With Memorial Day approaching, hot dog season will soon be in full swing. It’s a bummer sometimes as a vegan to miss out on the traditional back yard party/picnic offerings – but of course, we know that there’s a vegan version for just about everything out there!
Now, I know all kinds of bad and mysterious ingredients end up in meat hot dogs. Nevertheless, back in the day, I loved them. I also know that I can buy vegan hot dogs, but being the control freak that I am, I need to keep tabs on what goes in those, too. These are super easy to make, are juicy and have that kind of eerily familiar mouthfeel. Turns out the rather distinctive taste/smell that I remember from meat hot dogs comes from ground coriander – never would have guessed that.
I used the seitan recipe from Mark Bittman’s classic, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian – and it really is ridiculously basic: vital wheat gluten, water and broth. I added toasted wheat germ for texture and the spices typically found in meat hot dogs. To get a more-or-less hot dog shape, I rolled pieces of seitan in foil and steamed rather than simmered them.
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 vegan, beef-flavored bouillon cube (such as Not-Beef Bouillon)
- 1 Tbsp. miso paste
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 3/4 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. marjoram
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dried onion flakes
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp. sweet onion, finely minced
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
- Place the bouillon cube and miso paste into the hot water and stir to dissolve. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, wheat germ, and nutritional yeast. Set aside.
- In a spice blender, add the coriander through salt and process until fine. Pour this mixture into the vital wheat gluten mixture and whisk. Now stir in the bouillon/miso water and the onions and garlic. This mixture will be very wet. Knead for about 5 minutes and then cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 25-30 minutes.
- While the seitan rests, prepare the steamer. Add the water, broth, and soy sauce to a large pot. Put a steam basket into the pot. I put a small ramekin in the bottom and set the basket on top of this - I feel that it just works a bit better to be higher above the liquid. Cover the pot and turn on the stove to low heat. You just want to get some steam rolling in there. Cut 6 sheets of aluminum foil that are about 8-inch wide.
- After the seitan has set, knead for a few more minutes and then divide the dough into 6 pieces. Gently roll them into logs and taking one piece at a time, roll up into the aluminum foil and twist the ends. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces. When the water/broth is steaming. add the seitan and cook on low heat for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and let the seitan rest just as it is for another hour. They're ready to serve at this point, but you can also refrigerate them for several days or freeze for a longer period.