I have to admit I’ve only recently discovered seitan. Sure, I’ve eaten it in restaurants a number of times, but I was always too scared to try cooking it myself. I bought a bag of vital wheat gluten once that ended up just sitting in my cupboard for months. When I discovered it again it had tiny puncture marks in it from where my cat tried to get at it. Whoops.
Well, a couple months ago I tried making it for the first time and was blown away by how easy and tasty it was. Sure, my first couple attempts weren’t phenomenal (had to figure out the seasonings and texture), but they were still good. It helps that Andrew has liked every single batch I’ve made thus far, even the questionable ones.
For those who may be unfamiliar with seitan, it’s the vital gluten from wheat. When mixed with liquid it becomes really chewy with a meaty texture that takes on any flavour you add to it. Bonus, it’s really high in protein so can replace tofu or tempeh as your protein source for meals.
What I like about seitan is how versatile it is. I love steaming it with a bunch of strong, exotic spices and slicing it up for kebabs, or adding to soups. But my favourite is this chicken-style seitan which is simmered in broth to get a slightly softer texture than you’d get from baking or steaming it. I love making a big batch on the weekend to use in various ways throughout the week as it keeps very well once you’ve cooked it.
- 200g vital wheat gluten
- 50g chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons mixed Italian herbs
- 2 teaspoons pink himalayan salt (or sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
- 250ml veg broth
Broth for simmering
- 1 litre vegetable broth
- 50ml tamari (or soy sauce)
- In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients so they are evenly distributed.
- Whisk the wet ingredients together and add to the dry ingredients.
- Mix well until you have a big, sticky ball. Remove the seitan from the bowl to chopping board and knead for about a minute (this helps the seitan develop). Let sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Bring the vegetable stock and tamari to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a light simmer.*
- Cut the seitan into three large loaves and carefully add to the simmering broth. Partially cover the pan and let simmer for 45-55 minutes, turning the seitan every now and then. (make sure the pot is big enough to accommodate the seitan as it expands).
- Once cooked, drain the seitan and let sit for around 10-15 minutes until slightly cooled. You can now serve the seitan, or refrigerate for use later.
*It’s really important that you have a very light simmer, not a roiling boil, otherwise the seitan will get waterlogged and fall apart – not good!
**Keep in mind, the longer the seitan is refrigerated, the tougher/meatier it will get.