We try not to play favorites, but this is one of our babies and a recipe we are sure will take over food blogs worldwide. A combination of chickpeas and vital wheat gluten formed into savory cutlets, it’s perfect for when you want something “meaty” but don’t want to go through the trouble of making seitan. We serve these cutlets in a myriad of ways, packed into sandwiches or smothered in mustard sauce, with a side of mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. It’s vegan food that you can eat with a steak knife and, best of all, it’s fast and easy. You’ll probably want to double the recipe if you are serving it to guests.
Game plan: Just in case you were wondering, you can also bake these too! Baking these patties gives them a toothsome chewy texture and firm bite. Preheat oven to 375°F, and lightly oil baking sheet. Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip patties and bake another 8 to 10 minutes until firm and golden brown.
What to buy: Vital wheat gluten is the naturally occurring protein in wheat that makes it all happen; it’s what gives wheat dough its characteristic stretch and makes seitan (sometimes called wheat meat) so toothsome. Look for organic brands at your health food store, usually in the baking section. We recommend Arrowhead Mills brand above others if you have a choice.
- Yield: 4 cutlets
- Difficulty: Medium
- Total: 30 mins
- Active: 30 mins
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated with a Microplane grater
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
- Olive oil for pan frying
- In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead together for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed.
- Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into 4 equal pieces. To form cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 by 4 inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to form a rectangle shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.
- Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.