Seitan Worship

January 22nd, 2008 by NashVeggie Leave a reply »

I made my first attempt at seitan yesterday. I was planning white chili for dinner and wanted something extra for it. I used a recipe from “Vegan With A Vengeance” (a great book, if you don’t have it get it.) and made a few alterations on flavor. It came out ok but I think the gluten I used was a little less than fresh and it could have come out better but overall I was happy.

For those that don’t know, seitan is a chewy textured food used sometimes as a meat-substitute or a substitute for tofu in some dishes. It is made using vital wheat gluten, a little four and water as well as ingredients for flavoring if desired. For those that like meat-substitutes it can be a popular addition to dishes and can be easy to prepare.

Try this recipe, it is the same one from the book but is also posted on the author’s website:

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 cup very cold water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Simmering Broth
10 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce

Directions
In a large bowl, mix together Vital Wheat Gluten Flour and nutritional yeast flakes.

In a seperate bowl, mix together reamining ingredients: water or veg broth, soy sauce. tomato paste, garlic, lemon zest.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine with a firm spatula, knead dough for about 3 minutes until a spongy, elastic dough is formed. Let dough rest for a couple of minutes and prepare your broth, but don’t start boiling it.

Now roll your dough into a log shape about 8 inches long and cut into 3 equal sized pieces. Place the pieces in the broth. It is important that the water/broth be very cold when you add the dough, it helps with the texture and ensures that it doesn’t fall apart. Partially cover the pot (leave a little space for steam to escape) and bring to a boil.

When the water has come to a boil set the heat to low and gently simmer for an hour, turning the peices every now and again.

Now you’ve got gluten. Let it cool in the simmering broth for at least a half an hour. It is best if it cools completely.

What you do next depends on the recipe you are using. If it calls for gluten use it as is. If you want to store some of it for later use put it in a sealable container covered in the simmering broth.

If your recipe calls for seitan cut your peices up as desired. I prefer to use a cast iron skillet for the frying because it produces the best flavor and texture. Use as little oil as possible to coat the bottom of the skillet, 1 teaspoon may suffice. Heat the skillet over medium high and add your gluten. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally.

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