Mock Roast Pork/Seitan Roast Pork (Mi Can Xa Xiu)

Can you believe this is completely vegetarian? | recipe from runawayrice.comI love seitan and have touted its versatility as a tasty meat substitute in earlier posts.  I’ve shared the basic seitan recipe and the one below is essentially the same except for two things:  1) we add soy sauce to the water to give it color and saltiness 2) we use a bit more baking powder to give it a more meat-like texture.   The fun part of this recipe is that we don’t just make a shapeless blob of seitan roast pork.  Instead we use corn husks to wrap the seitan to give it texture similar to the grain in meat.  The trick is not to wrap the bundle too tightly as seitan expands quite a bit when boiled.  Also, we don’t need to be precise with the wrapping.  The varying shapes make it more natural and meat-like.  I hope you’ll give the recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Not a fan of the packaged seasoning for roast pork?  Don’t like all the food coloring and sugar?  Below is my recipe for a homemade marinade.  If using this version, omit the store-bought roast pork seasoning + soy sauce and use this to marinate the cooked seitan instead.

Homemade Marinade

1/2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp 5-spice powder
2 Tbsp gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet sake or rice wine
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil

Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Curry Lemongrass Seitan Stir-Fry (Mi Can Xao Xa Ot) and Braised Seitan and Vegetables (Mi Can Kho Chay).


3/4 cup warm water
1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
3 corn husks, moistened
2 Tbsp roast pork/char sui/Chinese BBQ seasoning
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup water


In a large bowl combine water, soy sauce, salt and baking powder.  Sift in the vital wheat gluten and mix well.   Work the dough in your hands making sure all dry vital wheat gluten is completely incorporated.  Shape and squeeze the dough into a large ball.  This helps to compact the dough and remove any air pockets.  Flatten the dough and return to the bowl.  Allow to rest for 1 hour.

Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces.  Loosely wrap each piece of seitan in the corn husk and secure with twine.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.  Add the seitan.  Reduce the heat to Medium Low and boil the seitan for 15 minutes.  Every 5 minutes, rotate the seitan so it cooks evenly.  Remove, drain in a colander and allow to cool for 5 minutes before unwrapping.

Prepare the marinade by combining the roast pork seasoning with the soy sauce.  Add the seitan and rotate in the marinade coating all the pieces completely.  Marinate for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, rotate the pieces and marinate for another hour.

Heat a skillet over Medium High heat.  Add oil and seitan.  Pan fry on each side for 1 minute.  Add the water.  Swirl and flip the seitan coating the pieces in the sauce and cook until the water is completely evaporated.  (This takes approximately 4-5 minutes.)  Once all the water is cooked-off, pan fry each side until golden brown.  Remove from heat.

Yields: 2-4 servings

An easy-to-make and delicious meat alternative! | recipe from

Delicious Mock Roast Pork Banh Mi

 Viet-Style Mock Roast Pork Sandwich...YUM! | recipe from








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38 Responses to Mock Roast Pork/Seitan Roast Pork (Mi Can Xa Xiu)

  1. sarah May 30, 2021 at 5:11 am #

    Hello! This looks great, just one question; what is in the “5-spice powder”?

  2. Lisa September 28, 2020 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you for the recipe. Would like to give some constructive feedback to request for measurement of ingredients in grams and millilitres as cup measurements vary according to different countries. Look forward to trying out this recipe.

  3. Bao Vu February 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Trang,
    I have been making seitan in several ways. Other recipes calling for addition of chickpea flour or tofu (among the spices) do not give the consistency and/or taste I am looking for. Your method with only wheat gluten is the best so far. The only minor problem is the marinading process. Time consuming since I want to marinade overnight.
    I wonder if I can mix the homemade charsiu marinade or the store bought marinade powder directly into the wheat gluten powder before cooking – rather than marinading the cooked seitan afterward.
    Please let me know.

    • Trang June 28, 2021 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi Bao,
      Yes, you can add the marinade when making the seitan dough but some of the flavor will be lost during boiling. It’s a trade-off.

  4. Tyara October 8, 2019 at 8:15 am #

    Hi Trang,

    I was wondering, have you ever heard of tangzhong? If not, it’s kind of a hydrated dough, made a special way, this tangzhong adds softness to bread dough, so that the bread is so soft and spongy. I am wondering if it would do the same to seitan?? Let me know what you think. I have never made seitan before. I am a newbie at being vegan, but I have always hated chewy meat. If this tangzhong would make the seitan more tender and not rubbery, that would be great.

    • Trang October 9, 2019 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Tyara,
      I am familiar with tangzhong dough but have not tried it with seitan. It’s an intriguing idea and worth a try. I’ll add it to my list for kitchen tests. If you try it, please stop back to share your comments. I’d love to hear about it. I am sure other readers would be curious too. Regarding the chewiness of seitan, I think this depends on how long you boil it. You can experiment with the cooking times to find the texture you like. Enjoy the recipe!

  5. Dorji Dema January 31, 2019 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi ,can I make it more soya.if it is possible then can you share

    • Trang February 1, 2019 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi Dorji,
      I’ll definitely share a recipe using soy bean. Thanks for your request. 🙂

    • Steven Crawford November 19, 2019 at 1:42 am #

      You can add soya flour to the seitan dough and it still works perfectly. Up up 25% is fine

  6. fran-e campbell January 1, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

    does the baking powder eliminate rubbery, tough consistency of most seitan? i seen you said it was like a firm tofu.. i do not like anything i have to chow allot on, do to physical limitations. so i am hoping that this is what the b. powder does for it.. also, i noticed you do not boil it for and hour or, 2, so, does that also help it not to be so rubbery? i am excited to see what you are doing here.. and hoping i can adapt this to other recipes so i can use them, simply by adding the powder and not cooking so long..

    • Trang January 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm #

      Hi Fran, the baking powder helps to make the texture lighter and less rubbery. Yes, boiling less also helps to improve the texture. I hope you try my recipe and stop back to share your results. Good Luck!

  7. Sarah December 29, 2018 at 10:44 pm #

    Found the red pork seasoning in a Chinese grocer in Bendigo hope it taste just like I remember 😉

    • Trang January 1, 2019 at 6:33 pm #

      Good Luck Sarah! Please stop back to share your results! 🙂

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