Monday, June 27, 2011

You Made What?

Today I made Seitan for the first time.  Say what, you ask?  Seitan, pronounced say-tan, is a 'wheat meat' made from Vital Wheat Gluten.  Two things I had never heard of before becoming vegan. 
I honestly can't believe I had the guts to make this before ever trying it.  Seitan is something that you should be able to buy at a grocery store or Health Food store, but I have yet to find it anywhere.  I have heard (read) so much about it and have been dying to try it that I finally broke down and made it.

 By the way, I love that I can just make my 'meat'!  So far I haven't come across anything that I hate about being a vegan.  Accept maybe the way some people act towards me.  I won't name any names... ahem, my brother. 

Anyway, I had no idea what this would end up tasting like, or looking like for that matter.  But luckily I read so many blogs and visit so many websites that I couldn't go wrong with a recipe from the Post Punk Kitchen.  I have made quite a few recipes from the PPK website that it seemed like a no-brainer to go with her Seitan recipe.  Since it was my first time experimenting with this recipe I followed it to the T. 
Here's how I made it... or rather, here is the recipe from the PPK (ha!):
1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup cold vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated on a microplane grater

For the simmering broth:
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce

Fill a stock pot with the water, broth and soy sauce, cover and bring to a boil.
In the mean time, in a large bowl mix together gluten and yeast.  In a smaller bowl mix together broth, soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and combine with a wooden spoon until most of the moisture has absorbed and partially clumped up with the dry ingredients. Use your hands and knead for about 3 minutes, until it’s an elastic dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces with a knife and then knead those pieces in your hand just to stretch them out a bit. Let rest until the broth has come to a full boil.
Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the gluten pieces and partially cover pot so that steam can escape. Let simmer for 45 minutes, turning occasionally. Turn the heat off and take the lid off, let sit for 15 minutes.
Remove from broth and place in a strainer until it is cool enough to handle. Slice and use as desired.

 I didn't take step-by-step photos but I did take a few pictures.  Here's what it looked like:

This is what mine looked like in it's broth after it's done simmering.

And this is what it looked like in the strainer.

I did end up slicing a tiny piece and sauteing it up so that I could taste it, but I didn't take a picture of that.  If you are wondering, it was delicious!  
When it cooled down, I took one of the pieces and put it in a container in the fridge and I put the other two pieces in the freezer.  I'm the only vegan in the house and I am going away next week so there was no way I was going to let this go bad.  

Oh, and if you are wondering about the broth that the seitan was simmering in, it was too yummy to throw out so I ended up making a miso soup with tofu out of it.  So delish!  

I hope you guys are feeling adventurous enough to try this out even if you aren't eating a vegan diet.  I had members of my family taste the sauteed seitan and they liked it too, so give it a shot!  
Happy eating!

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