Today I am going to share with you everything I know about seitan, what it is, how to make it at home and some recipes that feature seitan.
Seitan is a meat alternative that is made from the protein found in wheat, gluten. Although it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. It actually becomes surprisingly similar to the look and texture of meat when it is cooked. The texture is chewier than tofu and it is also high in protein which makes it a popular protein source for vegetarians and vegans.
Even if you haven’t heard of seitan you probably have eaten it. Many of the mock meats found in vegetarian Chinese restaurants are made from seitan. You can even buy seitan in many health food stores all ready in chunks to throw in your stir fry. However, if you want the most flexibility in using setian to make things look like large pieces of meat you will want to make it at home.
Seitan can be prepared using regular wheat flour, but it is a long process to separate out the gluten. Your best bet is to start with Vital wheat gluten sold near the flour at many supermarkets and health food stores. It takes some time to cook, but then it can be stored in the fridge for about a week and used as needed in your favorite recipes. It can be breaded and fried like in a Marsala or Picata (just use the seitan in place of the chicken).
I was originally inspired by a recipe I found in the Millenium vegan cookbook from a vegan restaurant in San Francisco. I have tried a few recipes and this is the best one, the double boiling is a little more work but I find it gives it the best texture. Try making your own Seitan and let me know how it turns out.
The recipe pictures above is for a Seitan Vegetable Stir Fry.