More seitan

I write about seitan a lot I know but it is one of the revelations I have had since becoming vegan. There are lots of good vegetarian meat alternatives in the UK but far few vegan ones. The good ones, like Sgaia and Dee’s are now very good and I am sure there are many more that I have yet to try.

Unfortunately, no matter how much I want to, I can’t live off their food all the time. Homemade seitan provides a cheap, fairly quick and store cupboard way of getting a lower fat, high protein and fairly low calorie alternative.

There are loads of recipes and lots of variations to try out. You can cook it in a variety of ways, sometimes even several ways with one batch.

The most reliable ones I have found so far for larger pieces, cutlets, kebabs and the like are from Mrs Veg and from Post Punk Kitchen.

After a few experiments and a few nearly there efforts, I have stared to get more consistent with my seitan results.

I have learned 2 really key things for the preparation of seitan using the boiling or simmering method.

The first applies to all seitan really and that is to knead it really well for a few minutes. You should be looking for the strings of gluten appearing in the dough. The more you fold, squish, roll and even tear off pieces and recombine, the more it will develop.

The second is that the boiling method doesn’t actually want you to boil seitan. It needs to be a simmer. I boiled my first batch or two and got soggy, bready results. It wasn’t bad, but not what I was after. I keep the broth between 95 and 98 degress C (203 – 208F). I used a jam thermometer in the pan and keep and eye on it, adjusting as I go. I think this is the biggest different in the seitan I can now make.

seitan temp

Last night I used the Post Punk Kitchen recipe again and was really on it with the temperature. The results were a much more dense seitan which is miles ahead of my first efforts.

I have a lot more to learn here but this is my humble advice so far.


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