Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Seitan Sliders - Eat your heart out, White Castle!

I'm not a good vegetarian: I turn up my nose at crudite platters, I scoff at salads, and most telling of all, what vegetables do appear on my plate tend to be hidden in risottos or secreted in sauces. I'm certain that cheese is a food group unto itself, as are bread, wine and chocolate. I'm jealous of the wider range of umami foods available to carnivores, and thanks to my jealousy, I've become obsessed as of late with seitan.

I've bought (more than) my fair share of fake meat products, but while those fill some sort of void on the plate, none are really satisfying to me. Yes, its nice to have some veggie sausages with my biscuits and white gravy on Sunday mornings, but I want a wider range of options! And lately, what I want more than anything are sliders.

Sliders seem to have become ubiquitous, popping up everywhere from Burger King's "Burger Shots" to Wagyu beef sliders at the most expensive New York restaurants. And I wanted some, too. But, I trolled the internet in vain. The precious few recipes for vegetarian sliders all seemed to be for miniature veggie burgers or, worse, portobello burgers. (Don't get me wrong: I love mushrooms. I'm just very over the idea that portobello mushrooms must taste just like finest steak to vegetarians.)

Mini burgers are not sliders, in my book. I'm sure they're all fine and well, but I wanted something equivalent to those nutritionless, glutinous offerings from White Castle and Krystal. If I'd just wanted a mini veggie burger, I'd have invested in a cookie cutter.

Since my obsession with seitan has become full blown, I've been working like a mad scientist to create the perfect seitan beef with as meaty a texture and as rich a flavor as possible. When, yesterday, I finally succeeded, what better dish to try it out on than seitan sliders? With great anticipation, I steamed the buns and minced the onions.

Joyous days! The experiment worked and the sliders turned out awesome! My (also veggie) husband devoured his sliders, plus my leftovers, and pronounced them indistinguishable from White Castle - unless better.

See, as a good vegetarian, I should be all excited about dishes like cracked wheat with azuki beans and lightly sauteed kale seasoned with Bragg Liquid Aminos, but as I said, I'm not a good vegetarian. I'm a carnivore trapped in a vegetarian's body. And today I'm excited by seitan sliders.

Later note: It came to my attention that this is teasing, to put pictures and descriptions with no recipe. So, I posted a recipe some weeks later ... check out http://thevegetariancarnivore.blogspot.com/2010/01/seitan-sliders-this-time-with-recipe.html


  1. hey!! where's your recipe? :D
    must. have.



  2. Funny, I was just thinking that I really should post that since, without it, what's the point? So I promise - I'll put it up this week.

    Or maybe it's just my excuse to make sliders again ;)