When you get into the swing of it, seitan is awesome as a cheap and tasty meat substitute that you can put together out of anything you find in you cupboards (if you have gluten). It sounds so complicated, but it’s not that bad – honest. Here’s how to get into it.
Get the right ingredients.
You need something called Vital Wheat Gluten (VWG) to make seitan. No way around it. Apparently Co-op has started selling it, but for now I get mine from here. I’d say start off with a 5kg bag. It is possible to make it using regular flour by washing it and rinsing it, but I’ve never tried as it looks like a lot of mess for very little gluten.
The way seitan goes is this:
Dry ingredients (your VWG, spices)
Wet ingredients (stock, pureed chickpeas or pulses, tofu)
This will dramatically change the texture. Start off with this very simple recipe that needs chickpea flour and vegetable stock. It’s 100% the best starter recipe.
Another cool way to make an awesome texture is by adding jackfruit or shredded oyster mushrooms to your seitan dough to make a rib-like feel.
Get the right kit.
Really, you just need strong foil to wrap your seitan dough and an oven or steaming pots to cook it in. To make seitan that uses anything pureed, you’ll need a blender. If you want to start getting really into it, like making textured fake meats that shred like chicken, you’ll need a food processor with a dough hook to make the gluten stringy by kneading it for ages. Start off simple and see how you go.
Seitan is freezable too, and stays in the fridge for a week easily. It can be a nightmare to clean up though as it becomes a rubbery goo on contact with water, beware!
Now that you’re nailing it, mess around with ratios of wet to dry, different wet ingredients, kneading loads vs not kneading at all. Why not buy a cool rubber sausage mould to save on using foil, or add spices and figure out your own kebabs? How about using tofu skin to make ‘skin’ or buying a fancy sharp knife to make deli slices?
Here’s a little list of my favourite recipes ever ordered by difficulty. If you ever need help or ideas, post on my page, or ask here in this seitan Facebook group.
The easiest recipe to start with: http://www.thatwasvegan.com/2012/01/30/my-favorite-chicken-style-seitan-recipe/
Ribs with jackfruit (no special kit needed): https://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2016/07/jacked-vegan-ribs.html
Nutty meatballs (you’ll need a blender): https://yupitsvegan.com/vegan-meatballs/
Fancy roast (easy to make but needs a lot of ingredients, note that I steam mine): https://www.isachandra.com/2011/11/seitan-roast-stuffed-with-shiitakes-and-leeks/
The best steaks ever (no special kit needed, requires a lot of ingredients and time): https://www.avantgardevegan.com/recipes/steak-peppercorn-sauce/
Shreddable chicken (you’ll need a food processor but don’t need any fancy ingredients): https://avocadosandales.com/2017/12/17/chickwheat-shreds/