Hail Seitan! No, I don’t worship the devil. But I worship this amazing vegan protein that is wheat gluten.
I think that makes pretty clear that I’m not really into the all gluten-free latest trend.
Please allow me to introduce myself […] I’ve been around for a long, long year
Seitan has been around for a pretty long time. According to Wikipedia: “Wheat gluten was invented in China, where it has been documented since the 6th century. It was widely consumed by the Chinese as a substitute for meat, especially among adherents of Buddhism. The oldest reference to wheat gluten appears in the Qimin Yaoshu, a Chinese agricultural encyclopedia written by Jia Sixie in 535.”
Hipsters, I am sorry to tell you, that you didn’t start eating seitan before it was cool (I will save you from very bad dad’s jokes about eating it cold).
Wheat gluten, or seitan, is very common in China and also in Bangkok during the Vegetarian festival in Chinatown. But do not expect to find it everywhere. You may find some gluten-based mock duck or other vegan products at the supermarket, but that’s it.
Seitan is packed with proteins and very versatile. It is pretty blunt and tasteless but it easily absorbs marinade and any seasoning.
- Calories 370
- Total Fat 1.8 g
- Saturated fat 0.3 g
- Polyunsaturated fat 0.8 g
- Monounsaturated fat 0.2 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 29 mg
- Potassium 100 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 14 g
- Dietary fiber 0.6 g
- Sugar 0 g
- Protein 75 g
- Calcium 14% Iron 28% Magnesium 6%
Since the whole process of washing out the amid from the flour it’s quite time consuming, I decided to find some powdered wheat gluten to drastically reduce the preparation time. There are many different ways of preparing seitan, depending if you want a compact product or a softer one. I’ll go for the sponge type, today, since I’ll grind it to make minced seitan, for different uses.
What you need for around 1kg of seitan
- Vital Wheat Gluten 283gr (3.5$)
- Soy Sauce 2tbsp (1$ for 750ml)
- Barbecue Sauce 2tbsp (1.5$ for 250ml)
- Seasonings To taste (I use different ones depending if I want a more Asian or Western taste – around 2$ per pack I used paprika, sage and rosemary)
How to make it
- Pour the wheat gluten in a big bowl
- Add Soy Sauce, Barbecue Sauce and the seasonings
- Add two cups of water
- Mix and knead it all until it has a sponge consistence
- Let it rest for 10 minutes
- Put it in a big pot of boiling water
- Cook it for 40/45 minutes
- Drain it and let it cool down
- Cut it in small pieces
- Put in a food process to mince it for around 10/15 seconds
- Store it for next uses
I use the minced seitan as it is for some dishes, like bolognese sauce or thai laab. Or use it to prepare delicious vegan burgers.
We will talk about these recipes next time!