Sauerkraut Noodles with Seitan

Every October 6th my father emails me to wish me a happy German-American Day. And every October 6th at least one food blog reminds me it’s National Noodle Day. So for dinner tonight, obviously I was having German noodles, right? The only trouble was the noodles involved in German dishes are always egg noodles, and even if I found a non-eggy noodle I thought would suffice, I’ve been eschewing the heavy dinners I feared anything “German noodly” would turn out to be. So I went browsing around Wegmans looking for a wheat-alternative noodle that would help me make a lighter dish. I found this rice spaghetti, which are absolutely, positively nowhere near being German. Nonetheless, I decided to try them. You could absolutely be much more authentic and use wide wheat noodle, although if you are vegan, you’ll probably end up having to use linguine or something similar.

Sauerkraut Noodles with Seitan

1 1/2 cups chopped seitan (I like to make a big batch on the weekend and freeze it in smaller portions)
1 cup vegan “beef” broth
3 Tbsp German mustard
2 Tbsp vinegar – I used malt, but really any kind would be okay
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/4 tsp celery seed
1 white onion, sliced into slivers
14 oz sauerkraut
2 Tbsp vegan sour cream (optional)
noodles of your choice, cooked unless you are using rice noodles like me

Whisk together the broth, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, caraway seeds, chili pepper flakes, and celery seeds in a medium bowl. Chop the seitan and add to the broth. Let it marinade for a while, say, half an hour or so (or much longer in the refrigerator).

The directions on my rice spaghetti said to soak it in water for two minutes before cooking. If you are using any other noodles, cook them as directed and set aside.

Heat some oil in a Dutch oven and add the onions. Cook until they begin to get soft.

Drain the seitan, reserving the marinade.

Add the seitan to the onions and cook until the seitan begins to brown.

Stir in the sauerkraut. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any homemade, though I do have a pot fermenting that will be ready in a couple of weeks, so I had to make do with an authentic German brand from Wegmans.

Add the broth and the sour cream. I’m not sure the sour cream added that much flavor to the final dish so I wouldn’t go out of my way to include it next time.

CAT INTERLUDE. I have THIS whining at me the entire time I’m cooking anything:

I swear, that is SO like Tigger!

If you are using regular cooked noodles, boil off the broth a bit, or perhaps thicken it with a bit of cornstarch dissolved in cold water. I, however, needed to finish cooking my now-soaked rice noodles, which were softened, but not al dente. So I gently stirred in the noodles, lowered the heat a bit, covered, and let the noodles cook for 5 to 10 minutes. My original plan was to bake this dish like a casserole, but I wasn’t sure if the rice noodles would go soggy before everything else was heated through, so I kept it on the stovetop. The noodles stayed al dente.

And that’s all there was to it. I can’t figure out if that rice spaghetti was being marketed towards an Asian crowd (it seems proud to be a product of Singapore and I did find it in the Asian section) or a gluten-free crowd (it’s labelled as such) or what, exactly. I think it would seem more natural in an Asian dish, but then, I eat a lot of rice noodles in Asian dishes so maybe that’s just what I expect. You won’t get an experience like the European egg noodles that come to mind when you think “German noodle dish”, but I think I felt a little less fat after dinner than I would have had I used heavier noodles. Mark really liked this; he had three servings and informed me it was “elite”. So I don’t know, maybe my German ancestors would have found this meal absurd, but it was tasty and it’s hard to argue against something when you have people going back for thirds.

As I mentioned in my last post, we released some more raccoons a couple of weeks ago. Here’s a glimpse:

I think this one looks like he’s picking a lock…which by the way would be a great profession for a raccoon if he were human, and not just because they have built-in masks. I think that’s why I find this picture so hilarious.

Back inside, we have a few younger raccoons who will be over-wintering with us or who will be released around January. What is this one doing?

Gnawing on my camera strap, that’s what. If you want to know what kind of person I am, I’m the kind of person who will give a raccoon my camera strap when asked. I also give them my shoes, which they find just as fascinating.

Like I’m going to turn THIS face down.


  1. Mom Said,

    October 7, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    The raccoon does look like he is picking the lock, except the door is already open. He sure is intently looking at what he is doing.

    I don’t think you were happy with what Dracula did with your shoe that one time.

  2. renae Said,

    October 7, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    I’d forgotten all about what Dracula did with (or in) my shoe. Bad Dracula! No raccoon has ever done that, although I do always wear shoes I can clean in the dishwasher around them so I wouldn’t be quite as upset if they did.

  3. Josiane Said,

    October 7, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    No matter how far it may be from a typical German noodle dish, your version sounds awesome! Tasty, qualifies as “elite” and sends people going back for thirds? I definitely have to give it a try!

    You’ve caught great shots of those raccoons!

  4. Zoa Said,

    October 7, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

    Ho, does this look like another one of your recipes that is going to become, as they say, “part of my weekly rotation”–except I need way more days in the week to accommodate them all. How I love sauerkraut. In fact, cabbage in most of its incarnations is pretty fabulous, but you can’t beat fermented. The raccoons are dead cute too.

  5. jamie and shawn Said,

    October 10, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    i enjoyed the recipe!! Definitely want to try something along these delicious sounding lines. I have my first ever batch of sauerkraut fermenting in a crock in the shed, so it’s timely and makes me excited!! I also couldn’t help enjoying the tags for this entry…i mean, how often do you see pasta, raccoons and sauerkraut as tag entries together!!


  6. Jes Said,

    October 10, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

    Those raccoons steal my heart every time I see them–those little heart thief rascals. It’s the masks, really.

    As for the noodles, I don’t know how to say “I love this so much you don’t understand” in German, but I’m sure it wouldn’t sound pretty. Sauerkraut & noodles & seitan sounds perfect. Definitely bookmarked!

  7. Cynthia Said,

    October 13, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    Hey there,
    Im not sure if you take requests/suggestions. My mother recently went to the store and bought me a bag of wheat Haleem..its a 2 lb bag and i cant seem to find any recipies for it that dont require lamb or any other kind of dead animal..if you’ve ever cooked with it i’d love to hear suggestions or if you do know or come across a recipie that sounds good i’d really love the help!

    Thanks in advance..and ps i love your site!!

  8. renae Said,

    October 17, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    Hi Cynthia, I’m afraid I don’t know anything about wheat haleem, but I’ll keep a lookout in the stores I frequent and pick some up if I see it.

  9. Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day Said,

    October 14, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    That dish looks and sounds so good! I just LOVE sauerkraut

  10. Sauerkraut Noodles « Eating Appalachia Said,

    October 25, 2011 @ 11:00 pm

    […] photos, witty writing–and I always love an excuse to make her recipes. When she posted her Sauerkraut Noodles for German-American day, I knew I had to make them. I mean, I’m a sucker for German food and […]

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