Asian Seitan From Scratch

This homemade seitan (sometimes referred to as wheat gluten) takes on the classic Asian flavors present in the cooking broth, such as ginger, lemongrass, soy sauce, and garlic, and can serve as a satisfying meat substitute, or as a delicious protein in it’s own right. The seitan that results is pre-cooked and will just need to be briefly cooked again in whatever sauce you decide to pair it with. The beauty of seitan is that although it does take on some flavor when boiling, the flavor remains quite mild, so it ends up absorbing the bulk of its flavor from the sauce that it is served with.

I’ve long been a fan of seitan, ever since I was a young girl. My dad, Greg, is a pescatarian who nonetheless leans heavily on plant-based foods for sustenance, and has for a very long time (40+ years). I was really the only family member who was willing to branch out and try new vegan restaurants with him- especially 20+ years ago, when it was much less popular, and in turn a lot less approachable for non-vegans. I’ll admit, I had my fair share of mediocre vegan dishes, so I do realize why so many carnivores used to be as turned off as they were. That being said, once the vegan community began working with meat substitutes like seitan and tempeh, the interest really skyrocketed, and rightfully so.

I remember the first vegan restaurants that really piqued my culinary interest- the late, great Angelica’s Kitchen and Caravan of Dreams, both in NYC. My exploration of seitan is a nod to those restaurants, and their contemporaries that emerged after. Ultimately though, all of my vegan recipes are an homage to my dad, who instilled in me a love of fresh produce, healthful ingredients, and cultural exploration through food.

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In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss together the vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour, and then add the water and mix until it forms a ball (I like to use a dough hook, but a regular spatula or mixing spoon will work fine too).

Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 5 minutes. Form the dough into a nice ball and let it rest for 5 minutes.

After it has rested, form it into a log shape and wrap it in cheesecloth, securing the ends with baker’s twine. In a large pot, add the onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, peppercorns, and soy sauce. Place the seitan log in the middle of the pot and add add enough water to cover 3/4 of the seitan log. Salt the water enough so that it tastes like the saltiness of sea water.

Turn on the stove and bring the liquid to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer (you don’t want to boil the seitan or it will become too chewy). Simmer for an hour.

After the seitan is cooked, let it cool and then you can remove it from the cheese cloth and either tear it into pieces or slice it into chunks or “steaks” to be cooked again in whatever sauce you plan to serve it in. The seitan can be pre-made up to 5 days in advance. To store it, just put the pieces, chunks, or steaks into an air-tight container and pour the cooking broth over it to keep it from drying out.

This was from a batch that I doubled to make multiple subsequent vegan dishes

Asian Seitan From Scratch

Becca Gallick-Mitchell
This seitan (aka wheat gluten) recipe incorporates all of the beloved Asian flavors, such as ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and soy sauce, to create the perfect "blank-slate" for a meatless Asian dish.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Resting Time 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Miscellaneous
Cuisine Asian, Vegan
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • cup vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 onion (I like to use onion scraps, i.e. ends and skins), halved
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, pounded and cut into 1½-2" pieces
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed whole
  • 2" thumb ginger, sliced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • kosher salt, to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss together the vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour, and then add the water and mix until it forms a ball (I like to use a dough hook, but a regular spatula or mixing spoon will work fine too).
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 5 minutes. Form the dough into a nice ball and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • After it has rested, form it into a log shape and wrap it in cheesecloth, securing the ends with baker's twine.
  • In a large pot, add the onion, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, peppercorns, and soy sauce. Place the seitan log in the middle of the pot and add add enough water to cover 3/4 of the seitan log. Salt the water enough so that it tastes like the saltiness of sea water.
  • Turn on the stove and bring the liquid to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer (you don't want to boil the seitan or it will become too chewy). Simmer for an hour, then remove from the heat.
  • After the seitan is cooked, let it cool and then you can remove it from the cheese cloth and either tear it into pieces or slice it into chunks or "steaks" to be cooked again in whatever sauce you plan to serve it in. The seitan can be pre-made up to 5 days in advance. To store it, just put the pieces, chunks, or steaks into an air-tight container and pour the cooking broth over it to keep it from drying out.
Keyword Asian, Asian Seitan, Asian Seitan Recipe, Homemade, Homemade Seitan, Homemade Wheat Gluten, Seitan, Seitan Recipe, Wheat gluten, Wheat Gluten Recipe

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