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.