Friday, August 21, 2009

Seitan Worship

..the title of this post comes courtesy of my witty husband. It was all I could do not to eat this right out of the pan, but I plated it and took a picture for you, dear reader. That's what I'm willing to do for you. This was one of the hottest days we've had all summer, which is not saying much, it was 31 ℃. However the weather had me craving barbecue, and eventually I settled on making seitan.
For the uninitiated, seitan is a wheat based food that has been around for a few thousand years. Sometimes known as 'wheat meat', it is often found in the scary looking fake meat products you see in the grocery store. It used to be made through a laborious process of rinsing wheat flour in water until all that remained was pure gluten (the stuff that makes bread chewy..). These days you can buy pure wheat gluten in the store. And get this, gluten has more protein per gram than red meat.

I followed this recipe: Barbecued Seitan Ribz

It worked out quite well, although I baked mine in mini loaf pans and had to put them back in the oven for a bit longer because they didn't cook all the way through. I made the basic bbq sauce from Martha Stewart's website, and grilled them up on the stovetop in my cast iron grill pan.
This is one of the easier seitan recipes out there, many of them call for boiling, steaming, and frying to get a good texture. That's the key to seitan, if the texture is wrong it ends up too chewy. I go for the easiest recipes most of the time -- not willing to spend hours over the stove. The other handy recipe is Veggeroni (I do apologize for the names...). As Debra at Culiblog points out, why not enjoy seitan as seitan instead of expecting it to be meat. However it does work great as a meat replacement in all those recipes you grew up with. With all the worries over GMO soy, and therefore GMO tofu, seitan is a good local alternative.


EO said...

This dish was very good. I think you should write a book called the Seitanic Bible.