Seitan has been a huge favorite among all my kids and they always insist on having it at any festive meal.
|Seitan with sauerkraut and onions|
Some of you may wonder what this seitan is,
and no it is not satan at all but a delicious alternative
to meat and a super source of vegetable quality protein
Seitan is basically pure wheat gluten and an absolute powerhouse of nutrition. One portion of seitan contains a similiar amount of protein to a portion of beef and much more than 2 eggs. Raw wheat gluten contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. It doesnt contain the amino acid lysine but this changes when it is cooked in a natural soy sauce broth. The cooked seitan can also be added to a stew with beans which are high in lysine. However, seitan is high in other essential amino acids, and when cooked contains added vitamins and minerals including iron.
The wonderful thing about seitan is that it is an easy way to have healthy, vegan, high quality protein. Seitan is a delicious addition when added to stews, beans, vegetable dishes, and fried rice, or it can be cooked with sauerkraut and onions (see photo above), served in a sandwich, or breaded and deep fried.
Here is a simple recipe for the basic seitan which can be stored in the broth in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and used in the different dishes.
2 cups gluten flour
2 cups spring water with a dash of shoyu or tamari added
1 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
*Mochi cut into teeny squares (optional)
Safflower oil for frying
For the broth
8 cups spring water
1 large strip kombu seaweed
1/2 cup shoyu or tamari
*Mochi is sweet rice that is pounded into cakes that can be used in various ways
Place the gluten flour, ginger, and garlic powders into a bowl.
Add the spring water with a dash of shoyu or tamari.
Mix gently to form a dough. Knead for a few minutes and let sit. It should have an airy texture.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a small pan on a low flame. Turn up the flame just before frying.
Also place the ingredients for the broth into a large pan and bring to a boil on a medium flame.
Form the seitan into small balls about the size of a golf ball.
If you like you can stuff the balls with a little square of mochi or a small piece of carrot. The way to do this is press the mochi into the center of the ball and form the dough around it.
Drop the balls into the hot oil and fry for a few minutes until golden and crispy. You can miss this step and go straight to cooking the seitan in the shoyu broth, however, the oil does give it a rich, nourishing flavor.
Remove and place on a plate.
Place the seitan balls into the hot broth and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove from heat but leave in the broth.
My kids love seitan right out of the broth and served with mustard along with brown rice and lightly blanched vegetables but you can be creative and try it in other dishes.
Enjoy. Love Chef Mel xxx