By Jill Nussinow, M.S. R.D.
I recieve blank stares after i ask my vegetarian cooking students when they've ever eaten seitan (say-tahn). Yet, hands increase after i inquire if anybody has ever eaten mock chicken, beef, or pork inside a Chinese vegetarian restaurant. The name is foreign but you might be more acquainted with the merchandise than you believe.
Based on Barbara and Leonard Jacobs within their excellent book Cooking with Seitan, The Entire Vegetarian "Wheat-Meat" Cook book, "seitan is a staple food among vegetarian priests of China, Russian wheat maqui berry farmers, peasants of Southeast Asia, and Mormons. Individuals who had typically eaten wheat had also discovered a means to extract the gluten and make up a seitan-like product."
Seitan comes from the protein part of wheat. It stands set for meat in lots of recipes and works very well that numerous vegetarians cure it since the texture is simply too "meaty."
Gluten could be flavored in a number of ways. When simmered inside a traditional broth of soy sauce or tamari, ginger root, garlic clove, and kombu (seaweed), it's known as seitan. I make reference to all flavored gluten as seitan. Making gluten the standard strategy is time intensive. It requires mixing 8 glasses of flour with three to five glasses of water and developing a dough. The dough will be kneaded and rinsed under flowing water to get rid of the wheat starch. After about twenty to thirty minutes of kneading and rinsing, which in my experience appears like a great deal of time, the resulting 2 approximately glasses of stretchy gluten is apparent. At that time the gluten must be simmered in broth not less than one hour and as much as 2 hrs or even more.
Fortunately there are several shortcut means of making gluten (see recipe) making it a handy food to organize. I've had probably the most luck using high gluten flour or vital wheat gluten, although I've discovered that before you understand the feel you are trying for throughout the mixing and kneading process, the outcomes will be different somewhat.
The additional benefit of doing this is you can flavor the gluten throughout the kneading process with the addition of spices and herbs of the selecting apart from the standard ginger root and garlic clove. You should use chicken seasoning or chicken flavor broth powder to create a "chicken" flavored seitan, or perhaps a blend with paprika, cayenne, fennel, garlic clove, and Italian seasoning for any "sausage" flavor. Flavoring is restricted only from your imagination.
For many, a much safer initial step would be to purchase among the commercially accessible mixes. Arrowhead Mills' Seitan Quick Mix or the Knox Mountain products, including Wheat Balls, Chicken Wheat, and never-So- Sausage, yield a tasty product. Be sure that you stick to the box directions exactly.
Gluten that contains more water or that has been kneaded less has a tendency to get puffy rather to be dense. Many people like the less dense result. I love gluten to become quite firm, because it substitutes easier for animal foods in recipes.
Packaged seitan is created by White-colored Wave and Lightlife Foods in addition to regional manufacturers. It will be in tubs or vacuum packs soaking in marinade either in the refrigerator or even the freezer portion of many natural food stores. You may even find frozen or fresh gluten in Asian markets through the name Mi-Tan.
Other ready-to-eat forms available on the market include Ivy Foods' burgers, sausage-style and chicken-style Wheat of Meat Products, lunch-style "meats," fajita strips, and slices. (Erectile dysfunction. note: Ivy Foods products are increasingly being made by White-colored Wave.) Gluten appears to become popping in more products nowadays and it is frequently a vital component in "not-dogs." Once made, seitan could be kept in broth within the refrigerator for approximately in regards to a week. Individually-wrapped cutlets could be frozen for approximately per month or even more with no reduction in texture or flavor. It is advisable to thaw them before using.
Seitan's versatility is based on the myriad forms it assumes throughout the cooking process. I've found simmering is the most efficient and effective preparation method. But it may be oven-braised, baked, cooked inside a pressure oven, or fried. Each version yields another texture. Oven braising creates a texture like the soft texture produced from simmering. Baking creates a light texture that work well when grinding or grating seitan. Pressure cooking, based on the Jacobs, "will create a softer-textured seitan." Fried gluten turns soft and slippery when cooked having a sauce and absorbs flavor well.
As gluten is really a low sodium and very lowfat protein (that contains around 10 mg. sodium, g. fat, and seven.5 g. protein per ounce in the raw condition), additional processing is exactly what will add unhealthy attributes. The majority of the packaged seitan contains a great deal of sodium (as much as 100 mg. per ounce). If you opt to deep-fry the gluten, body fat content will jump from virtually zero to the amount of grams in whatever oil is absorbed (at 4.5 grams per teaspoon).
Making seitan and gluten will open a brand new horizon for you personally in the realm of vegetarian cooking. It's terrific in stir-fries and combined with noodles in Asian-style dishes, yet also is effective in traditional American fare like stew. Try substituting it for animal products in former favorite recipes or individuals of non-vegetarian buddies and relatives. Then get the creativity flowing and experiment when creating seitan by different the flavorings and cooking methods.
Quick Homemade Gluten
(Makes 1-1/4 to at least one-1/2 pounds or 2 to two-1/2 cups)
This is actually the fundamental recipe for gluten.
2 cups gluten flour
1 teaspoon garlic clove powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger root
1-1/4 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons lite tamari, Braggs liquid proteins, or soy sauce
1-3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil (optional)
Add garlic clove powder and ginger root to flour and stir. Mix fluids together and increase flour mixture all at one time. Mix intensely having a fork. If this forms a stiff dough knead it ten to fifteen occasions.
Allow the dough rest two to five minutes, then knead it a couple of more occasions. Get forced out another fifteen minutes before proceeding.
Cut gluten into six to eight pieces and stretch into thin cutlets. Simmer in broth for 30 to an hour.
4 cups water
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
3-inch bit of kombu (a kind of seaweed)
3-4 slices ginger root (optional)
Combine all ingredients inside a large saucepan. Bring broth to some boil. Add cutlets individually. Reduce heat to barely simmer when saucepan is included. Seitan can be utilized, refrigerated, or frozen at this time.