Seitan Ham (Sham)

18 Mar

I’m going to be writing a lot of text here. I know a lot of you will skip right to the recipe, but typically I use this space to explain some things about the recipe. So if you’re still scratching your head after you scroll all the way down or have any questions, have a scroll back up here and have a little read. If you’re still intimidated, I have another seitan ham recipe that is much less labor intensive. This one is better though, and I finally wrote it down in the hopes that you could make it for Easter. I’ve been tinkering with it for years, with lots of variations, so I just want to make it clear that this is very forgiving. You can add some tomato paste, regular paprika, use different oils, etc. Get creative with it! If you make it, tag me (@avocadosandales) and use the hashtag #sham.

There’s also going to be quite a few specialty ingredients and devices in this recipe. Don’t. Get. Intimidated. Most of them are easily found online or can be adapted to your kitchen. For example, if you don’t have a Vitamix, use whatever blender or food processor you have, and strain the liquid portion if you need it more smooth. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a food processor or knead by hand for as long as your arms will allow. This recipe doesn’t require as much kneading as something like my chickwheat recipe, since we’re not intending to shred it.

I used Outstanding Foods for seasoning, because I love the flavor (not sponsored, just like it!) If you want to use something that you are more likely have on hand, just add the same amount of liquid smoke to the recipe. You can use any other reddish colored beans instead of kidney beans (cranberry, christmas lima, etc). If you’d like to use dried beans just use 1 and 3/4 cups of beans and about 1/2 cup of the liquid from cooking the beans. Red yeast rice is used for color in this recipe. It will still be reddish without it, but if you really want the ham color to shine, its a worthwhile investment. I also use it in “steaks” and any other recipe that needs a bit of color. Shout out to Lisa Myaf for this tip-she makes amazing seitan and has a beautiful IG, which you can find here. I also need to give a shoutout to Julian Guy from the Seitan Appreciation Society for this recipe for the fat. You can find his amazing Detroit style pizzas here.

Without further ado, here it is folks.


Fat layer:

Ham Layer:


  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the fat layer in a bowl, and knead gently. Set aside while you you are making the other layer.
  2. In a high speed blender, combine all of the ingredients for the ham layer, up until the vital wheat gluten. Blend until as smooth as possible, there may be a few flakes of kidney bean skin left, which won’t affect the overall texture.
  3. Pour liquid mix into the vital wheat gluten in a stand mixer or a food processor fitted with a dough hook. Knead on highest speed possible until gluten is developed and dough is smooth and chewing gum texture.
  4. Break the ham layer into two pieces, then the fat layer into one larger piece and two smaller pieces. Layer them together in whatever way you want the ham to look, with the larger layer of fat on the top.
  5. Wrap the whole thing tightly in a layer of parchment paper and aluminum foil (or cheesecloth). Place on trivet in an Instant Pot with 2 cups of water and set timer for 2 hours (120 minutes on older models.) Alternatively, steam on the stove top for 2 hours.
  6. Ideally, let the ham rest in the fridge for several hours or overnight. You can slice as is of ham slices or bake in a glaze. If glazing, score the top layer in criss cross pattern. Preheat oven to 350°F, coat in glaze (recipe below) and bake in a greased pan for 35 minutes.

Ingredients for Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp bourbon (optional)
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove


  1. Combine all the ingredients and spread on the ham.

As always, if this content has been helpful to you, I always appreciate donations to my PayPal. I also always appreciate new followers on my Instagram!

The fat layer doesn’t need to be kneaded perfectly, just set it aside after it has been fully combined.
As you can see, it’s not going to be perfectly smooth, but that’s ok!
This texture is ideal for this recipe! Again, you can use a stand mixer, food processor, or knead by hand.
Divided up into pieces. Doesn’t have to be perfect. We’re just gonna smoosh it all back together.
I do two layers of fat around one smaller layer of the ham. Then wrap the whole thing in the larger pieces of ham, and top with the last piece of fat.
Night night little seitan. Enjoy your beauty rest. (Just steam on the stovetop if you don’t have an Instant Pot.)
After scoring and glazing.


2 Responses to “Seitan Ham (Sham)”

  1. Gert-Jan Luis May 7, 2021 at 8:51 am #

    Hi, I tried this recipe and sadly failed, It looked good, but it was very gummy. I did use WTF method instead of Wheat Gluten. That might be the problem. I won’t give up and by some wheat gluten tomorrow (hard to get here in Holland, but I’ve found a little Asian shop that sells it). But how would you proceed if the washing flour method is your only option?

    • avocadosandales May 7, 2021 at 9:01 am #

      Honestly, I have never done the wash the flour method, but I hope someone will be able to chime in here and provide some advice!

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