Sunday, December 8, 2013

Homemade Seitan: My High-Protein Staple

Everyone always wants to know where I get my protein.  One of my favorite sources is seitan: a dough-like meat-replacement, sometimes known as "wheat meat".  Made from vital wheat gluten, seitan won't work for anyone with gluten sensitivities, but it packs 31 grams of protein per serving for those who can tolerate it!

You can purchase packaged seitan at most natural grocers (Upton Naturals and West Soy both are great brands).  However I prefer to make mine at home to control the sodium content, flavoring, and also to save on costs.  Each serving of homemade seitan costs only about 50 cents!

Seitan can be baked, steamed or boiled.  This post focuses on boiling, which I think

produces the most versatile seitan.  You can slice and dice it, add it to salads and stir-frys, or simply top with your favorite condiments or sauces and serve on its own.

To get started, you'll need:
- 2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten (I prefer Bob's Red Mill.  Find this with the flours at any natural grocer.)
- 1/4 cup Seasonings (my favorite options are Italian Seasoning, Nutritional Yeast, or low-sodium Garlic & Herb)
- 3/4 cup water (or optional vegetable broth)
- Soy Sauce or Tamari (optional)
- Food scale (optional)

1) Put a 12-qt pot of water on the stove; bring to a boil.  (*Optional: for additional flavor, you can use vegetable broth rather than water.  To keep sodium low, I opt for water.)

Dough begins to form

2) In a mixing bowl, stir:

      2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten
     1/4 cup seasoning (more to taste)

Raw dough

3) Slowly add water to mixture until dough begins to form (for additional flavor, replace water with soy or tamari). Seitan is very sticky and you may need to mix with your hands rather than a spoon.  Aim for a moist ball of firm dough.  Knead thoroughly (about 3-4 minutes) to make sure that there is no dry flour left in the mixture.


4) Divide dough into 6 equal pieces.  I generally use my food scale to ensure equal portions.  Form each piece into a patty.

5) Drop each patty into boiling water; stir occasionally and cook for 40 minutes.   Seitan will expand tremendously and rise to the surface; push pieces back to the bottom when stirring (if a piece stays out of the water, it will get very dense and dry.)

6) After 40 minutes, place seitan in a colander and drain; gently squeeze the water out of each piece by pressing with a spoon or spatula. 

7) Once cooled, refrigerate.

Per serving:
160 calories
31 g protein
5 g carbs
1 g fat

Serving suggestion: slice patty lengthwise, crisp in a toaster oven and top with organic mustard.



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  2. Thank you so much for this! I've always purchased packaged seitan, and it never occurred to me that I could make it in my own kitchen. This is fantastic!

  3. What is the Serving size? Thanks

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