Yesterday I posted a recipe for Seitan Tagine, so thought this would be the perfect follow up recipe. People are always asking me what seitan is, in UK it really doesn’t seem to be used as often as I see in other countries like USA or Australia, but it’s an ingredient I love to use, especially for people who are new to veganism, or miss the texture of meat. And it also always leaves me satisfyingly full after a meal.
So what is seitan??
Seitan is also known as wheat gluten or wheat meat and is made from gluten protein from wheat. It was made and eaten by Zen Buddhists 1000 years ago, as well as in other parts of the world where wheat was a staple part of diet.
You can make seitan the old fashioned way from plain wheat flour by making a dough and rinsing away the wheat starches with water…. the way I have to make it when I’m sailing in parts of the world where you can’t get hold of vital wheat gluten flour.
It’s much quicker and easier if you use vital wheat gluten flour, where the gluten has already been cleverly separated from the wheat starches for you, and you can use it in recipes like the one below, Baked BBQ seitan, Lincolnshire Sausages, Chickenless Burgers and many more recipes available online!
Seitan or wheat gluten is high in protein (more protein per 100g than tofu) and is also very low in fat (not taking into account the fats and oil you can add when cooking).
This recipe makes about 1.5kg of simmered seitan and is only one example of flavourings you could use. Its very versatile – why not try replacing my examples with your favourite herbs and spices, or use vegan beef and chicken style stocks instead of vegetable.
Once cooled it can be marinaded in the fridge, used straight away in recipes, or even frozen to use later as you need it. I prefer to make a big batch this way as its always handy to have some in the freezer if you don’t have the time to spend an hour making the seitan! But feel free to half the recipe etc if you prefer to make less. Try it in stir fries, pies, stews and similar dishes in place of meat.
- 3 cups vital wheat gluten flour (available online or from some good health food shops)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (available online or from good health food shops)
- ¼ cup chickpea flour (available at most supermarkets, also known as gram or chana flour)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 litres vegetable stock
- 5 Tbsp soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
- ½ large onion, sliced
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Then whisk up the vegetable stock, soy sauce and olive oil and pour into mixing bowl with dry ingredients. Mix together with your hands into an elastic dough, then knead for 3-5 minutes.
- Leave gluten dough to rest whilst you prepare the simmering broth.
- Mix all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to the boil.
- Tear off ¼ cup sized chunks of gluten dough and flatten and shape into small cutlets, then drop one by one into the broth. Once all dough is in the pot, bring back to boil then reduce heat so liquid is gently simmering, covering pot half with lid.
- Simmer the seitan for 45-50 minutes until firm, then drain.
Note: Seitan will expand a lot during simmering time, so keep an eye on it so the broth doesn’t bubble over everywhere. If too much of the broth evaporates just add a little more veg stock, you want the majority of seitan to be covered with broth.
Makes 1.5kg of simmered seitan approx.