Building Blocks: Basic Seitan
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Before kicking off today’s recipe, I want to say a big thank you to Terri at the vegan food and recipe blog, Bacon is NOT an Herb. Terri is asking for submissions from vegetarians, vegans and those who are considering moving to a plant-based diets to share their stories with her: the what, why and how. If this sounds like something you’d like to do, I suggest you visit her blog here to get the details. She’ll be posting one story per month. It’s a great way to share and learn and encourage. Anyway, today she’s posted my story - and I’m just delighted and honored. Thanks, Terri!
Now onto the recipe! One of the most useful recipes for a vegan to have in his or her arsenal is for seitan. This miracle “wheat meat” can be transformed into pot roast, fajitas, cutlets, satay and sausage, to name a few ideas – and the flavors can be tweaked for whatever you’re cooking. Seitan can be pricey in the supermarket (and hard to find around here) and filled with mystery ingredients. It’s really quite easy and fun to make – as it cooks in the broth it totally transforms. Make up a big batch and store it in the freezer for when you need it.
Makes 6 large pieces/6 cups
2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 cup + 2 tbsp. water or vegetable broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, microplaned or finely grated
1/2″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and microplaned or finely grated
1 tsp. lemon zest
4 cups vegetable broth
8 cups water
1/2 cup soy sauce
Combine the broth ingredients in a large soup pot, but do not turn on the heat yet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vital wheat gluten, the nutritional yeast and the whole wheat flour. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients and the garlic, ginger and lemon zest. Pour this into the dry ingredients and using a sturdy spatula, stir until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to the counter and knead for about 5 minutes. Set aside to rest for a few minutes, then knead again for another 2-3 minutes.
Form the dough in a log or into a flat disk and cut into 6 roughly equal pieces. Carefully drop the pieces into the broth mixture and partially cover the pot. Bring to a boil, then set the heat to low and gently simmer the seitan for an hour, turning the pieces occasionally.
Turn off the heat and let the seitan rest in the broth for at least 30 minutes before removing. Use the seitan immediately or store in a container with the broth in the refrigerator. This will last for about 5 days. Seitan freezes very well – just seal well in plastic wrap.
(I’ve tried lots of seitan recipes and this is my favorite. It comes from Vegan with a Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I added grated ginger and omitted the olive oil.)
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