Carving Board Vegan Pastrami (I promise it's not meat!)

Carving Board Vegan Pastrami (I promise it's not meat!)

Oh, Pastrami! You are so salty and savory and fatty and just a tad sweet and taste magnificent with a big thick smear of deli mustard and provolone on toasty sourdough. My husband and I used to travel far and wide for a giant pastrami sandwich in our pre-vegan days, and the both of us really had a hankering for nostalgia.

We set out to recreate this old favorite at home using seitan and traditional pastrami spices. It had to juicy. It had to be tangy. It had to have that peppered crust. had to have that signature pink marbling. After all, we eat with our eyes first, and this had to look as authentic as possible. We wanted it to be like those artisan carving board sandwiches you see on all the food shows. You know, the ones they serve up at all the hipster gastro pubs.

Except ours, well, ours had to be vegan.

I can't remember who said it, but my dear friend Erin, from Olives for Dinner, shared a quote, "Treat your vegetables like meat!" and I really thought that was great advice. I mean, for the most part, animal products, especially meat, get seasoned with plants to give them flavor, right? So, why not simply cook plants using the same cooking methods used to prepare meat? Brilliant.

Vegan Carving Board Pastrami

For the Seitan Dough:


  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan beef-flavored vegetable broth (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Beef Base, or you can make your own using the broth recipe from my Vegan Ya Ka Mein.)
  • 2 tablespoons mild flavored vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander
  • 2 cups vegan beef-flavored vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
Read the whole recipe on