Friday, June 3, 2011

Vegan Chorizo Sausages, 3 ways; Classic, Tex-Mex and Sonora-style

Seitan is a little piece of vegetarian heaven. Not only does it have high protein content, but it's versatile - it can be made into meat alternatives for favorite recipes if wished, or thrown on a grill and eaten on its own. I'm working on a full tutorial for people newly discovering seitan (pronounced say-tan), but for the time being this Chorizo sausage recipe will delight. After researching, testing and veganizing versions of this classic sausage originating in the Iberian Peninsula, I've narrowed down my favorites to the following 3 Chorizo sausage recipes; Classic, Tex-Mex and Sonora-style.

Makes 8 sausages. Note: decent heat, so cut back on peppers/cumin if you prefer something milder

Get your foil rectangles ready - you'll need 8 pices of foil, about 6" x 8", or whatever size works best to wraps up your sausages loosely.

The wet ingredients are the same for all 3 variations of the sausage. Put the following in a small bowl and blend into an emulsion (oil thoroughly mixed in):

6 Tbsp cold water
6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 Tbsp tomato paste
     (1 small can will do)
3 Tbsp olive oil

 And now for the dry ingredients. Put 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten in a bowl, and choose one from the following spice blends:

Classic Chorizo Blend       Tex-Mex Chorizo Blend           
6 tsp smoked paprika        6 tsp hot Hungarian paprika                 
3 tsp garlic powder          1 1/2 tsp garlic powder        
3 tsp oregano                   3 tsp oregano  
3 tsp chili                         3 tsp chili
2 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper  3 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp black pepper        1 1/2 tsp ground cumin 
3/4 tsp salt                      3/4 tsp black pepper
                                        3/4 tsp salt 
Sonora-style Chorizo Blend
6 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp oregano
3 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/8 tsp ground cloves 
3/4 tsp black pepper 
3/4 tsp salt

Note that the use of paprika varies depending on your taste. I keep Hungarian sweet and hot in the house, but I'm not sure of the origins of my smoked paprika. I find Hungarian paprika to be smoother and richer than it's Spanish equivalent, which tends to lend a sort of 'dryness' to dishes. Hard to explain, so trust me on this one! Pick up quality stuff for a good price in local euro food shops, our chain grocery store actually imports it too.

Pour the liquid mixture into the gluten and spice bowl, and quickly mix with a fork or spoon until blend. Knead the dough on a clean surface (dust with more gluten if needed) or, if you're lazy like me, just knead it in the bowl itself. It should take 3-4 minutes of kneading to get a nice smooth ball of dough. Now cut the dough into pieces, I usually make 6 large or 8 medium from a batch this size, but you can play around with size and shape as you like.

Take a piece of the dough, shape it into a sausage, and lay it along the length of the foil. Bring the long edges of the foil together and fold the seam over a couple of times to seal the edges together. Be sure to leave a little space for the seitan to expand, if not, it will burst out of the foil packet! Twist the ends shut as well, again leaving a little extra space. Complete this process for the remaining pieces of dough. Lay the foil-wrapped sausages in your steamer basket, cover and steam for 30 minutes. The sausages are now ready to be used in recipes, fried up on the grill or eaten as is!

Per serving: 136 cals, 6g fat, 5g carbs, 110mg sodium, 1g fiber, 16g protein.  (PRO48%,CHO16%,FAT36%)


  1. Made the Sonora version yesterday. Added to smoky baked beans. Loved them! Easy to make. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. mmmm that does sound good! my husband does the same thing with my seitan bacon, but with canned baked beans...

      yours = homemade? recipe please!

  2. printed and put in the front of my copy of Vegan Crunk... awesome scores...