Can I say it's the weather that made me do vegan sausages? Since it's incredibly hot, sunny and awesome, we just can't stop thinking about having awesome bbqs with our family and friends. This weekend we were meant to actually meet our friends and next week my side of the family was meant to visit. Well since it's self isolation day - I don't even know - I wanted to still celebrate the weather somehow. We decided to order balcony furniture and make it awesome, then dine alfresco every evening with wine, meat-free vegan sausages and epic mango habanero salsa.
It's not the same as being out, travelling or spending time with extra good company, but we realise how lucky we are to be in this situation together. We are super used to spending 24/7 anyway so apart from the trips, it's kinda business as usual here. Now that the weather is nice, we both miss our long walks in the forest but we'd rather venture out after dark, when there is virtually no soul on the street.
We associate sunny weather with lazy afternoons spent in beer gardens, and those fantastic Sunday grills we just can't get enough of. Of course, being vegan is a little more challenging but I wanted to find a solution for us so we can also enjoy epic homemade meat-free vegan sausages.
That's why I started playing with this vegan steak recipe until I managed to find the perfect alchemy behind these epic vegan sausages.
Before you dismiss me and think I'm crazy, hear me out: these vegan sausages are the real deal. They have a fantastic consistency. They are quite dense and meaty, but you can take a proper bite without the grains falling apart. The taste is smokey and great. The vegan sauce I prepared for them is also perfect, slightly salty, but sweet and smokey all at the same time. Brush the grill with a little olive oil before adding these bad boys on it and you will hear them sizzle! Honestly, they sizzle. It's incredible.
As you can see from the pictures, they even look like real sausages and they grill beautifully with those gorgeous charred marks on them. They are suitable for frying, grilling on the hob, grilling on charcoal, you name it.
We served them with refreshing mango habanero salsa and the tastes married perfectly. You can, of course, have them with any veggies you want, baked potatoes or even herbed breaded potatoes.
So what's the big secret in this recipe? Which I must add is actually soy-free! It's vital wheat gluten, which is the main protein in wheat. Wheat gluten has been documented in China since the 6th century and it's widely consumed in China still. It's now widely available in many dishes throughout Asia, consumed by vegans and vegetarians, especially among adherents of Buddhism.
Vital wheat gluten is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed.
Rather than vital wheat gluten, you might be familiar with the word "seitan". The word seitan is of Japanese origin and was coined in 1961 by George Ohsawa. So the two terms are interchangeable.
How to make meat free vegan sausages?
The most important part about this recipe is how to shape your vegan sausages to make them look "real". The great thing about this recipe is that once you create the shape you want, during steaming, the seitan will hold its form and not disintegrate.
To start the vegan sausages: Add chickpea, nutritional yeast, tomato sauce, soy sauce, dijon mustard, oregano, paprika, coriander powder, black pepper, salt to the food processor and process until all ingredients are mixed well. It should be like a thick liquid with no lumps.
Transfer this mixture to a bowl and add the vital wheat gluten. Stir in with a wooden spoon, then start kneading with your hands. Knead the dough for a short minute until everything is well mixed together. The dough needs to be firm and stretchy, so make sure you don't over knead. If you over-knead the vegan sausages will be too tough.
Once you reach the firm and stretchy texture, I recommend measuring its weight. I got roughly around 700 grams of mixture.
I divided the number to 10 as I wanted to get 10 sausages. I then measured 70 grams of dough for each sausage.
Here's how to create sausages without casing. Since these are vegan sausages we can use cling film to shape them up and roll and tie the ends to imitate the shape of a meaty sausage. Here's how to do it:
1. Try to transform each part of dough into rough cylinders with your hands. Put one vegan sausage cylinder into a small square of cling film.
2. Roll it tightly and gently squeeze it to create the desired sausage shape. Twist the edges. You can twist it a few times to really give it a good shape at the end.
3. Once you obtain the desired shape, transfer the vegan sausage to a square of aluminium foil. Roll it tightly and twist the edges well. Set aside. Repeat with all ten vegan sausages (and reuse the cling film for shaping purposes to reduce pollution).
Now it's time to steam the sausages. I used two bamboo steamers with 5 sausages per basket. Steam them for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the vegan sausage sauce. Simply add all sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix well until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Once your vegan sausages have steamed, unwrap the aluminium foil and transfer them to a deep plate. Pour a little sauce over each vegan sausage and using a kitchen brush cover all parts of the sausage in the sauce. I like to really marinade my vegan sausages for about 10 minutes in the sauce.
To Fry: Heat a non-stick pan with a little olive oil and then fry the vegan sausages for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely brown. Add more sauce to the frying pan and brush the sauce over the steak if you want them to have a deeper flavour and look a little darker.
To Grill: Brush your grill with a little olive oil. Grill the vegan sausages on the BBQ for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely brown. Add more sauce to the vegan sausages if you like a deeper flavour.
Are you ready to try these amazing vegan sausages? I am going to try to make all sort of varieties of sausages and post more meat free sausages recipe. I actually find it incredibly relaxing to cook these and really enjoy it when my husband grills them. We think these are going to be awesome for the summer bbq, when life goes back to normal.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.