Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan

Sweet and Sour Seitan (like No Name from Grasshopper)

Grasshopper Restaurant’s most popular dish seems to be the No Name, and for good reason. The seitan is crunchy-crispy and coated with a delicious sweet and sour sauce. I was really craving it today, so I decided to try my hand at making it. I was pretty surprised how close I got to the real deal. This definitely satisfies my cravings for the No Name, and it’s not hard to make either!

Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan
Serves two

8 oz Seitan, chopped into strips (a loose 2 cups after chopping)
1 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 Cup Peanut Oil
Steamed Broccoli
Sesame Seeds for garnish


3 1/2 Tbs Seasoned Rice Vinegar (you can eyeball the 1/2 Tbs)
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tbs + 2 tsp Sugar
1 Tbs Tamari
1 Tbs Ketchup
1 tsp Molasses
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch + 2 Tbs water

This recipe is not nearly as complicated as it seems. I’m just feeling verbose tonight!

Add all the sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch and water into a small saucepan and heat on low until sugar dissolves. Mix cornstarch with 2 Tbs water and add to sauce. Turn up heat to medium-high and whisk until sauce thickens. Sauce should be moderately thick, but not so thick it’s gel like. If you scrape a spoon down the middle of the pan, it should take a second for it to fill in the groove you made, but it should fill back in. Does that makes sense? Add more cornstarch to make it thicker if needed, or add water (or seitan juice) to thin it out if it gets too thick. Take off heat and set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup of peanut oil on HIGH in a large skillet, non-stick if you have it. Place chopped seitan in a large bowl. Sprinkle with egg replacer powder and mix well. It should dissolve from the moisture of the seitan. Add cornstartch and toss seitan until it’s completely coated.

Test oil with a piece of seitan. If the oil bubbles up immediately when you drop a piece in, you’re good to go. Add seitan to oil in one layer – you might need to do batches depening on how big your pan is. Fry on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring and turning the pieces often, until crispy and golden. Drain oil out of pan (it’s safer to remove the seitan with a slotted spoon and pour the oil out of the pan, but I take the whole thing over to the sink and use the pan lid as a barrier. This way the seitan stays in while I pour the oil out. If you get severe burns doing this, don’t blame me. I shouldn’t do it, but I do.)

Put the pan back on the stove with the seitan in it, but NOT over heat. Wait a sec for the pan to cool down, then add sauce. Use a rubber spatual to get out every last bit, as the recipe makes just enough to coat. Toss to coat seitan and serve immediately.

If your pan is too hot when you do this, your sauce might get CRAZY thick CRAZY fast, as cornstarch is wont to do around heat. It’s not a big deal, but you’ll be happier waiting for the pan to cool a bit.

Serve with steamed broccoli and top with sesame seeds.

Additional (Untested) Ideas:

Lemon Ginger: Omit ketchup and add 1 tsp more vinegar and 1 tsp more sugar. Add more ginger to sauce, fresh if you got it, and stir in 1 Tbs of organic lemon zest to the sauce.

Orange Sesame: Add 1 Tbs of organic orange zest while dissolving sugar. Stir in 2 tsp of toasted sesame oil before tossing with the seitan.

Spicy Garlic: Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic to the sauce along with 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. Alternatively, mix ground cayenne pepper with the cornstarch before tossing the seitan in it.

***This is the updated sauce recipe.  If you want to use the old recipe, click the link below!

Old Sweet and Sour Sauce 

1/3 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar
4 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs Tamari
1 Tbs Ketchup
1 tsp Non-Blackstrap Molasses
1/4 tsp Ginger Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch + 2 Tbs water


  1. blanche james

    I am a “make it yourself seitan” newbie, found this recipe and can’t wait to make it. My question is: at what stage do you proceed with this recipe? After rinsing and draining the seitan, do you simmer it in broth and then follow the recipe, or do you start the recipe using the raw seitan? Thank you for your info… and recipe.

  2. Pingback: Food Pairing 101: What Goes Well with Queen of Hearts by Fucked Up? « Write.Click.Cook.Listen
  3. Pingback: Recon? « This Woman Wanders…

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>