Since I´ve gone vegetarian I´ven been browsing the internet a lot for new ideas and recipes. I have been eating and trying a lot with my girlfriend and every time I am amazed how much great stuff there is to eat. Since I am no longer eating meat and trying to cut back dairy products as well, I have to look after my protein sources, minerals etc. So a couple of weeks ago I found out about SEITAN, an easy to make, cheap and protein-rich dough. I got myself a 5kg pack of wheat gluten (basically its flour without the starch) for a bit more than 20 Euros on ebay. This pack should last a couple of months. So on one of my last work days I finally got the chance to try it out and was quite happy with the result. Remember that the produced Seitan will taste the way you flavor it – so be creative 🙂
Remember this was just my way of spicing it – you can add whatever you feel like. And rather spice it MORE than you´d normally do, as the the wheat gluten itself doesn´t have a flavor – you are creating it!
I then added the same amount of water in ml (250ml) and started kneading it till it had a nice structure. Almost immediately the dough became kind of a gum-like mass. I then rolled it to the form of a leaf of bred and cut it into slices. Even though it already looks great, we are not done yet – now the second part of the recipe starts: the cooking.
I filled a pot with around 3 liters of water and added almost half a tube of tomato paste, the soy sauce, maybe around two to three spoon of vegetable stock, three gloves of garlic, one onion and the laurel leaves. I then let it cook for around 45 to 60 minutes depending on the sizes of the pieces. The sauce actually turned out really great! I tried my ready made Seitan and have to say I really liked it!
It was quite fluffy, but for the first try really satisfying. After the cooking, I fried it in a pan, again with some garlic and onions and added some sauce to it. With some oven potatoes and a salad it made a great dish. I ate it with three friends and all of them actually liked the taste of it, though they said the consistency was quite unusual for their taste. The 250 grams turned out quite a few pieces, and finally I ended up eating three times from it!
Personally, I think it could be a bit more dense, but as I said, this was my first try and there are many more to come. It is a healthy alternative to meat, very rich in protein and depending on how you prepare it very low in calories. The wheat powder itself contains almost 80% proteins!
Give it a try and let me know how you like it! Enjoy 🙂
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Tom Vierus is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, and marine biologist based in Suva, Fiji Islands. This blog is dedicated to his assignments and to sharing some behind-the-scenes footage.