EASY SEITAN RECIPE - ROAST STYLE: How to make Seitan Like a Pro even if You've never made Homemade Plantbased Meat Before
EASY SEITAN RECIPE - ROAST STYLE
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups of water and more as needed
In a large bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in 3 1/2 tablespoons of the tamari, the olive oil, and the water, and continue stirring until well mixed. Knead the dough for at least 3 minutes. The more you knead it the denser it will become. Also, the more you let it sit after kneading (I recommend letting it sit about 15 minutes before roasting), the denser and more meat like it will become.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the seitan dough on an oiled sheet of aluminum foil and enclose it in the foil. Place the wrapped seitan inside a large baking dish, seam side up. I like to lightly twist up each side of the tin foil holding in the dough / roast. This prevents any extra water from getting inside and making it too soggy. Bake until firm, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Transfer the cooked seitan to a baking sheet to cool. If you are not using the seitan right away, store, tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for many days or in the freezer for several weeks.
The recipe content 'fluff'
Seitan can be delicious or terrible depending on how you make it. To be fair, isn't this true for all 'meat?' It is true for Soooo many foods. Vegetarian and plant-based meats often get such a bad wrap and are held to such a high standard this way. Whereas other food is socially forgiven when cooked poorly, when a food like seitan is cooked poorly often times the person eating or trying it will blame all of vegetarianism and shun it for life. There is no good reason to do this!
Seitan goes by other unfairly less flattering names of 'wheat meat' and 'plantbased meat substitute.' It is a plantbased 'meat' made from a flour-like product called vital wheat gluten. Seitan is basically made via the reaction of vital wheat gluten (derived from the wheat plant) with liquid / water. Simply mixing the two together forms a chewy / tough dough that can mimic the texture (and flavor if you add broth and spices) of many animal meats.
Seitan is said to date back to ancient China, almost 1,500 years ago according to LoveSeitan.com. I wrote about how you've probably already eaten it even if you don't think so here.
Just be aware of what makes seitan good or not so good. It should never taste or cook up like 'soppy bread' and if someone serves it to you this way and tells you that is just how seitan is, that is, humbly I say, wrong. Though, if soppy bread type seitan is your thing and you like it that way, that's certainly ok too!
This recipe, however, will make you a nice meaty roast if followed exactly. The keys to a nice meaty roast that you can use on carver deli sandwiches at home, for BBQ or just about anything else are (1) the roasting method, (2) kneading time and (3) setting (before baking / roasting) time. This recipe intends to cut out the mystery and just help you get to it so that you can have a nice meaty seitan roast to eat and enjoy in your home the first time making it.
If you follow this recipe, you'll have a nice hearty 'rump' looking roast without having to use or harm somebody else's rump (thank goodness) - plantbased style. The taste and spicing can be adjusted as you please but by default this recipe makes you a versatile roast that can be used as ham, turkey or even chicken dishes (for chicken soups etc. I recommend you use a bit less tamari - you can even eventually experiment with flavoring for chicken using vegan better than bouillon.. but first and for now start with this recipe - let's not get too confusing - you'll get the picture after you make this first roast. :) This is the fast track recipe to becoming a seitan expert, yes I am serious.
Aside from deli carver slices, this recipe works great for making quick 'BBQ ribs' as you would just make this roast and then cut in chunks to sauté or grill in BBQ sauce. Again, you can also cut into cubes and add into soups and stews.
Note: Seitan does contain gluten, so just beware if you have an allergy or sensitivity. In that case, if you want to learn more vegetarian and plant-based cooking, look for gluten-free alternatives. Also, if you want to try seitan but don't feel like making it, simply pick some up in the speciality section of most grocery stores under the label 'seitan' and also note that most of the plant-based meats on the shelves are also a type of seitan. Why not try some of those too!?
I recommend storing any leftover roast in the refrigerator in an air tight ziplock bag. Just make sure to wait to put your roast into the bag until it has thoroughly cooled. This will keep your roast from sweating and creating condensation in the bag. By preventing that, you should be able to keep your roast fresh and tasty in the 'fridge for at least a few days. These roast freeze decently as well although I don't do that much! Instead I recommend premixing your dry ingredients (pancake mix style - adding the wet ingredients later) and just making roasts as needed!)
P.S. Don't want to make your own roast? I recommend trying something like Tofurkey then from the store instead. It is pretty close. : )
This recipe contains nutritional yeast and plenty of other protein, making it, according to some, a source of 'complete protein.' Though I am not a nutritionist, you can verify this for yourself and learn more at seitansociety.com.
See the recipe for my favorite seitan roast (really, it's easy) above.