Everyone has heard of tofu, but if you mention seitan or wheat meat to a non-vegetarian, you might just leave them confused. It´s not as common as the usual soy-based meat substitutes, but it has definitely become more popular in the last few years and is now a star in vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
I have to say, out of all the faux meat foods, this one´s my favourite. It’s incredibly tasty, and because of its meat-like texture, it really comes in handy when you´re trying to recreate dishes like Beef Stew or Shepherd´s Pie.
Speaking out of personal experience, its a great crowd pleaser, especially if you´re cooking dinner for a bunch of carnivores. And if you happen to be an ex devoted meat eater who have recently adopted a vegan or vegetarian diet, start cooking with seitan! I guarantee it will help make the transition a lot easier.
Nutritional Value per 100g:
Protein – 26g
Carbohydrates – 10g
Calories – 160 kcal
Fat – 2g
Iron – 3.6 mg
Sodium – 40 mg
Seitan is low in fat and cholesterol, but incredibly rich in protein, even more so than tofu – believe it or not, adding seitan to your dishes supplies your body with just as much protein as a piece of steak! And if you combine it with some veg broth, you will have an all-round complete and well-balanced dish, with plenty of vitamins and minerals, and just the right amount of amino acids.
How to make seitan
You can purchase already made seitan at most bio/vegan stores, but if you prefer to make your own, here’s how:
1. Mix the nutritional yeast, flour, water and 1/2 cup soy sauce in a bowl.
2. Take the mixture out of the bowl and start kneading it by hand until it resembles bread dough.
3. Place it aside and let it rest for about 10 mins.
4. Before cooking the dough, you will need to wash it to remove the starch. Place the dough inside a bowl and run hot water over it. While you do this, continue kneading. It is also important to steadily decrease the temperature of the water, from hot to cold. This process takes about 20 mins. You’ll know the dough is ready when the water colour inside the bowl is no longer milky.
5. Place the dough in cold water and let it rest for 5-10 mins.
6. Before cooking the seitan, drain all the excess water using a strainer. This will harden the consistency of the dough.
7. In a pot, mix the veg broth with 1/2 cup of soy sauce.
8. Place the seitan dough inside the broth, cover the pot and bring it to a boil.
9. Let it simmer for 40-50 mins.
10. Take out the seitan and let it drain. It’s now ready to eat! As soon as it cools down, you can enjoy it as is or use it to enrich other dishes. If you wish, you can even store it in the fridge for up to a week.
Tip: While seitan is incredibly tasty, it´s also 100% gluten. Keep in mind that overconsumption of seitan can lead to gluten over saturation or even intolerance. If you´re an absolute fan of this scrumptious mock meat, try to reduce your seitan based meals to once per week. A varied diet, is a healthy diet!