Washed Flour Seitan (Vegan Chicken)

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This washed flour seitan recipe makes great seitan “chicken” that is fork-tender like real chicken–and you only need flour and water to make it!

Seitan “chicken” is a tasty way of preparing homemade seitan with only water and flour. It may sound a bit bizarre, but this rinsed flour recipe is a wonderful way to transform ordinary flour into a mock chicken by breaking down the wheat protein and rinsing out the starch.

It does take around 2 hours to make WTF seitan, but once you’re done everything else is easy.

You may add spices and flavorings to the protein-rich dough and prepare it to mock chicken, pork, or beef flesh. This mock chicken recipe with flour is totally enjoyable to make.

Washed Flour Seitan origin?

Washed flour seitan is a kind of seitan that I’ve been overwhelmed to try preparing for some time.

This method with washed flour is great for making mock meat and has been published in vegan cookbooks for more than 50 years, although its history traces back to the 6th century in China.

I have checked many seitan recipes and this recipe is perhaps the most traditional you can find. It dates back to traditional Buddhist and Vietnamese habits of washing the flour out to make noodles and then using the starchy mass as vegan protein for meals.

How to make Washed Flour Seitan

Step 1

Pour 8 cups (1.89 l) of plain flour into a big bowl and combine with 3 cups (0.71 l) of water. Beat into a big and hard dough ball.

Step 2

Add cold water to the dough (in a bowl) to cover it, and allow it to rest for 60 minutes.

After the dough has been left to sit for an hour, transfer the bowl to your water sink and knead under water, until you end up with a milky-like liquid.

Step 3

Cover the bowl again with cold water and do the same kneading steps again until the liquid becomes milky-white.

Take off this second part of floury water and repeat the above steps until the liquid becomes just a bit murky after kneading it for 1-2 minutes.

You can also cover your bowl with a strainer to push the dough out of the liquid more easily and squeeze out excess liquid.

Repeat the rinsing procedure for around 6-8 minutes until the water becomes a tad murky but not milky white (after kneading the dough for a minute or so).

Step 4

Take the strainer off the bowl. Remove any excess water and let it sit for a min. 15 minutes.

Step 5

Add salt and seasonings (optional) to season the dough and combine using your hands.

Take the dough with your hands and divide into 4 parts of the same size. Pull a part into a narrow tube and twist 2 to 3 times. Then, bind the twisted line into a loose knot (similar to a pretzel).

Step 6

Add 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and sauté the knots for around 3 to 4 minutes on both sides.

Pour 2 cups (0.47 l) of veggie stock, cover, and cook at low heat for 1 hour. Make sure to flip the sides every 30 minutes.

Step 7

Prepare the seitan the same way you’d handle chicken meat and any chicken recipes. If you want to make something like pulled chicken, you can use a fork to pull it apart. You can also BBQ it.

Washed Flour Seitan

Tips for Washed flour seitan

  • Make sure to let the dough sit before kneading it.
  • The dough will not sit like typical dough. Thus, when you knead it, it’s best to squeeze it out using your hands and rinse as if you are washing a shirt or towel.
  • You may also allow the dough to stand during the washing phase, if you have to take a break.
  • It’s best to rinse as much starch from the flour as possible, but not 100%.
  • Make sure to cook your seitan “chicken” well. It has to be cooked for 45-60 minutes, based on the dimensions of the part that you are preparing. If you undercook it, it will become chewy and doughy.

Taste Variations

Once you wash your flour, you will end up with a basic yet flavorless dough. This will be your base. At this stage, you may add spices and flavorings or try cooking it in various broths to resemble any type of mock meat you wish.

Experiment with different seasonings, and you’ll eventually achieve the results that you wish.

Share the image below to your Pinterest board if you like this Washed Flour Seitan Recipe!


Ingredients (for the seitan)

  • 8 cups (1.89 l) of all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (0.71 l) of water,

For the seasoning

  • ½ tsp of chicken seasoning
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric

For cooking the seitan

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups (0.47 l) mock chicken-style broth or vegan broth


  1. Add 8 cups (1.89 l) of water into a large mixing bowl and knead into a firm dough ball. If there are any dry or sticky spots, you can add a few drops of water to dissolve them.
  2. Cover the bowl with cold water and let sit for an hour or so.
  3. Once the dough has rested (for 1 hour or more), transfer the bowl into the sink and knead under the water stream until it becomes milky-white. You can also take out the water into the sink or keep it for other recipes later.
  4. Cover the bowl with cold water again and repeat the kneading steps until the water turns white. Squeeze out the second part of floury water and do the same process until the water turns a bit murky, after a couple of minutes of kneading. You may also cover your bowl with a strainer to help raise the dough out of the water.
  5. Repeat the adobe washing steps for 5-8 minutes until the water again becomes a bit murky (but not milky).
  6. Take the strainer off the bowl and dump out all the excess liquid, letting it sit for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Add a bit of salt and your desired seasonings and combine with your hands.
  8. Take the dough and split into 4 equal-size pieces. Pull a part into a tube and twist 2-3 times. Then bind the twisted part into a loose knot (pretzel-style).
  9. Sauté the knots in 1 tbsp of vegetable oil for around 3-4 minutes on both sides. Pour 2 cups (0.47 l) of chicken-style broth and simmer (over low heat) for 1 hour, flipping one every 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it during the last minutes of cooking to ensure that broth doesn’t steam out. Add a few tbsp of water if necessary.
  10. Use the same way as you’d use chicken meat. To make pulled chicken, for example, you can use a fork to shred it.
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