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How do I make seitan that is fluffy instead of meaty?

RaineyWhether Apr 14, 2013 02:43 AM

I live in Shanghai, China, and will be moving back to the states soon. I discovered seitan, or wheat gluten, just this morning, and have been googling how to make it, to make sure I can still get it when I move - it was delicious!
My only problem is that most recipes cater to people looking for meat substitutes, that want something textured like chicken or beef. What I bought looked more like the picture attached - fluffy and full of holes - and I want to know if there's a step during preparation that makes the difference between fake meat and this weirdly delicious sponge-stuff.

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    blinknoodle RE: RaineyWhether Apr 14, 2013 08:39 AM

    I haven't figured out what makes what what, but the seitan recipe for the tofu scramble in Vegan Yum Yum is more fluffy and bread-like (I reduced the oil, if that makes a difference). I think if you bake it, it will be more bread like, but steaming it makes it more moist and chewy. Ditto for boiling.


    1. w
      will47 RE: RaineyWhether Apr 14, 2013 10:25 AM

      I think yeast is the difference.
      I'd suggest just buying it if it's available near you. Most Chinese markets should have it. If not, you could try this method.


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        antimony RE: RaineyWhether Apr 16, 2013 09:40 AM

        Add more water/broth to the dough, knead as little as possible, and cook by dropping pieces in broth rather than baking. I like my gluten denser, so I do the opposite, but the first time I made it it came out exactly like you're describing.

        2 Replies
        1. re: antimony
          MplsM ary RE: antimony Apr 16, 2013 07:50 PM

          That was my experience the first (and only) time I made seitan the "classic" way, by simmering it in broth. I felt it was an experiment gone horribly wrong. The texture was closer to injera than what I think of as seitan.

          1. re: MplsM ary
            Peaches to Poutine RE: MplsM ary Apr 17, 2013 04:22 AM

            I'm not a fan of doing it the "classic" way. I usually steam my seitan. The broth way has never resulted in a seitan I enjoy very much!

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