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. Lefebvre August 28, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    Bonjour je viens de regarder votre vidéo je voudrais savoir où je pourrais me procurer la poudre rose pour le seitan merci

    • Trang August 28, 2018 at 2:20 pm #

      Bonjour ami,
      The pink barbecue seasoning can be found at an Asian grocery store. The brand I use is Noh, an American brand and may not be available in France. You can find similar products in France. Here is a link for a similar product on Amazon France The ingredients are similar to the one I use. The sauce in a jar can also be used Good Luck and please stop back to share your results. 🙂

  2. Catie August 14, 2017 at 5:34 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe. Newbie seitan maker here. What texture should the seitan be when done steaming? Already firm at that point?

    Many thanks for all you do.

    • Trang August 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi Catie,

      The seitan should be firm after steaming, the texture similar to medium-firm tofu. Hope that helps!

  3. LR August 11, 2017 at 2:24 am #


    I think I missed what the pink powder is?

    Is it listed in the ingredients?

    • Trang August 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm #

      Hi, the pink powder is listed in the ingredients as: 2 Tbsp roast pork/char sui/Chinese BBQ seasoning
      Hope that helps!

  4. Nick May 2, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    I made this with great success! Rather than boil the gluten I steamed it in a pressure cooker and reduced the time to one third. I then used it diced in fried rice. Delicious!

    • Trang May 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

      Hi Nick,
      So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe. I definitely need to try steaming it in the pressure cooker like you did. Adding the seitan to fried rice is delish! Thanks for sharing your results 🙂

  5. Ellie March 26, 2017 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Trang,

    I love your recipes, but this one i cannot make. I tried 3 times. I followed your recipe exactly, the first time, when I tried to boil it, it turn into mush in 1-2 minutes. Second time I reduced the amount of water to 2/3C, 1/8 tsp baking powder. Still mush. 3x used some of the marinate in the dough mix and I fried it, taste good, but does not look like yours. I want to boil it and pan roast it like yours, please help.

    • Trang March 27, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

      Hi Ellie,
      I perplexed by why your seitan turns to “mush” when it’s boiled. When you say “mush” does it completely disintegrate/break down in the hot water? May I ask what type of vital wheat gluten you’re using?

    • Samara August 11, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

      Try simmering rather than boiling it

  6. Tom July 2, 2016 at 8:44 am #

    Just recently found your web page and new to cooking with Seitan. Look forward to trying this recipe and will continue to follow your page for more and exciting recipes.

    • Trang July 24, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Tom,
      Thanks for stopping by! I hope you give this recipe a try and check-out some of the other seitan recipes I’ve shared. Happy Cooking!

  7. pym October 12, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    your recipe looks lovely. i tried… looks a little bit like yours but someone could use my outcome as a basketball. so rubbery.
    as i didnt feel like cooking yesterday in one fell swoop i made the seitan and stuck it in fridge with some broth. for 24 hours. could that account for the sponginess? next time i will also try your advice to marc and not boil in water

    • Trang October 13, 2015 at 12:20 am #

      Hi, sorry to hear your seitan didn’t turn out right. Unfortunately, letting it soak in the broth for so long definitely affects the texture. I hope you’ll give the recipe another try. Good Luck and let me know if you have any questions.

      • pym October 13, 2015 at 6:48 am #

        thank you .. will try it again(i bought 3 pound bag of char sui)

        • Trang October 13, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

          Hi, that’s plenty of char sui for a few more rounds. I know you can do it 🙂 and can’t wait to hear the results of your next batch! Good Luck!

  8. marc August 28, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    This recipe visually turns out gorgeous.

    however, the texture simply is too spongy. It’s just like a cooked mushroom.

    I really wish I knew how to get a firm texture of the Seitan. If that’s possible, this would be a slam dunk

    • Trang August 30, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      H Marc,
      For a firmer texture, instead of boiling the seitan which allows it to soak up a lot of water, pan cook the seitan with just a little water in the pan, rotating regularly until the seitan is cooked, about 10-15 minutes over Medium Low heat. Hope you give it a try and let me know if you like this texture better. Good Luck!

  9. Ann March 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Chi oi, thank you for introducing us to seitan and vital wheat gluten. I shudder to think of the seitan that my aunt would buy at the market to prepare vegetarian dishes for my relatives’ anniversary of the dead. God only know what ingredients that go into making it!!!!

    I read up on the vital wheat gluten and apparently it also help the yeast bread rise. Do you think we can add a little bit to the dough for bao? Thank you !

    • Trang March 4, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

      Hi Ann,

      I am glad you like the seitan recipes I’ve shared. Making homemade seitan is really easy and so much healthier. The ones in the stores have all sorts of additives and preservatives.
      I use vital wheat gluten when making bread with good results. It’s worth trying in the banh bao dough. I suggest starting with 1 tsp vital wheat gluten as the bread flour in the banh bao recipe already has some protein in it. Good Luck and please share your results if you give it a try. Thanks!

      • Ann March 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

        Thank you so much for your prompt reply! I’m going to share your blog with my relatives and friends. And I have a lot of relatives and friends. Lol

        • Trang March 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

          Thanks Ann! You’re very sweet. I hope you’re family and friends find some recipes they like as well. 🙂

  10. thuy January 31, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

    trang oi cho minh hoi where can i buy vital wheat flour ,can’t not find any where

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