Seitan is a vegan meat substitute with a long traditional history. Its primary ingredient is vital wheat gluten, which is essentially wheat flour processed until only the protein part of the grain is left. The kneading process develops the gluten into strong, delightfully chewy strands that are surprisingly meat-like. Obviously, if you have any kind of gluten intolerance, this recipe is not for you! But the rest of us can enjoy this mild but savoury, “chicken”-esque meat substitute in a variety of ways: sliced and pan-fried, added to soups in cut or torn nuggets, or carved thin on a sandwich with more of your favourite DFC mustard!
(Recipe freely adapted from Terry Hope Romero’s White Seitan recipe, which can be found here [link: https://www.food.com/recipe/steamed-white-seitan-fake-chicken-or-pork-446028].)
(Yield: 4 servings)
1.5 c. water
1 miso flavoured vegan bouillon cube
1.5 tsp DFC Hot & Seedy mustard
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 c. vital wheat gluten (a.k.a. “gluten flour”)
1/4 c. chickpea flour
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp regular paprika
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp dried savoury
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Warm the water and dissolve the bouillon cube into it. Then add in the DFC Hot & Seedy mustard, grated garlic (don’t worry about large chunks; save your fingers!), and olive oil, and whisk well.
Combine the vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, and all spices/seasonings in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the liquid ingredients. Stir with a silicone spatula until the mixture is uniform and forms a soft dough ball in the middle of the bowl.
Knead the dough by hand (in the bowl) for 4 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes, then knead again for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Shape into a rough log, and cut the log into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each piece in aluminum foil so they are securely covered, but make sure there is room enough in each packet to allow for a bit of expansion.
Steam the packets in a steamer basket in a covered saucepan for 30 minutes. (If, like mine, your steamer basket is too small to allow all the packets to be laid out in one layer, swap them around at the 15 minute mark to ensure even cooking.)
After 30 minutes, remove the packets from the steamer basket and allow to cool to the touch. The seitan can be eaten right away, but the texture will become firmer and more meat-like if it chills in the fridge at least overnight.
To store, wrap each piece in plastic wrap or in an airtight bag, and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Seitan also freezes really well wrapped up tight in plastic; allow it to thaw thoroughly before using it.