
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup vegan “beef” broth
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

To make the seitan, whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together the rest of the ingredients except the water in a measuring cup.

Add water to make just under 2 cups of liquid and whisk again.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and then mix well; I do this with my hands.

Form seitan into a log and slice 1/2″ slices.

Put 8 cups of water or weak vegan “beef” broth into a pressure cooker (or Dutch oven), add the seitan, cover, and bring to pressure (or to a boil if you don’t have a pressure cooker). Reduce heat and pressure cook for 1/2 hour, or simmer for one hour.

Meanwhile, slice the shallots.

Chop the kumquat; remove any seeds you see (but they’re edible so don’t freak out if you miss any).

Grate the ginger. I minced it for some reason and then regretted it later.

When the seitan is done, quick-release the pressure, then drain.

Move about 10 medallions (18 ounces) somewhere they can be spread out so they cool quickly (freeze the rest of the seitan when it cools). While the seitan is cooling a bit, rinse out the pressure cooker, heat over medium heat, add the olive oil, then add the shallots and cook until soft.

While the shallots are cooking, chop the seitan into bite-sized pieces.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the vinegar to the pressure cooker (or Dutch oven) …

… then add the seitan.

Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 20 minutes, then quick-release the pressure.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

And here it is plated, with Israeli couscous and braised baby bok choy.

I was a bit worried the broth would be very sour from the kumquats, but it wasn’t sour at all, in fact, it was only subtly kumquat-flavored. The original recipe calls for straining the kumquats out of the broth, but I left them in for flavor – after cooking, they were far less sour and provided a little burst of tangy flavor. This was good but not amazing.

Mark wanted to pose with his meal:


  1. Josiane Said,

    February 27, 2010 @ 12:35 am

    Hmm, the recipe sounded great, so now I kind of wonder what would have taken it from good to amazing… One thing is clear, though: Mark’s silliness takes the whole thing to a whole new level! 🙂

  2. Courtney Said,

    February 27, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    This looks delish, and I have had good success in the past with your seitan, so I can’t wait to try it 🙂 How many cups does the 10 oz box of gluten yield? I buy it in bulk…does the box say how many cups it is?


  3. renae Said,

    February 27, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

    Courtney, thanks for asking – I meant to put the number of cups in there as well and forgot! A 10 oz box is 2 1/4 cups.

  4. Carolyn Said,

    February 28, 2010 @ 10:24 am

    The volume measurement is a help, thanks Renae! I was going to just weigh it out otherwise to get the equivalent of the 10 oz. box. I buy my VWG from Amazon in one of those subscription deals, and the brand (Hodgson Mills) comes in 6.5 oz. boxes, which works out to about 1.25 cups. It doesn’t seem to be available in bulk around here anymore, so the subscription is the cheapest I’ve found since the bulk bin went away. If the kumquats were sort of meh, I wonder if just using plain ol’ oranges would work? Seems like they would with the ginger and nutmeg already going on. Of course that kind of takes it in a different direction, but at any rate I’m definitely doing your seitan recipe and method next time (actually this afternoon) as I haven’t really done any ‘beefy’ seitan versions yet, but have been more hooked on a ‘turkey’ style (great for sammies). Good excuse to drag the pressure cooker back out! Anyway, the dish looks fabulous.

  5. renae Said,

    February 28, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

    Carolyn, the only thing I’m not sure about with using oranges is whether or not the rind would become edible, unless you chopped them in big enough chunks you could just remove them after cooking. I hope your seitan turns out!

  6. Courtney Said,

    March 1, 2010 @ 5:41 pm

    Perfect–thank you!


  7. Dgrub Said,

    May 9, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    You braised seitan looks delicious. Really nicely presented. I have never made seitan from gluten yet. Most of the local grocery stores don’t carry them. Here’s a post on how to make seitan from regulare flour at
    Again, a great post.

  8. renae Said,

    May 9, 2010 @ 11:30 am

    Dgrub, wow, that’s a great post on making seitan from regular flour. I’ve never been ambitious enough to try that, but your photos really give me a great idea of the process. I think it’d be interesting to try.

RSS feed for comments on this post

Leave a Comment