Basics: Seitan (Wheat Gluten)

DSC_0780 copyFor those who are looking to gradually lessen their consumption of meat, seitan is a great meat substitute that is made from gluten, the main protein of wheat.  While store-bought quick mixes are available to cut down on the preparation time, this recipe is for those looking for the original method of making seitan.

Check back soon for Yes to Cooking’s Seitan with Mushroom Medley.  You can also add this to any vegan or vegetarian dish you’re looking to try out.

3 pound (1.36 kg) of high-gluten flour
3 cups (750 ml) of water

Vegetable Stock (Variation 1)
2 carrots
1 onion
2 stalks celery, chopped in small pieces
salt to taste

Kombu Stock (Variation 2)
1/2 inch piece of ginger, cut in slices
1 piece of kombu (about 3″ x 6″)
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1) Add 2.5 cups of water to flour and mix with a fork.  Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup of water until just able to form an elastic ball.
2) Knead dough for 15 minutes. The consistency of the dough should be as soft as your earlobe.
3) Place dough in a large bowl; add enough water to cover the surface.
4) Pour out the water, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the dough to rest at least 8 to 12 hours (preferably, overnight).
5) To wash away the starch: Knead the dough and wash with cold water.  When weather is cold, you may wash the dough with slightly warm water but always start and end the washing process with cold water. Continue this process until the water is clear. Squeeze out any remaining water from the spongy gluten mixture and form it in a ball.
6) To make the stock: Simmer 2 liters of water with ingredients for stock for about 30 minutes.
7) Use a pair of kitchen scissors cut the gluten mixture into small pieces, or any size you prefer.  Add the pieces to the broth.  Make sure the gluten mixture is completely covered in the broth.  Bring to boil again then lower the heat .
8) Seitan will tend to become puffy and double or even triple in size when cooked. Leave to simmer in the broth for 30 minutes.
9) After this, the seitan can be drained and is ready to use for your recipe.

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Seitan can be stored in the broth for one week in the fridge or be wrapped tightly and stored in the freezer for up to one month.

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