Friday, December 31, 2010


With a house guest for the holidays, I've been doing a lot more cooking. One of the things I decided to tackle was something I haven't done in many years; I made up my mind to whip up a loaf of seitan. I used an old favourite recipe, Jo Stepaniak's "Roasted Breast of Seitan Turkey" from Vegan Vittles. You can find it on page three of this document or find adaptations of it on various online blogs. Vegan Vittles is a great little book, however. I've used it for years and have used it often and recommend it to anyone interested in playing around with seitan or mock cheese recipes.

I first assembled the gluten flour, soy sauce, onion and garlic powder (and water) to make my dough. A little bit of kneading was all it took to come up with a nice gluten loaf in a bowl. It's important to knead it thoroughly to ensure that all of the flour gets moistened and that you don't end up with knots of hard dough from dry lumps.

I then assembled the ingredients for my marinade: olive oil, toasted sesame oil, thyme, 3 garlic cloves (instead of the two called for in the original recipe), poultry seasoning (I had no plain sage on hand and there's plenty of it in poultry seasoning) and pepper. I usually use extra virgin olive oil, but last-minute holiday shopping left me grabbing what I could at the local market when I ran out.

I mixed together the marinade's ingredients and proceeded to rub it well over the gluten loaf, which I then placed in the smaller bowl in which I'd mixed the marinade. I covered it and stuck it in the fridge overnight, occasionally pulling it out to rub the marinade in the bottom of the bowl over it again, enjoying the scent of the yummy toasted sesame oil whenever I did so.

The next day, I preheated my oven to 350F and prepared my cooking / basting liquid. I then placed the loaf and what hadn't been absorbed of the marinade into a rectangular casserole dish, poured half the basting liquid over it and popped it into the oven for an hour and 10-15 minutes, occasionally taking it out (say, every 10-15 minutes) to baste it with the liquid in the pan and adding a bit more as what was in the pan got absorbed or reduced.

When it was done, I took it out to cool it, continuing to baste it every once in a while. Once it was cool enough to handle, I sliced it into strips for later use in sandwiches and stir-fry. It turned out fairly well, albeit less "turkey"-like than the recipe's title would suggest thanks to the extra dark mushroom flavoured soy sauce I'd had on hand and used. I wasn't looking to mimic this or that taste, however, but was just looking for some cheap tasty protein to use.

This did the trick!


Claire said...

Yum! Nice writeup. You just reminded me that I have a chunk of seitan in my freezer. I love to make a huge batch and then use it in various recipes over a few months. My next seitanic project is to veganize King Ranch Chicken. Wish me luck.

M said...

Many years ago, my omni ex used to make this in triple or quadruple batches. He was much better at it than I was, for some reason. I hope to experiment with some different seitan recipes over the next few months, so if you have any to share that you particularly like, I'd appreciate 'em. Good luck with the King Ranch Chicken. :-D

M said...

BTW, for anyone reading, Claire writes the amazing Chez Cayenne food blog. Do check it out!