Vegan Seitan Piccata

I don’t know about you, but I am fascinated with American cuisine; not only what it is now, but how it came to be. So many of America’s favorite foods are based on comfort foods from around the world, which changed into something new in the states based on availability (or unavailability) of ingredients &  necessary equipment, while also attempting to meet the pallets of people who came from all across Europe– and now, people with ancestry from all over the world. Historically, this forced cooks and chefs to adapt their traditional foods into different forms, or with different flavors– I could go on and on. What is important is that Piccata is a perfect example of this tradition and history.

Piccata was created in the 19030’s in the United States, by Italian immigrants and chefs looking to serve their favorite flavors to an American audience. Traditionally, piccata is a thin cut of veal or chicken, served with lemon butter sauce and capers. While every part of this seems hinged on animal-based products, you can absolutely make this flavorful and rich as a plant-based dish. 

For this recipe, I used seitan that I homemade, but there is no shame at all in purchasing premade seitan at the store, or even using any premade vegan chick’n cutlets. You can still home-make this lemon sauce from scratch in about ten minutes, and then you’ve got a quick and delicious meal, which can be so important.

The flavors in this sauce are rich, complex and deep; this sauce requires creating a quick light blonde roux, which gives the creamy texture, and creates a beautiful base for the lemon and caper flavors.

This dish will easily prove to yourself – and others – that vegan food can be rich & gourmet. Not only that, but you can make it that way! 

Vegan Seitan Piccata

Yields 4 Servings

Ingredients: 

Seitan, sliced into cutlets – 4 ea
All-Purpose Flour – 2 ½ oz
All-Purpose Flour – 1 ½ tsp
Thyme, dried – ½ tsp
Paprika – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 fl oz, divided
Shallots, minced – 1 oz
White cooking wine – 2 fl oz
Lemon juice – 1 fl oz
Vegetable stock – 4 fl oz
Capers – 1 tbsp 
Salt – to taste
Black pepper, gr. – to taste

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour & seasonings.
  2. Dredge seitan cutlets in flour mix, and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then sear seitan until golden brown & delicious.
  4. Remove from the pan once seared, and reserve onto a paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  5. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat, and sauté shallots until tender. Then, add 1 tbsp of flour and stir to coat the shallots & create a light roux.
  6. Add white cooking wine to deglaze pan, and then cook until the wine is reduced by about half.
  7. Add lemon juice, stock and capers– continually whisk, and allow to thicken, then season to taste.
  8. Serve sauce over cutlets, or submerge cutlets into sauce to re-heat.
  9. Enjoy, probably with a little glass of wine.

Thanks for reading!

~ Chef G.

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