Recipe: Basic Seitan

By now I am sure you have seen and possibly tried some seitan in your meal.  As you get better and better with your vegetarian cooking skills you will want to give it a try and make your own seitan at home.

Let’s face it, if you can make it yourself it will be economically beneficial for you.  I have found various seitan products in the local organic grocery stores.  Some are plain and some are infused with various flavors. In my opinion, not all of them have met my expectations on flavor.  I have tried the Korean BBQ version, and I have to say, not good.  I grew up eating some really awesome non-vegetarian Korean food and the Korean BBQ meat does not taste like that, not even close.  I feel that if you are going to label a flavor on a package, it had better be spot on or just don’t do it.

My boyfriend seems to like the Italian seasoning version of one of the seitan brands, but again, my expectation is high.  I will say it will work out just fine if you are covering it in a bunch of spaghetti sauce or vegetarian chili.

So here is a basic recipe, the flavoring is minimal so it allows you to use it in a stir fry, a soup, or in any recipe that you would like to substitute the ‘meat’ portion for seitan.

gluten Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup wheat gluten
1 cup water
3 – 4 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce

In a large bowl or food processor, combine the wheat gluten flour and water.  Mix.  If you are mixing by hand, then knead the dough for 5 minutes or until it becomes stiff.  It will get VERY RUBBERY in texture. Set it aside for 5 minutes and prep your broth & soy sauce in a saucepan.

seitanCut the seitan in half and place it in the saucepan with the broth mixture.  Bring it to a boil and then let the pieces simmer for 30 minutes, then flip them over and simmer for another 30 minutes. When done, let it cool in the broth.

If you are adding it to a meal right away, cut it into your portion sizes and cook according to your recipe.  If you don’t need to use it all, you can store it in your fridge for up to 3 days, in the broth.  If you are pre-cooking for future meals, then you can freeze the portions without the broth for up to 3 weeks.  Make sure you wrap the pieces tightly in plastic wrap before you freeze them.

So, I hope this gets you going on a basic seitan recipe.  As I said, it is very basic flavoring.  Feel free to season it up further once you start creating your meal. Don’t worry if it seems rubbery, that is normal, cutting seitan is like cutting taffy. It’s not going to look pretty either, which is also normal.