There are certain food staples in any vegan diet. There are veggies, grains, beans and tofu. Not everyone in the non-vegan world knows about seitan. Basically, seitan is wheat protein. It looks and acts a lot more like meat than tofu and it tastes really good. I would say that it tastes like chicken, but I think that might be a bit too cliche.
There are basically two ways to make seitan: The hard way, where you make dough and kneed out all the starch before you simmer it in broth. Then there’s my way, which is to start with gluten flour and spices and then simmer it. I like my way.
- Yield: 4 blocks
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
I use this seitan in a ton of different recipes. It's a great substitute for any recipe that calls for chicken.
- gluten flour - 2 cups
- garlic powder - 1 teaspoon
- paprika - 1 teaspoon
- water - 1 1/2 cups
- soy sauce - 1/4 cup
- olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- water - 8 cups
- soy sauce - 1/4 cup
- garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
- Mix together all the dry ingredients.
- Mix together wet ingredients.
- Add wet ingredients slowly to dry ingredients, while mixing with a fork.
- Once dough is formed, kneaded for 2 minutes and let sit on the side for 5.
- Cut dough into 4 pieces.
- Put all broth ingredients into a pot and bring to boil.
- Lower flame, add dough and let cook for an hour.
- Remove from broth and let seitan drain in colander.
- Chop up whatever you'd like to use and freeze the rest for another time.
5 stars - based on 1 review(s)
I’m usually the person that says throw everything together and just mix and everything will be fine. This time it won’t. Gluten flour is REALLY sticky. If you put everything in at once you risk not mixing everything evenly. The dough, before it’s boiled up, comes out like a rubber glob. Don’t worry about that.
The hardest part about this recipe is getting the gluten flour. It’s not sold everywhere. In Israel, I’ve found it in La Chef, in Jerusalem and LaGat BaOchel in Rat Gan. I’m sure that there are other baking specialty stores that carry it, but I don’t know where they are.
A lot of recipes that I’ve seen for seitan call for nutritional yeast. I don’t get nutritional yeast. For some reason people add it to all types of stuff to make them taste cheesy. It doesn’t taste cheesy to me, it just tastes bad. I keep a bag of it in the freezer and take it out every so often to make sure that I still don’t like it. So far, I’ve been very consistent. The nutritional yeast that I have was bought in America. Before I knew what it was I looked all over Israel for it, but couldn’t find it. Needless to say, I’ve stopped looking.
I cut my dough into 4 pieces because that’s about the amount that I need when I want to add it to a stir fry. It also makes it more manageable. Make sure to cut it before you cook it. Seitan is great in stir fries, but my favorite thing to make with seitan is schnitzel. The half of the batch that you see here is going to be fajitas.
You can order your gluten, and other specialty baking items from http://www.bakers.co.il/site/detail/detail/detailDetail.asp?detail_id=899535 – they offer free delivery in Israel for orders over 400 NIS. smaller orders have a nominal delivery fee!
All I can say is wow! This is such a cool site. Not only do they have gluten, they have a ton of other stuff and the are very reasonably priced. I’ve wanted a pasta maker forever and Shira decorates cakes for people (I bake them and she decorates them). I’m sure that we’ll be able to get free shipping. 🙂 Have you ever visited their store?
I haven’t had it myself, but I’ve heard that you can buy nutritional yeast in Israel in health food stores – it’s called p’titei shimrei bira. Maybe you’d like the Israeli version better than the American one?
I think that p’tetei shimrei bira is brewer’s yeast, which is not the same thing. I’ve bought that before by mistake and it has a totally different flavor. Neither of them are to my liking. I’m really OK with leaving it out all together. Thanks.
Your comments about the nutritional yeast are really funny. I also have it in my freezer and I mostly have had the same experience. Twice (yes, twice!!) I tried making “cheese” with it and thought it tasted vile. But, oddly enough, I have a seitan recipe that I like that uses it and it doesn’t detract (and maybe even adds to the flavor). I bake my seitan. I got the recipe from the chick and the pea (although it is also on my blog).
I am adding your blog to my kosher blog list.
I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve tied nutritional yeast! I was at an amazing kosher vegan restaurant in LA called Real Food Daily and ordered the nachos because I figured that I just wasn’t cooking it right. The nachos were OK, they used black beans, salsa and guacamole on them, but they also made a cheese sauce from nutritional yeast. It was OK, but it was still nutritional yeast. At least I felt vindicated that it wasn’t my cooking! I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone. There are so many amazing soy cheeses that there really is no reason to use nutritional yeast as a substitute.
I’d love to see your baked seitan recipe. Can you share the link to it? I looked for it on your blog but couldn’t fine it.
I took the Real Food Daily Cookbook out from the library and liked it quite a bit (I posted a recipe or two from it, the corn and black bean salad and the curried quinoa salad). Interesting that they couldn’t make “cheese” from nutritional yeast taste good either. Now I feel vindicated too–thanks!
You couldn’t find the seitan recipe? Oh, that isn’t good. I actually have three posts that reference this recipe. The first post just links back to the recipe on the Chick and the Pea, and the second post contains my version: http://pragmaticattic.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/montes-sham-seitan-with-montes-ham-glaze/
The earlier post has a picture of what it looks like from the oven:
There is a third post that just gives another sauce for the seitan (smoky joe’s bbq sauce).
The recipes look amazing! I’m going to have to try them!
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Thanks for the tips! Out of curiosity, is Le Chef in Talpiots still open? I tried to go to their website and it seems down. I’m desperately in need of some vital gluten flour! tnx
As far as I know, La Chef in Talpiot is still open. I got gluten from them a couple of months ago. A friend of mine said that she was able to get gluten in the Jerusalem shuk.
I picked up a few bags in the health-food store next to the shuk on Agripas. It’s been ages since I made seitan. I really like the texture of it.
I’m trying to eat less animal products and I’m looking for ideas…
Question: if you don’t like yeast – what do you do for mac and cheese?
I haven’t had mac and cheese for years. It has nothing to do with being vegan, I just don’t care for it. If I do want something with cheese – like pizza – I use soy cheese. The teva toast stuff is really good. Even my non-vegan husband and children like it, so it can’t be too bad 🙂
Let me know how your seitan comes out.
This recipe is really great, thank you!
I’m so glad that you like it!