Vegan Chick’n Seitan Ethiopian Doro Wat

| 01/14/2015 | Reply

As you know by now, I have an international palate and enjoy the cuisine of cultures around the world. Every continent on the planet has something that I love to eat, and I’ve made it my mission to create a delicious vegan version of them for myself and you to enjoy.

Today’s stop is Ethiopia, where the favorite national dish Doro Wat is served at just about every celebration. Doro Wat is a spicy stew made with chicken and boiled eggs, but in our version we’re going to use chick’n style seitan in place of meat. Be sure to use a flavorful recipe – it will make your dish that much better.

Whether you opt to buy your seiten or make it yourself, choose a recipe that will cook up firm but tender; we want it to have the feel of chicken chunks, but since its seitan, it has to retain it’s shape once it’s cubed and added to the spicy sauce.

vegan Ethiopian Doro Wat made with chicken style seitan

Though your home will smell fabulous and exotic, this dish is quite time consuming to make, and definitely falls under the category of “slow-cooking.” It’s something for a weekend, not something you throw together after you get home from a busy day at the office and a hellish commute. But trust me, it’s worth the work you’ll put in.

A trip to an African spice store or placing an order online for Berbere spice is a prerequisite. If you are vegetarian and can get your hands on Ethiopian spiced butter (Niter Kebbeh), that would be the move to make. For vegans, follow this easy recipe, or just use regular vegan butter.

Normally, Doro Wat is served with injera, a spongy flat bread which is torn into pieces and used to scoop up bits of the spicy chicken stew.  In other words, traditional Ethiopian culture doesn’t use a knife and fork set up at meal times.

vegan Ethiopian Doro Wat made with chicken style seitan


There are stores that sell injera about 20 miles from here, but I didn’t feel like driving to get some, and I certainly wasn’t going to hunt down some teff flour to make my own. So I served the Seitan Chick’n Style Doro Wat with Jasmine rice.  Nobody complained… everybody smiled.

I love it when that happens.

Vegan Chick'n Seitan Ethiopian Doro Wat
Created by:
Recipe Type: Entrees
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Number Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
This dish is quite time consuming and is definitely slow-cooking. Making this favorite Ethiopian national dish vegan style requires replacing chicken flesh with firm cooked chick'n style seitan. You can speed up the process if you have previously made chick'n style seitan on hand, or if you use commercial seitan. I don't like the taste of that stuff, so I always make my own. A trip to a spice store or placing on order online for Berbere spice is also a prerequisite.
What You Need
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds chicken style seitan, cut into 1" chunks
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Niter Kebbeh or vegan butter
  • 1 large red onion, quartered
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • ⅓ cup berbere spice powder (or ¼ cup paste)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ cup sweet red wine
  • 1 cup not-chicken broth (or bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup water)
  • 4 hard boiled eggs (vegetarians only)
How to Do It
  1. Heat 2 Tablespoons Niter Kebbeh or vegan butter and olive oil in a large heavy Dutch oven style pot. Add the onion paste and saute briefly, then cover pan and let cook over low heart for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If you did not make or buy the Niter Kibbeh but want more flavor, add a pinch each of ground turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, fenugreek, cloves, and cinnamon to the pot.)
  2. While onion cooks, place the seitan chunks in a large glass or earthenware bowl (not metallic), and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix gently with rubber spatula, then let sit out on counter for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, and another 1 Tablespoon of vegan butter to onion mixture, Stir to blend. Continue cooking in covered pot another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the berbere seasoning and the 2 remaining tablespoons of vegan butter to pot, Stir to mix, then return cover to pot and cook an additional 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the seitan chunks, not-chicken broth and wine to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot again, and cook another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding additional berbere or cayenne if you want more heat. Simmer another 10-15 minutes to blend flavors.
  7. Serve hot with injera bread or over Jasmine rice.


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Category: Entrees

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