Thursday, November 4, 2010


I need to cleanse the pallet of the blog from politics. Yuck. Politics has a way of making people stupid, and despite the detached and analytical angle I usually use to observe partisan politics, I can't help but get really passionate, and subsequently rather angry, regarding issues of animal rights. I am cursed with a rather high degree of understanding of public opinion, and this leads me to understand what a huge uphill struggle the fight for animal rights will be. I'm no Marxist (not by a long shot!), but I can't help but agree with his observation about the idiocy of rural people. Anyway...

Seitan. Yeah. I've been making a lot of it lately. And I have been getting better and better at it. For the longest time I had a rough time making the stuff, but as they say, practice makes perfect. And while my seitan is not perfect, I will say that it's pretty good. And recently I have found a secret to make it even better.

Well in the entry I will share my own, special, super secret, super awesome seitan recipe. I usually don't follow recipes, but with seitan it's kind of important to get the proportions just right. Seitan is not something you can just whip up -- it's really hard to just eyeball the amounts of most of this stuff. This recipe is the culmination of years and years of fucking up.

Here's what you need and the amounts*:
Dry ingredients
2.25 cups of vital wheat gluten flour
7 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
4 tablespoons of garlic powder
Wet ingredients
1 cub of broth
0.5 cups soy sauce
5 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
*This makes a pretty large batch of seitan. If you want to make a smaller batch just use half of everything.

You want to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together, separately. Then, in a large mixing bowl, add the wet to the dry. Some people suggest using a spoon for this, but I just use my hands. You are going to want to kneed this for several minutes until the dough is nice and elastic. Then I roll in into a log shaped form several inches thick and slice pieces about half to three-quarters inches each.

Then you put them into a stock pot with 10 cups of cool broth (or 8 cups of broth and 2 of soy sauce). It doesn't have to be cold -- room temperature is fine -- but it can't be warm. The turn the heat on high and bring it up to a boil. After it's boiling, put the
heat on medium low (high enough to where it still simmers) and cover for an hour.

The main ingredient that I'm sharing here with you is the toasted sesame oil. Like many culinary discoveries, it was made by accident. There's not really a cool story to
it; one time I was making seitan I was out of extra virgin olive oil (a sin, I know) and didn't feel like taking my lazy ass to the store. So I used a combination of canola oil and sesame oil. Turns out it was much better than usual. So I started using only sesame oil, and it's even better.

Seriously, this seitan is good enough it makes you wanna slap somebody. It's especially good to make barbecue sandwiches.

Update: I forgot something rather important. It's the final step to making the seitan. You drain it through a strainer (common sense there) and then you let it cool. When it's cooled off then you will need to squeeze the excess broth out. It will be very watery if you don't do this.


  1. It might be the craziest thing, but I am scared to try to make seitan! I wonder if that's common. At any rate, maybe I'll give it a go with your patented sesame oil version. Thanks for sharing.

    (And the puppy mill rant? Completely on-target. I was angry, too, and I am still angry. Technically, the outcome was good, but still...)

  2. Thanks. Yeah seitan is intimidating. If you screw it up don't feel too bad. I screwed it up a lot before I basically perfected the process.