Recipe for home-made Seitan 46

Posted by science on January 24, 2012

Science makes his own seitan. It’s a great meat substitute for vegetarians so long as you aren’t on a gluten free diet b/c seitan is almost pure gluten. But for the rest of us, this is a delicious, vegetarian, low cost and high quality protein for use in almost any savory recipe that calls for meat.

A good seitan receipe that I’ve had luck with:

Short form:
2 cups vital wheat gluten to 1 cup salty liquid, kneaded, shreaded, boiled for 5 minutes and served.

Read on for the long form recipe.

Long form:
Depending on humidity and some other factors (maybe about the gluten) the amount of water you should use may vary. But once you figure it out for your gluten source and location, it seems to stay the same.

The more wet the dough is that you make, the fluffier the gluten, which I think tastes bad – shoot for firm seitan for starters.

I usually use some or all of the liquid as soy sauce, but to keep salt down you might experiment. You can add other flavors and spices into the gluten flour before you add water – ginger, hot pepper, cumin or whatever suits your ultimate dish.

The basic process is this:

  • Pour 2 cups vital wheat gluten flour into mixing bowl
  • Add 7/8 cup water to the bowl
  • Mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated
  • If the dough is dry (not all the gluten is incorporated into a ball) wet the sides of the bowl with 1/8 cup water and knead the ball around the bowl to pick up the remaining flour
  • If the dough is too wet (should feel damp but not wet and should be tough), add some additional gluten flour and knead into ball
  • You only have to knead the ball 10-12 times at this point to make sure the dough is fully incorporated
  • Bring a sauce pan full of water to a bowl, as if you were cooking pasta (salt as needed)
  • Once it boils, you need to add the seitan in small chunks to the water.
  • Your options are to tear it or cut it. The dough is tough and sticks very readily back to itself (or should if you made right), so tearing and cutting with a knife is hard. I roll the dough out into a long thin cylinder, hold it over the water and use kitchen shears to cut pieces (they can be irregular) into the water. Once the pieces are in the water even briefly they no longer stick to each other..
  • Boil for approximately 5 minutes (a few minutes after all the pieces have floated to the surface) and remove the seitan. It is now finished and ready to put in any meal.

You can preserve the seitan for later by leaving it in the water you boiled it in, and either refrigerating or freezing. You’ll want to add a little more salt to the water at this point or the water will suck the salt from the seitan changing the flavor. Enjoy!

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