Simple Seitan Stew

I tend to cook all day on Sundays. I generally begin the day baking bread, making tofu, and usually one or two other things, such as pizza today, then later I make something fairly involved for dinner. It’s my domestic day. Today started off strong – I got my tofu mojo back – but I started getting what I suspect may be a sinus headache and all I wanted to do was read the rest of the afternoon. So all my plans for an extravagant dinner went out the door and I instead made something very simple and very comforting, although since it simmered for so long, it still felt a little bit like I was putting a normal effort into it. Really, though, prep time for this is next to nothing if you have seitan on hand. I had some in the freezer, so I was good to go.

Simple Seitan Stew

1 lb seitan, chopped into bite-sized chunks
wine or sherry for deglazing, optional
4 small cooking onions, peeled but left whole
2 huge carrots, chunked
4 small to medium potatoes, chunked
4 cups vegan “beef” broth
1 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Marmite
1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
2 bay leaves (I used 4 because they were fresh and young and I think less potent)
1/2 tsp (or to taste) freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup frozen peas
1 Tbsp malt vinegar, optional
2 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp cold water

Brown the seitan in some oil in a heavy Dutch oven, deglazing the pot with wine, sherry, or broth. Place the rest of the ingredients except the frozen peas, vinegar, and corn starch into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft, probably 45 minutes to an hour. Add the peas and the malt vinegar if you wish – mine tasted sort of sweet and I wanted to cut that a little bit. Remove the bay leaves. Whisk together the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl, then stir into the stew and simmer another minute or two until thickened. Squish any onions that are still whole to break them up.

Serve with crusty bread.

What’s that you say? You won’t leave without a kitten photo? Well, I guess I can scrounge one up for you this time. Gomez has taken to helping me cook.


  1. Jennifer Said,

    September 26, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    This sounds amazing! I have some frozen seitan I think this would be perfect for. I don’t think I can get marmite here. Do you know of any substitutions? Would it hurt the flavor terribly if I just left it out? Thanks for the amazing blog.

  2. renae Said,

    September 26, 2010 @ 11:25 pm

    Hi Jennifer, the Marmite just adds a bit of richness to the flavor. You can omit it if you can’t find it or use a little more Kitchen Bouquet if you have that. Or if you live somewhere you can get Vegemite, you can use that.

  3. susan Said,

    September 27, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

    how did he get so big so quickly….?

    on the tofu front….have you written about it?…i bought a soymilk maker and a tofu press and my first two times turned out grainy…if you posted about it pls point me in that direction.


  4. renae Said,

    September 27, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    Susan, I did a tutorial here:, and there are also photographs in the tutorial I did on making a press: I would imagine graininess would be caused by not straining well enough. I don’t use a soymilk maker so I don’t know that much about them, but I’m going to guess whatever straining mechanism it has it not fine enough. Try pouring the finished soy milk through a colander lined with muslin.

    Oh, and Gomez? No idea! He’s huge! Much bigger than his sister.

  5. Courtney Said,

    September 27, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

    This looks delicious! Do you have a favorite brand of vegan “beef” broth you can recommend? I tried one brand, and it was awful, so I am nervous to try others without a recommendation.


  6. renae Said,

    September 27, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

    Courtney, my two favorite brands are Better Than Bouillon (almost a paste) and Edward & Sons (cubes). You can get the latter at Pangea. Wegmans sells both of them, and many grocery stores sell the Better Than Bouillon – just make sure you don’t get their real beef (or chicken) base. For this particular stew, I actually scraped all I could from the dregs of my jar of Better Than Bouillon and then popped in an Edward & Sons cube, so I used a mix of both and it was good.

  7. Jes Said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 9:00 am

    Mmm the stew looks great!

  8. Josiane Said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

    That stew is perfect comfort food material! Just the thing you need at this time of the year, especially when you’re not feeling your best. I hope the sinus headache didn’t turn into something worse – and if it did, I wish you to get well soon.

  9. susan Said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    i read both of your posts (i cant believe the tofu press…very crafty)…i bought my soymilk maker and a big wooden press from soyajoy…i think my tofu was “grainy” due to the amount of coagulant i used…they recommend a tsp…you said three…also i got from your post the part about not disturbing it…i think i was stirring away….so i am off to soak the beans for another try…thanks

  10. Melisser Said,

    September 28, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

    This looks great! Gomezzzz!

  11. Tiffany Said,

    September 30, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

    That looks like some seriously awesome comfort food. Mmmm I love stews! Love the Gomez photo, too! 🙂

  12. jodye @ 'scend food Said,

    October 3, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

    This looks just like the stew my mom used to make on cold winter nights when I was younger. It sounds lovely and so comforting.

  13. Basil Said,

    October 9, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

    I just made this tonight for dinner. I think I was transported to heaven while I was eating it. Soooo gooood… And easy too! I love recipes like that. Genius!

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