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Jan 1, 2009 04:13 PM

seitan help

i'm learning how to make my own seitan at home and after a couple batches of questionable results i thought i'd turn to chowhounds! i'm using the basic techniques i've read about on quite a few websites - basically, combining vital wheat gluten flour and nutritional yeast flakes and various spices with soy sauce and vegetable broth, kneading for a few minutes, then simmering in vegetable broth for an hour and cooling. first batch i cut and fried up as-is, second batch i pressed out extra moisture with paper towels. the latter was certainly better, but more of what i'm guessing is a spam-like crumbly consistency rather than the chewy stretchy goodness i'm used to at restaurants. it's also nowhere near as dark in color as i've seen in restaurants. where am i going wrong?

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  1. Hi Rabidog, maybe I can be of some help as I make it in house for my restaurant. I only use vital wheat gluten without any additon of nut. yeast flakes. The ratio of dry to liquid is approx. 4-3. Only mix by hand, never in a mixer or it will be tough. Knead then let rest and then knead again. Slice down and stretch each piece and then boil for an hour. You start to get the feel of the dough as you would working with any bread dough. Not too dry nor too wet. Keep at it, it is really quite easy. Hope this was some help to you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: tilemaker

      awesome, i'll try this out. for both the liquid you add to the wheat gluten and the liquid you simmer in - do you use water, soy sauce, vegetable broth or a mix of them? and how long to knead for each time? thanks!

      1. re: rabidog

        Hi Rabidog. Broth or water are good and depending on the color I want determines the addition of soy sauce. I've added caramel colring and achieved a streaky meat look. Pretty freaky really. As far as the kneading goes, a minute should do it. Over working it leads to toughness.

        1. re: tilemaker

          gotcha, thanks!! :) back to the kitchen i go...

    2. rabiddog-have you tried 'Lachesis'" recipe for "Seitan O' Greatness? It's an easier recipe that removes the many washing and kneading steps of a traditional seitan recipe. The results are absolutely delicious, sort of like a faux pepperoni, though you can definitely alter the spices to match your application. This being said it's not the same consistency as the type of prepackaged seitan found in natural food stores. It's way less spongy, therefore less reminiscent of chicken imo. You may need to try a traditional seitan recipe to achieve this type.

      Link to the Lachesis recipe plus other helpful hints:

      1 Reply
      1. re: aloha4all

        this recipe looks very similar to what i used, except for the baking instead of simmering. what is the texture of this seitan technique like? i'm used to (and trying to replicate) the super-chewy seitan that made a friend of mine check with our server to make sure it was actually the seitan tips dish and not steak tips. never having had steak or any other meats, i can't liken it to either of those so have to go off her account that it was exactly like steak.