Seitan a.k.a Vegan Meat Replacement
Como estan familia? Today we are learning to make seitan! What is seitan you ask? Well, it's not the devil you may be thinking of, but it is a damn good meat replacement that is super versatile. Seitan is vegan meat that is made from vital wheat gluten–a protein that is derived from wheat. Essentially this process turns flour into a meat-like consistency... it's sorcery to be quite honest!
You can find vital wheat gluten online, in your local health food store, and even in the baking section of your local grocery store. I typically buy mine online for a better bang for my buck, but for those of you starting out, I'd recommend a smaller quantity to get your feet wet.
The best part about making this at home versus purchasing it already made is that you control how much or how little you want to make. Seitan triples in size when you boil it, which means you can make a large amount of this for very few dollars and store it in your freezer for months to come. Hence why I love making this at home. Typically at the grocery store, you can buy a pricey little package of seitan. When you make it at home: you control how much to make, what size or shapes to make, and can season it however you'd like. I will also admit that this process isn't the quickest, but it does come together quickly once you get the hang of it.
Last but not least, how the heck do you eat this you ask? That's the best part friends! You can leave this in a marinade overnight and slice it like deli meats. Or you can shape them into a steak size, sauté it after it's been boiled, and eat it with some A1 sauce. You can even shape into chicken wing pieces, bread them up, and fry to a golden crispy texture to enjoy with ranch. Literally, it is so versatile and once you get the hang of it you will be making this to your heart's content. So let's go ahead and get started!
Seitan Vegan Meat
4 cups Vital Wheat Gluten
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
2 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
2 1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Sazón
Other seasonings desired
1/2 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper
2 1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 cups Water
2 cups Vegetable Broth
1 vegan Bouillon Cube
2-3 Celery Stalks
2-3 Large Carrots
handful of Garlic
In a large mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients for seitan. Here is where you can add any additional seasonings you desire.
Combine water & soy sauce with dry ingredients and mix together until the dough starts to form. Utilizing your hands or dough hook continue to knead the dough until ball forms and the mixture doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore. Let rest for a few minutes and then knead for 10-15 minutes more. This helps the gluten activate and create a "meatier" consistency within the seitan. Cover with a dish-towel to set aside at room temperature and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
In a large pot add in all of your broth ingredients and bring to a boil on high heat. Once 15 minutes have passed knead seitan to activate gluten again. You can now cut and form your seitan into your desired pieces and size (Remember that seitan triples in size so make your pieces smaller than you think).
Place pieces in the pot, cover with a lid and cook in broth on medium heat for 1.5 hours. Keeping an eye on the seitan every 20 mins to stir around and ensure that all pieces are cooking in broth equally.
Remove seitan from broth and allow to cool completely before placing in a marinade or storing in the fridge/freezer.
To make deli slices you can roll your seitan into log-like pieces and then wrap in plastic wrap or parchment paper with aluminum foil, boil in broth, and then set in a ziplock bag with a marinade for 1-2 days in the fridge. Slice into desired slice size and store in a ziplock bag. This will keep great in the fridge for a few weeks and even longer in the freezer.
To make fried chicken you can form your seitan into a chicken breast or chicken wing sizes before boiling (remember to make them smaller than you think because it will double or triple in size). Once cooked in broth, allow to cool down, bread pieces, fry in oil, and eat like you would fried chicken.
Slice or chop seitan pieces and sauté in a pan with some oil. This can be used like steak and served with veggies or other ingredients.
When making a marinade think of ingredients to give you the best end result for what you are trying to make. For example, when making a chicken-like marinade, I'd use poultry seasonings with marinade or when making deli slices I'd use a deep broth and liquid smoke to give a smokey and "meaty" flavor that is reminiscent of bbq ham.
Check out this video for a closer look at the entire process: