Seitan is a food made from gluten protein that has been extracted from wheat flour. It has a springy texture, with protein strands similar to those in chicken running through it, making it a reasonable replacement for meat in vegan or vegetarian dishes.
- 10 oz (280g) High-gluten wheat flour (such as bread flour)
- Add 2 cups water to 10 oz (280g) high-gluten wheat flour (such as bread flour).
- Knead together until well-combined and elastic. It is advisable to keep hands wet so that the gluten doesn't stick to the hands.
- Cover with water and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Knead under water until water is cloudy; dump cloudy water and replace with clear, cold water. In the beginning the dough can still easily dissolve underwater so it is advisable to only cautiously squeeze it against the bowl. Later you might find it easier to knead over the water, squeezing out the water, and only to dip the mass into the water to wash off the starch, if the mass contains too much water you easily wash out gluten as well. The enriched water can be used to gain the insoluble starch, which settles on the bottom of the container, and what remains can serve as a base for grain milk.
- Continue kneading and replacing water until water remains clear after kneading.
- Divide gluten mass into loaf- or roll-shaped halves. At this point, there are several things you can add to the mass.
- Adding soy sauce is recommended; this is traditional in the making of seitan.
- Spices. For example, the seitan can simulate Italian sausage by adding the correct spices, or adding poultry seasoning can make the seitan more similar to chicken or turkey.
- Adding nutritional yeast is recommended, particularly if those consuming the seitan are vegetarian, and especially vegan. The B12 found in some brands of nutritional yeast is a vitamin that is usually obtained through meats, eggs and/or dairy products.
- Place halves in pot, cover with vegetable broth or dashi.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer; simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove from heat and serve as desired or use in place of meat.
Unused portions of Seitan can be kept in broth under refrigeration for up to a week, or can be frozen (drained from broth) for up to a month.
This will make approximately 28 oz (790g). of gluten. Because of their high protein content, gluten "steaks" can be grilled and fried to good effect.
Notes, tips and variations
- To avoid the washing process you can also buy 100% gluten flour in some stores. This flour would require only enough water to form it into a solid mass.
- Gluten created using just gluten flour can be rubbery and has a very "gluteny" taste. Adding 1 part garbanzo bean flour (Chick pea flour or gram flour) to 4 parts gluten flour makes for a less chewy texture and a better flavor.
- Vegetarian Journal: Seitan--The Vegetarian Wheat Meat