Seitan – pronounced say-tan or see-tan – is a food made from wheat gluten, sometimes called vital wheat gluten flour. Coeliacs need read no further.
It’s one of the few products I haven’t sourced an organic version of yet. Seitan itself is a piece of cake to make, hardly any work at all. There are dozens of recipes and methods on the internet. I’ll lay out my method here – it’s one that works every time.
It’s moist, chewy, very tasty and is a fantastic source of low-calorie protein; it’s ideal as a snack when out on a hike or, sautéed, as a very savoury side to your main meal.
The commercial varieties of seitan come either in plastic trays, in vacuum bags or in jars; almost all of them contain or are marinated in soy sauce. My version is soy-free and hugely tasty, so why you would want to add soy sauce so ubiquitously I’m not sure.
Mix these together in a bowl:
1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1-2 teaspoons pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon allspice
3/4 cup cold water
4 to 5 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce or yeast extract/aminos if you’re avoiding soy
1-3 cloves garlic, crushed well
Mix together the wet and dry ingredients.
If you want to bake this, pre-heat oven to 325°.
Once all the ingredients are mixed, knead the glob for a few minutes and form into a log.
Wrap this tightly in foil, twisting the ends.
and bake for 90 minutes. When baking’s finished, just unwrap and leave out to cool through, then refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.
You can also pressure cook this for about 35 minutes on full pressure. I stand the log on a trivet and make sure there’s plenty of water. You get used to how much after trying it a few times.
If you don’t seal it tightly, water can penetrate and make the result a bit soggy but it doesn’t seem to matter that much. I’d love a better alternative to foil, something like a clip-together sausage-shaped tin.
Seitan is good cold or lightly sautéed to give it a singed look.
It doesn’t cook well in a stew unless you add it within the last 10 minutes of cooking, as it can fall apart.
Besides the bit of kneading, this is a very simple recipe and saves being tempted to buy expensive, processed, packaged savouries. It keeps for over a week.
Post 0034, 18/02/2019