Day 18 – Worship Seitan (PUN ALERT! PUN ALERT! AWOOGA!).

Seitan

Today’s recipe is another vegetarian staple that I’ve eaten but never made. Seitan is a meat replacement/protein source made from wheat gluten, so if you’re Celiac, steer clear of this one! If not, you will need:

1kg Bag Wholemeal Flour

Water

For boiling you will also need:

1 onion, peeled and quartered

Any vegetable leftovers you have to hand – I used a handful of leek tops

Soy sauce

Vegetable stock

Worcestershire sauce – check the ingredients, most brands contain anchovies, but there are some that don’t.

Lots of water.

Put the flour in a large bowl and add water, mixing to form a firm dough, similar in texture to bread or pizza dough. Don’t add too much water – you don’t want a paste!

Dough

Form the dough into a ball and cover with lukewarm water. Allow to sit for 30 mins or so.

With the bowl in the sink (this gets messy), use your hands to knead and squeeze the dough. You will notice the water becoming milky, this is the starch being washed out of the dough, you will also notice small brown flecks of bran. Pour off the water and refresh with clean water, continuing to work the dough. Repeat this process several times until all the bran and starch have been rinsed out and the water remains clear. It may help to stretch the gluten ball, so that you can wash out all the bran. The remaining gluten will have a consistency similar to chewed bubble gum and will resemble a brain. If you’ve been particularly vigourous, the gluten may have separated into strands. No stress, just moosh them together into a ball.

Gluten

Now add the rest of the ingredients into a large pot along with enough water to completely cover the seitan/gluten. Seitan is cooked and ready for further use when it floats, so you want to use enough water to be confident that you can tell when it’s floating.

Boiling

Quantities of the stock ingredients are pretty flexible. You won’t be drinking the stock, it’s just to add a bit of a meaty flavour and colour to the seitan, so you can work to your own taste. I used about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of soy, 2-3 tsps of stock powder and about 2Tbs worcestershire. Bring the pot to a boil and add the seitan. Cook until it floats to the surface and then set aside until you are ready to use it in a dish. Seitan will keep for about a week, covered, in the fridge.

This was a fairly time consuming process (and I’m going out for dinner tonight), so I’m splitting making the seitan and using the seitan over multiple days. Stay tuned for a seitan recipe or two later in the week!

Note: Although I said we wouldn’t be drinking the stock, it galls me to waste food and it smelled really good, so I’ve ladled out a bunch of it and frozen it for the next time I make soup.

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