How to make seitan that isn't chewy or fried?
September 2, 2009 8:51 PM   Subscribe

How to make homemade seitan that isn't chewy? I'm at a loss.

I've been a vegetarian for 15+ years now, and one thing I've never quite mastered is how to make my own fake meat from seitan (vital wheat gluten). Actually, I did figure out how to make amazing country-fried seitan steaks but it isn't the healthiest method, nor the most diverse.

Every time I try to make it without pan frying it in 1/2 inch of oil, it turns out rubbery. I've tried baking and broiling it, and while the outside gets nice and crispy the inside is always really chewy.

Yet, for some reason, when I pan fry it the seitan NEVER gets chewy. The damn country-fried seitan recipe is practically foolproof and melts in your mouth.

Does anyone have a foolproof recipe that doesn't involve cooking the seitan in tons of oil (or even ANY oil at all) ???

Apparently it IS possible, because the processed seitan that you can buy in cans at Asian markets isn't fried yet isn't chewy either.

BONUS POINTS if you know how to make the seitan stringy like meat. Apparently that's possible, too, since you can get a grilled and juicy seitan steak (similar to a filet mignon of the meat world) at the vegan restaurant Horizons in Philadelphia -- it's so good it would fool my dad, a steak guy! I know Horizons gets their seitan steaks from a place in Philly called "Ray's Seitan" but that's all I've been able to figure out... apparently the process is a secret.
posted by bengarland to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I had good luck BBQing it. Also try cooking in a little bit of veggie broth.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:05 PM on September 2, 2009

hmm, there was a lot of stir about steamed seitan sausages making the vegan rounds a while back - this is the original recipe, but it's spawned lots of others.

i haven't tried it, but folks seem to dig it.

a google search for "steamed seitan" brought up this page, which looks intriguing. she definitely refers to a different texture then baking or boiling.

i usually bake mine; i love that weird faux-abalone/pork/chicken/duck stuff from the vietnamese grocery store. it squeaks when you eat it. try to mimic skin bumps on yr stuff too!!
posted by chickadee at 9:26 PM on September 2, 2009

I'm not sure which of these links is the right recipe--if I can figure out where I found it I'll post it--but Seitan Bourguignon was really great a while back. Use decent wine. The seitan benefits from the slow cooking just like meat does.
posted by Mngo at 10:11 AM on September 4, 2009

Sorry, can't find the recipe I used. I thought it was Peter Berley but no (he does a have a seitan in beer and sauerkraut that I remember as being excellent). I'm not vegetarian any more, but I love making seitan, so do follow up if you find great techniques! Between bourguignon and the slow braising in the Berley recipe, I'm thinking slow, relaxed cooking may be the best approach to tenderness.
posted by Mngo at 5:48 AM on September 7, 2009

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