Homemade Seitan

Seitan is a meat substitute some say was invented by Buddhist monks. Seitan is made from wheat instead of soy which is better for some. It has a really nice texture which is great for dishes that require something a bit more “meaty” such as satay, or stroganoff. Many vegetarians feel that one is somehow compromising their values by eating something that tastes or has the texture of meat. Personally, I grew up loving meat in all of it’s forms. I chose to be a vegan for ethical and health reasons. I do not feel there is anything wrong with eating something that is similar to meat because it is not the flesh of a dead animal but a plant. Don’t be intimidated by this process. I was for the longest time but now that I make my own seitan, I just can’t seem to stop! There are many variations but this is a good basic recipe that will get you started.

2 cups Vital Gluten Flour (usually refrigerated)
1 cup Panko
4 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional but adds a nice flavor and color)
2 Tbs basil
2 teaspoons thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt

Mix all these ingredients in a bowl
Then mix together the below liquids
2 cups cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup tamari
2 Tbs. olive oil

Stir the liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients then knead with your hands for about 5 minutes. It should be elastic and stick together well although some of the panko might drop out which is no big deal.

Boil 6 cups of veggie broth and 1/4 cup tamari
Tear strips of seitan about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide. Throw it into the boiling broth and continue until all the seitan is in the pot. Bring the broth back up to a boil for a minute and then set in to simmer(bubbling very lightly). Cover loosely with a lid but let a little steam escape. Give it a stir if it looks like the pieces are sticking together. Cook for about 45 minutes. When it is done it should taste chewy and spongy but not like raw dough in the middle.

From here you can do lots of things with it. a simple method is to cut the seitan into long strips, coat with flour and then pan fry. This is a good method for a picata for example. I made the seitan picata in Veganomicon with my last batch. You can also fry in olive oil and then coat with tamari for a thai noodle dish. Let me know how it comes out! For photos and more recipes visit VO2!

A Note About Seitan and Silk

The other day, I was at the health food store talking to my friend Scott,the owner. I asked him why he doesn’t carry Silk soy milk anymore. He said, Silk has gone from using non-gmo organic soybeans (US grown), to non-gmo soybeans(US grown), to now conventionally grown soybeans from China. The worst part is that there is no mention of the change on the packaging but you can see by the ingredients. Anyway. I love Silk soymilk but will now change over to another brand.

On a better note, I used to use Silk creamer for my coffee but now use So Delicious Coconut milk creamer. It really is soooo Delicious. They also make a really yummy coconut milk Kefir. Great for those of you who are missing yogurt. Soy yogurt really is kind of gross!

Lastly, I have been inspired to start making my own Seitan by my friends Garth and Diana. It is really pretty easy and versatile. I will try to include a recipe from Garth or Diana soon!
xoxo mimi