You might not be aware of it, but Seitan exists for many many years already. It’s said that it goes as far as the 6th century! At that time it didn’t have the name Seitan, but that doesn’t really matter anymore I feel.
Nowadays this product is being used as a big substitute for meat! And lots of vegan are going mental over it. They are doing the craziest things with it. From making pepperoni to ribs!
I jumped on that boat too and checked it out myself. And I’ll actually be looking if it’s worth making your own Seitan at home!
As you know from the article about making your Almond Butter, there are three categories that I’ll be judging:
In this article I’ll explain the WTF-method. Which is really how to make Seitan from scratch.
And no, it doesn’t mean What The F…. It stands for Wash The Flour.
It’s getting really popular and a lot of people prefer this method over the vital wheat gluten process.
And as you can read just now, yes, we are talking about Gluten. So if you are having a gluten-intolarence, I’m sorry you can’t have this recipe.
There’s also a second way to make your Seitan, which is by just adding water to vital wheat gluten flour. But, that’s not the point of this article so let’s continue with washing our gluten.
Wash The Flour - Seitan
So, it’s going to take a while, so prepare yourself for a long process that actually takes you more than a day to complete.
- Prep Time 90 Minutes
- Cook Time 120 Minutes
- Resting Time 8 Hours
- 9 Cups / 1.2 Kg Flour (Preferably Whole Wheat Flour)
- 3 Cups / 0.3 kg Water
- Mix the water and the dough together.
- Knead for about 10 minutes to activate the gluten. You'll see when it's finished when you form a ball of dough and the dough bounces back when you poke it.
- Put the dough into a bowl and cover it with cold water.
- Let it rest for one hour or longer. Just don't let it sit for longer than 6 hours or it will desintegrate again.
- Let the water out and put new water in the bowl.
- Start kneading the dough while under water. It will get a very white colour as the starch is getting washed away.
- Keep refreshing your water and kneading the dough until the water gets an opaque colour and the flour becomes stringy.
- Put the dough into a colander and let rest for 10 - 20 minutes.
- This is the moment where you can add seasoning if you'd like. I do recommend this as you'll get a better taste.
- Start kneading the gluten again for about 10 minutes. The longer you knead the stretchier everything becomes, and the more it looks like meat.
- Form a long rope of this gluten and start knotting it together. Don't worry, there are many videos on YouTube that show you how.
- Now there are a lot of ways to prepare the seitan now and it depends on what you are looking for.
- The most common way is to boil it into a simmering vegetable stock for an hour.
- After that hour you can let the Seitan cool again if you don't want to eat it immediately.
- If you are looking to eat it right away, you can cool it down and shred it apart.
- Then you can fry it and eat it!
There are many ways to do the final steps. A lot of them do ask to let the seitan rest for a minimum of 8 hours. I never had that patience, so mine was always quite chewy. If you don’t want this, then just wait for the night.
I also cooked it into a vegetable broth where I added a bit of Soy sauce. Even though the water got very salty, the seitan itself got full of flavors.
When you want to add herbs. Make sure you know before what you want to do with your seitan. Then you can add some powerful ingredients right away.
Before we are going to have a look at a recipe with Seitan, let’s see if it’s really worth making it yourself.
And to start with, we have the costs of making your base seitan.
So, basically it’s just going to cost you a or two of flour. Which in most countries doesn’t cost a lot.
Here in Portugal a normal bag of all-purpose-flour just costs about 50 cents. This makes that making Seitan is costing you more time than it will get you spending.
Looking at the price of Seitan, it is definitely worth it. Here in Portugal, a block of this replacement meat costs me 3 euros. And this is for just 2 persons. While this recipe above will yield you 4 portions.
So, yeah time-wise it does cost you a lot.
Of course, there’s a lot of waiting time. The prepping on its own doesn’t cost you a lot. It’s the resting time. This will take up to at least 8 hours if you want to do it right.
And in my case, very often it didn’t give me the wanted result either. I always had a different result every time I tried it. Which was about 5 times.
So, as Seitan is quite expensive where I live, I actually never tasted it before. So, I don’t have anything to compare it with.
Of course, I did try it in other recipes that were mixed with things like tofu or beans and such.
A natural ball of seitan will literally taste like nothing and is quite chewy. So I wouldn’t try that.
The flavor will always be up to you and how you spice it up.
This makes that you can let it taste like everything you’d like.
That said, as I said a bit above here, my batches weren’t always a huge success. I feel that there’s a steep learning curve, and if you are making a lot it’s going to be fine.
If you just want to give it a try and see if you like it, it might not be something for you.
Is it Worth It?
So we’ve finally come to the final part of this review: Is it really worth it?
Well, if there wouldn’t be any other option: yes.
BUT! There actually is an alternative! You can just by vital wheat gluten in the supermarket. Well, maybe not your general grocery store, but like an organic supermarket. And it’s not that expensive either. I bought mine for 1.90 euros. And It gives a yield of like: A LOT.
This way might actually be cheaper as well. Although, you don’t know how processed it is. If you want to choose your own wheat, then it’s best to do yourself.
What To do with seitan
BBQ-Flavored Seitan/ Chicken-Style
This recipe is great to start with if you don’t know what to do with your Seitan. It’s easy to make and delicious as hell!
- Prep Time 15 Minutes
- Cook Time 10 Minutes
- Total Time 25 Minutes
- 2 Tbsp Ketchup
- 1 tsp Mustard
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Casterd Sugar
- 1 tsp All-Spice
- 0.5 tsp garlic powder
- 0.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp Soy Sauce
- Seitan made in the recipe above.
- Mix all the ingredients together except for the seitan.
- Take the boiled and cooled seitan and shred it into pieces.
- Heat up a skillet and throw them in.
- After 1 minute of browning them, add the BBQ-sauce that you made.
- Toss everything around until the liquid is out and you get some caramelization.
That’s it again for another: Is It Worth It?
Hope you enjoyed it and don’t forget to leave a comment section down below to share with us your own experience!
And also to let us know which method you’ve actually used.
For me, I’m going to stick with the vital gluten flour for a while. I don’t see why I should go through the hassle while someone already did it for me! And there are so many things you can do with it.
I’ve already made a pepperoni and this BBQ chicken of course. Next up will be some homemade vegan meatloaf. Which is what I’ve been missing for a while now.