Seitan (wheat meat)

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» Seitan (wheat meat)

Seitan is a labour of love which promises to deliver the wheaty meaty goods. It's known as a "mock-meat" and is made using instant gluten flour (vital wheat gluten) which is available from some specialist shops or online at The Flour Bin and Low Carb Megastore. Nutritional yeast flakes are available from health food stores or from Suma and Goodness Direct

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup (190g) vital wheat gluten, aka instant gluten flour - do not substitute any other flour!
  • 1/4 cup (10g) nutritional yeast flakes 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 cup (250ml) water or vegetable stock 
  • 3 tbsp reconstituted soya-free vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, optional
  • Simmering broth
  • 10 cups (2.5l) water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) soya-free vegetable bouillon

Method

  1. Place the gluten flour, nutritional yeast flakes, garlic granules and onion granules in a medium mixing bowl. Stir them together.
  2. Measure out the liquid ingredients and place them in a small mixing bowl. Stir them together and pour this liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix well. If there is still flour around the edges, add up to 1 to 2 tablespoons of additional water. You should now have a large, firm spongy mass in the bowl. This is called gluten.
  3. Knead the gluten directly in the mixing bowl for about a minute, just to blend. Do not add any more flour. Slice the gluten into 3 relatively equal pieces and set aside.
  4. Place the ingredients for the simmering broth in a 4 1/2 litre saucepan or Dutch oven, add the gluten pieces and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the gluten partially covered for 1 hour. Maintain the heat so that the liquid barely simmers and turn the gluten over several times during cooking.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let the seitan cool in the broth uncovered (after gluten is cooked it is called seitan).
  6. Transfer the seitan to storage containers and add enough broth to the containers to keep the seitan immersed. Cover each container tightly with a lid and store the seitan in the fridge for up to ten days, or in the freezer for up to six months. To extend the life of fresh or defrosted seitan indefinitely, boil it in its broth for ten minutes two times a week. 

Tip: Measure the ingredients exactly and cook the gluten at the lowest possible temperature to keep seitan 'meaty'. 

Reprinted with kind permission of the author. This recipe is taken from Vegan Vittles by Jo Stepaniak (Book Publishing Company, 2007).

Note: 1 cup = 250 ml