Friday, April 20, 2007

Seitan (Basic Recipe)

Greetings Culinarians! I am posting this basic Seitan recipe at the request of two of my readers - one of whom is my vegetarian daughter. I happen to like cooking with Seitan because it is so easy to make, so inexpensive, so nutritious and so versatile. Believe me, it wasn't too long ago that I would have scoffed at the thought of making this. Now, I make it just about once every other week.

This is a basic recipe, adapted from Vegan With a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Mine comes out a little different each time, but always okay.

Ingredients notes: Vital wheat gluten is available in the baking section of supermarkets. It is sold in small boxes. Or, you can buy it in bulk at Bloomingfoods if you are local or at a health food store.

Nutritional Yeast is available in bulk at health food stores. It is a yellowish flaky material. I have not been successful finding it in supermarkets. I suspect that this is an optional ingredient, added for nutritional purposes. So, if you can't find it, you can probably omit it.

2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 T chickpea flour or soy flour or all purpose flour
1 & 1/2 cup cold water or broth
1 T tomato paste
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

In a large bowl, mix together gluten, yeast and flour. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, mix together the wet ingredients and the garlic until well blended. Add liquids to dries and mix with a wooden spoon until a spongy dough forms. Knead this dough for about 5 minutes and then form it into a longish loaf and let it rest for five minutes. It will be sort of wet and spongy looking.

While the dough is resting, fill a large pot with cold water.

Cut the dough into thick slices of sort of uniform size. Gently put the slices into the cold water. Partially cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to low and gently simmer for about an hour, moving the strange looking seitan slices around every now and then.

Let the seitan cool in the water and then use as desired or refrigerate.

I squeeze the excess water out of the slices before I use them in recipes.

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