If new to the wonders of seitan try this or a similar basic recipe first to get a feel for it. There are many variables affecting the final product, in particular, the quantity and quality of dry ingredients (powdered seaweeds, lentils, onion, nuts etc) that are initially combined with the gluten powder, as well as method of cooking: shallow or deep frying, boiling, steaming, braising, stewing, roasting, barbequing, and even microwaving.
In the following recipe I use a number of wild ingredients that I had to hand at the time of writing all of which could easily be substituted for more readily available bought ingredients if you don’t have them (some alternatives given in brackets).
- 2 cups gluten flour
- 2 tspn wild garlic root powder (garlic powder)
- 1 tspn ground ginger
- 1-1/4 cups concentrated wild mushroom* and seaweed stock – to include Laminaria spp (a sachet of miso soup)
- 3 tbps liquid aminos or light soy sauce
Broth (after cooking can be frozen for reuse later)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 long kelp frond
- 3-4 slices ginger
Because I dig (in every sense) a lot of wild garlic between August and January, I’ve found the dried roots are a superb ingredient, making use of a plant part that others often discard.
- In a bowl mix this together with the ginger and gluten.
- When thoroughly mixed in vigorously blend in the liquid with a spoon or fork to form a stiff dough.
- Knead for 5 mins, rest for five mins then knead again as before.
- Set aside for 15 mins then cut gluten into 6 to 8 pieces and stretch into thin cutlets.
- Simmer in flavoured broth for 45 minutes.
*Last year I made the most delicious mushroom essence I’ve ever made by concentrating the liquid after boiling up 1lb parasol mushrooms, 1lb of blushing wood mushrooms, a large Boletus edulis and a handful of horn of plenty.
- Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Bring broth to a boil.
- Add cutlets one at a time.
- Reduce heat to barely simmer and cook covered for 45 mins.
- Cooked this way it can be served as meat or, as I prefer, chopped smaller and shallow fried before adding to a stir-fry.
When the seitan is mixed to form a dough, forming it into a sausage shape and wrapping it tightly in clingfilm before simmering or microwaving (with caution in the later case as even slight overcooking can dry it out leaving it too rubbery) will produce a very firm texture if that is required. Made without additional flavouring it can then be smoked or marinated to incorporate new flavours.
I like to shape it this way when combining it with various powdered seaweeds. Once cooked, it looks a bit like blood pudding. I slice into discs, and then match stick-sized pieces that I add to seaweed consommé to up its nutritional profile.