What Is Seitan And How To Make It

 

Are you looking out for delicious seitan recipes? Then we might just have what you’re looking for. This article contains a step-by-step guide to making seitan and recipes and several facts about it. Don’t miss out on this healthy, delicious, and versatile meat alternative.

If you are someone who used to be hooked to meat but turned vegan because of ethical reasons, you will find seitan appetizing. Seitan is not only healthy and easy to prepare but also has meat-like textures. You can utilize it in various kinds of vegan meat alternatives.

Even if you are a total stranger to seitan, this article includes everything that you need to know about it, along with recipes for you to try.

   What Exactly Is Seitan

Vegetarians and vegans love to munch on seitan. It doesn’t contain soy like tofu, and it gets its elasticity and gumminess from gluten, a protein found only in wheat. Technically speaking, seitan is pure gluten. 

It is prepared by thoroughly washing wheat flour dough with plain water to make it fiber and starch-free, and the outcome is a sticky substance, i.e., gluten. You can cook it with anything using vegetable stew or burgers, vegan steaks, and many more.

 It is significantly easier to prepare seitan these days as gluten is available at the grocery stores in the purified, powdered form known as the vital wheat gluten product. All you have to do is mix with water and make a dough. Several stores keep a frozen seitan as well in their stock, so be vigilant. It’s a good option for weekdays when you can’t prepare it yourself. 

Seitan has been around for a long time now; it’s not a new dish. As a matter of fact, the first dish ever mentioned made of pure gluten goes back to the 6’th century, especially the Chinese monk who consumed it as a substitute for meat. However, the Japanese term seitan was first coined about 50 years back, so you can say it’s an ancient dish with a rather new name. 

   How to Make Seitan- Basic Recipe

The basic recipe shared here is super simple and won’t take long to prepare. In all, your seitan will be ready in about 30 minutes. The rest of it is the cooking time, and you can do other things while it is cooking. 

Key Ingredients:

    • Purified Gluten Powder- 2 cups
    • Garlic Powder- 1 tsp. 
    • Standard Paprika Powder- 1 tsp. 
    • Smoked Paprika Powder- ½ tsp.  
    • Water- 2 cups
    • Salt- 1 tsp. 

Let’s get started with making a simple seitan dish in these four steps:

   Step#1. Make Your Seitan Dough

Take a large pot, put the vital wheat gluten powder, toss spices into the gluten powder and mix thoroughly. Add water, mix it again and knead it into a dough form until you get a gummy mass. 

   Step#2. Knead and Form Your Dough

You should knead your dough well for 5-10 minutes; it’s similar to making bread until you get the strands of gluten that appear more or less like meat. 

Now make three equal portions of the dough. Roll the three round pieces of dough into a flatbread. 

Don’t worry if you cannot evenly roll the round balls given the stickiness of the dough. 

   Step#3. Cook it in Vegetable Broth

Use a big pot of vegetable broth as your seitan will double or even triple its original size, so make sure that the pot you’re using is big enough.

   Step#4. Do Whatever You’d Like With it Now

If you have successfully reached this step, you have your basic seitan in front of you now, and you can use it in any way you’d like. You can let it cool down for a while and then cut it into smaller pieces or slices.

You can also pan-fry seitan on a grill pan at high temperature, just add some BBQ spices, salt, soy sauce, and pepper to it and let it cook for around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.

Seitan recipe tips and notes

Seitan is extremely versatile; you can steam it, sauté it, or even bake it if you wish to, and can make various kinds of vegan meat such as vegan meatballs, vegan sausages, vegan steaks, and much more. 

Garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika powder are the spices for this basic seitan recipe. Some BBQ seasoning and soy sauce were added to it, too; you can use any kind of seasoning that you like depending on what you’re going to cook with it.

Vital wheat gluten is used in the recipes, which makes it essentially purified gluten powder, and easy to make seitan at home, but you can also use whole wheat flour or even all-purpose flour. However, they’ll just make the work process a bit longer than necessary, but you’ll reach the same result by the end.

You can also add some chickpea flour to minimize the wheat flavor and give it a slightly fluffier texture. ½ cup of chickpea flour and 1 cup of vital wheat gluten are a ratio to start with.

Conclusion

If you have reached the end, you should be able to make this vegan recipe to serve to your family and friends. Seitan is a healthy and versatile alternative to meat; take advantage of it by including seitan recipes in your diet.