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!