Friday, April 8, 2011

Boiled Seitan - My Favorite Recipe!

I love seitan.  It is one of my favorite things to experiment with.  I love it baked, boiled, fried, stir fried, sauteed or just straight from the oven or pot.  Admittedly, I have not been eating it lately, but I think it is mostly due to the fact that I am working with several people that are trying to stay away from gluten and it seems silly for me to make so much of it because I used to bring it in to work to share all the time.  Now I make it for the hubby and I, use as much of it as I can and freeze the rest of it so that I always have it on hand. 

I have literally tried more that ten boiled seitan recipes with varying degrees of success.  I have tried to put the gluten into boiling broth, simmering broth, cold broth, warm broth among other varying temperatures to determine what effect it would have on the finished product.  I have had the seitan be very firm, very soft to the point of falling apart into tiny chunks of seitan, be too squishy ... the list goes on and on.  This is just to say that I have definitely had lots of practice with seitan and I think I have finally found my favorite recipe.  I personally like seitan to be more "chicken" flavored, which means putting in ingredients that make the seitan lighter in color and flavor, so I've added some chickpea flour here.  If you do not like the flavor that the chickpea flour imparts, you can simply remove it - no problem.  But I think it adds a nice depth.  Yum!  (This is the seitan I use for all the recipes in the blog that call for seitan, unless otherwise noted.)

Boiled Chicken Style Sietan:

Yields (a lot!  You can freeze it or halve the batch.)

Seitan swimming in flavorful broth.  So delicious!

Dry Ingredients:
4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable boullion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 pinches cayenne pepper (doesn't make it hot)

Liquid Ingredients:
1/4 cup shoyu
3 1/4 cup filtered water

Boiling Liquid:
6 quarts hot water (24 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
3 carrots, peeled and large chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and cloves chopped in half
6 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons vegetable boullion powder
1/2 cup shoyu

1.  Place the olive oil in a large stock pot over high heat and add the carrots, onion and garlic.  Saute for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic.  Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, tomato paste, boullion powder and shoyu.  Stir around.  Add the hot water, cover pot and bring to a boil.  It will take a while.
2.  In the meantime, in a large bowl, place all the dry ingredients for the seitan: the vital wheat gluten, garbanzo bean flour, nutritional yeast, black pepper, boullion powder, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper.  Whisk together until well combined.
3.  Wait until the broth begins to boil before mixing the wet ingredients for the seitan with the dry.  Once the broth is firmly boiling, add the shoyu and the water.  Using a rubber spatula and working quickly, mix together until a very thick, wet and squishy dough forms.  Knead for 1-2 minutes or until everything is well mixed.
4.  Bring the bowl with the dough over to the boiling liquid and tear pieces of the dough off and drop into the boiling water, spacing the pieces apart so that the liquid stays at a boil.
5.  Once all the pieces have been added to the liquid, use a large wooden spoon to stir them around, making sure none of the seitan has stuck to the bottom or sides.
6.  Lower the heat slightly, but the liquid should still boil.  Allow the seitan to cook for at least 1 1./2 hours (up to a maximum of two), or until cooked all the way through.  The best way to be sure it is cooked all the way is to remove a large piece, slice it in half, and make sure the seitan is the same color and texture throughout and that the very center is not darker than the outside.
7.  You can use the seitan right away (I find it is delicious just to eat as is while it is still hot - no additional cooking needed), or remove the seitan from the liquid, strain the veggies from the liquid, return the seitan back to the strained liquid, allow it to cool, and refrigerate overnight for a firmer texture.



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