Seitan is a cooked version of gluten balls that we make for food science lessons.
Seitan is one ingredient – wheat gluten – and is used as a protein vegan meat alternative. If you have coeliac disease, do not eat it!
The word seitan is Japanese and tit was used for wheat gluten from 1961 by a macrobiotic called George Ohsawa. The Chinese developed a wheat gluten product hundreds of years ago as a meat substitute. It has been called mock sausage or mock turtle because of its chewy texture.
Seitan is sometimes called wheat meat and it is chewy in its raw state, and it needs cooking with added flavour.
Here’s how it’s made from wheat flour. The starch washing process takes 10-15 minutes and you can buy gluten ready made.
How to make seitan
Mix 500 g strong flour and water to form a dough then soak the dough ball in cold water for 4 hours. This helps with washing.
Knead the dough and place in a muslin cloth and rinse out the starch
When the water runs clear the gluten ball is ready. This takes 10 – 15 minutes.
Drain and form the gluten ball into a long roll, wrap in foil and steam for 1 hour.
Cut the dough into pieces.
Prepare a vegetable stock and drop in the gluten pieces and cook for 30 minutes.
Serve straight away.
Steamed and cooled seitan will keep in the fridge for 1 week and can be frozen.
Thanks to Basic Homemade Seitan
Huffington Post shows how to do it and how to spice it up. They add flavours like tamari to the flour before they rinse out the starch – but the flavours will go in the washout!
Places to eat Seitan in London
Serves vegan pie and mash and Seitan and ale pie which is their ‘signature vegan steak’.