• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 1 Servings

Seitan - Method I

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Vegetarian

 Ingredients List

  • 6 c Whole wheat bread flour
  • -(Stone-ground), -=OR=-
  • -Hi-gluten unbleached white
  • 3 c Water (or more),
  • -(depending on the amount
  • - of gluten in the flour)
  • 1/2 c Tamari
  • 12 sl Fresh ginger
  • -(each about 1/8" thick)
  • 1 Piece kombu, about 3" long


Yield: 14 ounces uncooked; 16 ounces cooked Time: 1 hour preparation; 2
hours cooking

Mix the flour and water by hand or in a machine to make a medium-stiff but
not sticky dough. Knead the dough by hand on a breadboard or tabletop,
until it has the consistency of an earlobe, or by machine until the dough
forms a ball that follows the path of the hook around the bowl. You may
need to add a little extra water or flour to achieve the desired
consistency. Kneading with take about 10 to 12 minutes by machine. Allow
the dough to rest in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare the stock. In a large pot, bring to
boil 3 quarts of water. Add the tamari, ginger, and kombu, and cook for 15
minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. This stock must be cold before
it's used. (The cold liquid causes the gluten to contract and prevents the
seitan from acquiring a bready texture.) You will be using this stock to
cook the seitan later.

To wash out the starch, use warm water to begin with. Warm water loosens
the dough and makes the task easier. Knead the dough, immersed in water, in
the bowl. When the water turns milky, drain it off and refill the bowl with
fresh water. In the final rinses, use cold water to tighten the gluten. If
you wish, save the bran by straining the water through a fine sieve; the
bran will be left behind. Save the starch by allowing the milky water to
settle in the bottom of the bowl; slowly pour off the water and collect the
starch, which you can use for thickening soups, sauces, and stews.

When kneading, remember to work toward the center of the dough so that it
does not break into pieces. After about eight changes of water, you will
begin to feel the dough become firmer and more elastic. The water will no
longer become cloudy as you knead it. To make sure you have kneaded and
rinsed it enough, lift the dough out of the water and squeeze it. The
liquid oozing out should be clear, not milky.

To shape the seitan, lightly oil a 1-pound loaf pan. Place the rinsed
seitan in the pan and let it rest until the dough relaxes. (After the dough
has been rinsed for the last time in cold water, the gluten will have
tightened and the dough will be tense, tough, and resistant to taking on
any other shape.) After it has rested for 10 minutes, it will be much more

Seitan is cooked in two steps. In the first step, the dough is put into a
large pot with about 3 quarts of plain, boiling water. Boil the seitan for
about 30 to 45 minutes, or until it floats to the surface. Drain the seitan
and cut it into usable pieces (steaks, cutlets, 1-inch chunks, or whatever)
or leave whole. Return the seitan to the cold tamari stock. Bring the stock
to a boil, lower temperature, and simmer in the stock for 1-1/2 to 2 hours
(45 minutes if the seitan is cut into small pieces). The second cooking
step may also be done in a pressure cooker, in which case it would take
between 30 to 45 minutes.

To store seitan, keep it refrigerated, immersed in the tamari stock. Seitan
will keep indefinitely if it is brought to a boil in the tamari stock and
boiled for 10 minutes twice a week. Otherwise, use it within eight or nine

VARIATIONS: Instead of boiling the seitan in plain water and then stock,
let the seitan drain for a while after it has been rinsed. Slice it and
either deep-fry or saute the slices until both sides are brown. Then cook
it in the tamari stock according to the recipe.

Seitan also may be cooked (at the second step) in a broth flavored with
carrots, onion, celery, garlic, tamari, and black pepper, which will give
it a flavor similar to pot roast. Shiitake mushrooms may also be added to
the stock.

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