Seitan and Vegetable Stir-Fry (4 servings)

What’s the Carbon Footprint of Chicken Compared to Seitan?

The carbon footprint of chicken is significantly higher than that of seitan. Chicken production involves raising animals, which requires land, feed, water, and energy, and results in greenhouse gas emissions such as methane and nitrous oxide. According to a 2018 study by Poore and Nemecek published in the journal Science, the carbon footprint of chicken is estimated to be around 6 kg CO2eq per kg of product, while seitan (wheat gluten) has a considerably lower carbon footprint of about 1.3 kg CO2eq per kg of product. By replacing chicken with seitan in recipes, you can reduce the environmental impact of your meal.

Recipe: Seitan and Vegetable Stir-Fry (4 servings)


  • 1 pound (450 g) seitan, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (e.g., shiitake or button)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Cooked rice or noodles, for serving


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, and vegetable broth (or water) until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the seitan and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the seitan from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil to the skillet. Stir in the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  4. Add the sliced onion, red bell pepper, broccoli florets, and mushrooms to the skillet. Stir-fry the vegetables for 4-5 minutes, or until they are tender-crisp.
  5. Return the seitan to the skillet and stir in the sauce. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened and coated the seitan and vegetables.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the chopped green onions.
  7. Serve the seitan and vegetable stir-fry over cooked rice or noodles.

Enjoy this delicious, environmentally-friendly meal that showcases the versatility of seitan as a tasty and sustainable alternative to chicken.