Contributing Monkie V Ol Blak
Published on September 13, 2011
Photographer V Blak
What is seitan? Well, technically it’s made from flour (just the gluten part), so I guess it’s a type of bread or noodle, but mentally it fits into the meat category for me. I have been a vegan now for about 13 years, I don’t crave meat or anything, but I do crave the textures, the sauces and the spices used to flavor meats. That is where seitan comes in for me. It’s a good substitute for chicken or I guess even pork.
The only way to really get the most out of seitan is to make it yourself from scratch. Most store bought seitan, just plain sucks. It’s tasteless, shaped badly, has a rubber texture and just doesn’t look good. In 13 years, I have only seen a freshly made version once and it was sold at Whole Foods in the Venice / Santa Monica areal. So, if your going to make a seitan dish, please try this recipe out and make your own fresh seitan.
This recipe is so simple to make, even a monkie can do it. Plus it only takes about two hours to complete. I know, your saying, only two hours, that is a lot of time. Yes, it would be a chunk of time, if you only make one batch, that is why I make 2 to 3 batches at a time and save the steaks in the refrigerator to use throughout the week. Also, this recipe requires making your vegetable stock to simmer the seitan in, which gives the seitan it’s flavor. I normally save the stock and make a quick soup with it. So don’t toss it. After I made my seitan this week, I made a black bean vegetable soup with miso and soy sauce. It was great.
Here is what I love about this recipe. The final seitan steaks are juicy, warm, have a slightly crispy skin and are packed with flavor. The trick is after you simmer the seitan in the vegetable stock, you re-coat them in a olive oil and teriyaki sauce, salt, pepper and then grill them. This seals in the flavors and takes the steaks to a whole new level. Try it, I bet you like them. A word of warning, seitan isn’t the healthiest food option and since it’s pure gluten, some people might have issues with it. I am not one of those people :)
Let me know what you think.
For the Vegetable Stock
5 Cups of Spring or Distilled Water
1/4 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
Any combination of vegetables you have on hand. I used the following
1 Large Red Onion
4 Stalks of Celery
2 Garlic Cloves
For the Teriyaki Seitan Steaks
1 Cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock or Water
1/4 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Minced or Pressed Garlic Gloves
Instructions for the Vegetable Stock:
1. Roughly cut your vegetables into chunks. Remember, the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor.
2. Add salt and water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
3. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
4. You can strain and discard vegetables or not. I left mine in for the next step.
Instructions for the Teriyaki Seitan Steaks:
1. You will need two bowls. A smaller bowl for your wet ingredients and one a larger bowl for your dry ingredients.
2. In the dry ingredient bowl mix together the vital wheat gluten flour, nutritional yeast and sea salt.
3. In the wet ingredient bowl mix together the vegetable stock, teriyaki sauce, olive oil and garlic.
4. Slowly add your mixed wet ingredients into your dry ingredients while mixing everything together. Your trying to completely soak all the dry ingredients with the fluid. I had to use my hands to make sure all the flour was covered and forms a ball of dough.
5. Now that you have a ball of dough, take it out of the bowl and knead it on a cutting board or your counter 10 times or so.
6. Roll your dough ball into a log shape and cut the log into 1 inch thick pieces.
7. Take a rolling pin and roll out each 1 inch thick piece of seitan into something about the size of chicken breast. You can roll them out pretty thin. They will thicken up when you cook them.
8. Add your seitan dough into your pot of vegetable stock, making sure they are completely submerged.
9. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. The seitan should float to the surface and be firm to the touch.
10. Remove the seitan steaks from the vegetable stock and place in a strainer for 10 minutes to allow excess liquid to drip off.
11. Place the seitan steaks on a plate and rub on a mixture of olive oil, teriyaki sauce, salt and pepper. I made sure both side were evenly covered. (See photos)
12. Place your seitan steaks on a grill and cook until the outside layer is a little crispy. I used a Breville kitchen grill. The type with heating grill heated elements, which closes on your steaks. I wanted grill marks on both sides, so I flipped them after about a 2 minutes of cooking. Total cook time was about 4 minutes. Thats it, serve them hot or store them for sandwiches.
The Olive oil and the Nutritional Yeast help make the dough flaky, skin like. Gives these (Vegan) steaks a nice texture, which newly “G” eating people should like. The finish product really does come close to the texture and taste of a teriyaki chicken steak. Well, I think so at least. But I maybe out of my mind, it has been 13 years since I ate a chicken, so I might be way off. Give it a try and see what you think.