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Seitan
seitan: photo by gourmetsleuth.com

Seitan Recipes And Information

Seitan is a vegetarian product that can add flavor and texture to meat-free dishes.


Article by: Barbara Bowman


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What Is Seitan?

Pronounced [SAY-tan] and also referred to as wheat meat or wheat gluten, seitan is a vegetarian meat substitute. With a chewy, meat-like texture this high protein food is used in many vegetarian dishes.  Like tofu seitan takes on the flavors from other foods so it is adaptable for use in many recipes.  The product shown is a pre-cooked, seasoned food sold refrigerated.  You can add the food to stir-fries or fillings for tacos or burritos. The product is available in a dry form as well which you would reconstitute and add your own seasonings.

Seitan Substitutes

Here are some alternate vegetarian ingredients to use if you like a seitan substitute:

  • Textured soy protein
  • Grilled eggplant
  • Tempeh
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Atsu-age
  • Deep-fried tofu

Make Raw Gluten

Although Seitan can be purchased prepared you may want to make your own.  This recipe for raw gluten is the basis for making homemade seitan. 

Ingredients

7 cups whole wheat bread flour
3 cups water 

Instructions
Pour the water into a large bowl. Add about 3 cups of the flour and mix well. Beat the dough for about 100 strokes, or until it becomes elastic. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a pliable dough which can be kneaded.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and knead in enough flour to make a firm and non-sticky dough. Knead the dough vigorously for 20 minutes. If kneading becomes too difficult for you, try pounding the dough with a rolling pin or with your fists.

Continue kneading and/or pounding the dough until it becomes very smooth and elastic. To make sure that the dough is kneaded enough, break off a small piece and wash it. If it is sufficiently kneaded, the starch will wash away, leaving the elastic gluten.
   
The next step is washing or rinsing the dough. Fill a large bowl with room-temperature water (use the same bowl you used to mix the dough). Place the bowl in the sink and place the dough in the bowl. Work the dough by rubbing it and sqsueezing it between your hands with a motion similar to that of washing clothes. Don't worry if the dough falls apart, because it will   come back together as it is washed.
   
When the water becomes very cloudy, pour (with the dough) through a colander. If you want to save the starch water, place an empty bowl under the colander to catch it. Repeat this squeezing and rinsing process until the rinse water is practically clear and the dough resembles a large, elastic wad of chewing gum. You now have raw gluten.
   

Use the raw gluten to make seitan (see recipes this page)

Makes  1 1/2 to 2 cups

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More Seitan Recipes

Where To Buy Seitan

Whole Foods Market - Sells many vegetarian alternatives including Seitan at their 134 retail outlets.

Seitan Nutrition

1 piece, 85 grams
Calories90
Total fat (g)1
Saturated fat (g)0
Monounsaturated fat (g)0
Polyunsaturated fat (g)0.5
Dietary fiber (g)1
Protein (g)18
Carbohydrate (g)3
Cholesterol (mg)0
Sodium (mg)380