Adventures in Making Seitan

If you’ve never even heard of Seitan, I guess you’re not alone. My Father in Law has been a vegetarian for something like 25 years and he had never heard of it. I love Seitan. It’s soooo versatile and has a chewy “meaty” texture that works extremely well in tacos, sandwiches, casseroles, you name it. Plus, it’s 23 grams of protein per SERVING and only .05 of fat with no cholesterol whatsoever. It’s easy to make and it’s cheap. What more could you ask for? If you aren’t interested in veggie food, no biggie, but it is fun to learn something new, no?

I used Bob Mill’s Vital Wheat Gluten which is about $5.99 for a bag but when I’m lucky, I can find wheat gluten in the bins at natural food type stores for a song.

Put 2 qts of water on to boil with 1 sliced up onion (doesn’t matter how chunky the onions are)
Add 2/3 c. of soy sauce

While this is boiling, mix up your Seitan. Some people knead it, but I can’t be bothered. I just push it around for a bit, maybe 30 seconds, and it’s done. So easy. If you spray the bowl with a bit of oil spray, the gluten doesn’t stick as much to the sides and makes for an easier clean-up.

In a bowl, mix 2 c. of wheat gluten and 2 cups of warm water
1 T. onion powder
1 T garlic powder
1 t. poultry seasoning if you like
I added 1/2 t. cayene pepper and 1 t. green chilli powder that I brought from home (NM)
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper.

Mix it up and that’s it. It’ll look like this:

Take the dough and roll it into a log shape and cut it into approximately 1/2″ slices. They puff up, so don’t cut them any thicker if you can help it. I cut some of mine way too thick.

Your pot should be boiling like crazy, just throw the sliced seitan in the pot and let it cook for 35-45 minutes.

When the timer goes off, scoop out each piece of Seitan, and if I were you, I’d get out as much water as I could. Lay them in between paper towels and push the heck out of them. I screwed up at this point and just cooked up the seitan as described below and didn’t like the texture and moisture. My bad.

Pour a little oil (I used about 1 t.) in a skillet to heat. While it’s warming up, get out 3 cereal bowls and fill one with water, the second with flour, the third with bread crumbs. (BTW, many people just bake the Seitan at this point. I really wish I had done that.)

I used white flour because that’s what was available yesterday, normally I would use wheat flour. Dip each piece first in the flour, then quickly into the water, then roll it around in the bread crumbs till it’s nicely coated. Drop them in the skillet to brown really well on both sides.

Now, here’s where you shouldn’t do what *I* did. Most people just love seitan cooked like this, called: “Chicken Fried Seitan”. I do too, but I remembered after I’d cooked it and tasted it, that I HATE it made like THIS. The Seitan turns out way too moist and somewhat spongy for my taste if you don’t get some of the water out. Ugh. Shudder. I remembered that the way I like it is to put it into the oven on around 250 degrees and let it dry out quite a bit, or putting it into the freezer overnight and then as it thaws, the texture is slightly different and the water drains out easily. For ME, I just don’t like Seitan in one big piece, so maybe I’m strange.

So here’s what I did to change the Seitan to the way I love it:

I cut up the Seitan I’d already cooked (I had only made 4 pieces the fried way. The rest, I just cut up as they were, straight out of the boiling pot.) I cut them into 1/2″ cubes (or so) and dropped the whole batch into a gallon baggie. I added about 1/4 c. flour, onion and garlic powder, red chilli powder and green chillie powder and shook up the bag to coat those babies. I put them on a sprayed cookie sheet and cooked them at about 300 until they were crunchy but still chewy.

I love them like this because now, I can grab a handful for a real protein-y snack, anytime, anywhere (they travel very well!). I can also warm them up in some tomato sauce or cheezy nutritional yeast sauce and they will obediently absorb the flavors and be all meaty-good-tasting in pretty much any dish.

I love how versatile Seitain is. You can really use it in anything where you want a chewy texture. Straight out of the bag, to me, they’re like jerky and I really love it that way. This is an awful picture, I know. But it shows how the Seitan looks the way I like to make it. I was eating the plate empty as I took pictures.

This recipe makes around 10 servings. The whole recipe is around 1250 calories total, so 1 serving is only going to run you around 125 calories, and for that, you get a big 23 g. punch of protein and no cholesterol!


About Fit Living Daily

I love healthy living! I've been married for 35 years and have 2 grown children, one in Albuquerque, NM and one in Washington state. We are currently living in Washington for my husband's job---until he FINALLY retires, but our house is in Albuquerque.
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