Meggie! (rivulet) wrote,

Hail Seitan

Yesterday I ran to Borders and picked up The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook. It has quite a few recipes that look pretty good, and so this morning we went grocery shopping for a few things to make this week for dinner.

One chapter has a lot of recipes that call for seitan (say-tahn). I'd never heard of it, but after reading about it in Wikipedia I was interested in trying it out. There was a recipe for it in the cookbook, so I grabbed the wheat flour from the cupboard yesterday - and some bugs had taken up residence inside. So I was out of luck. But then this morning I grabbed another bag of wheat flour while we were at the store, and made some seitan today!

Ingredients are just 100% whole wheat flour and water. Mix the two and knead for a couple of minutes, and then let set in water for fifteen minutes.

Next, start kneading the dough in the water. When the water turns milky, pour it off and replace it with clean water. Keep at it until the water turns mostly clear.

The texture will go from being almost crumbly in the water to very stringy and tough. The milkiness in the water is the starch coming out of the flour, leaving only protein.

There's another picture of the fibrousness. Divide it into three chunks, and pop it into simmering water with a quartered onion, a smashed clove of garlic, and some soy sauce.

Simmer for an hour, and then let the chunks drain on a rack.

I just tried a bite of it, and it's... interesting. Tastes like wheat, texture is rubbery. But I can see it tasting decent if it's in a dish with other things like wine sauce or Indian spices. I'll report back later when I make it into a meal.
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