If you are following a gluten free diet, look away now. Unless you suffer from coeliac disease, there is no reason why you need to avoid gluten. Seitan is made from wheat gluten. That’s essentially a dough where the starch has been removed, leaving a protein rich, chewy gloop.
This recipe uses vital wheat gluten, a powder available from health food stores and on line. Much like tofu, it is flavourless, but takes on flavours easily.
This recipe takes a little time as the seitan has to be cooked twice, but it works pretty well and is also nice sliced cold onto a sandwich the following day.
This makes about 6-8 steaks
Start by making a dough. Take a large bowl and add 250g vital wheat gluten. Then go crazy with flavour. I used about half teaspoon of salt, the same of garlic powder. Then add around 100g of gram flour or if you prefer some texture, drain a can of chick peas, take half and mash them before adding to the mix.
More flavours. 1 teaspoon paprika. 1 teaspoon chipotle paste, 1 teaspoon marmite or other yeast extract, 2 teaspoons of marigold vegetable bouillion, a tablespoon soy sauce, a tablespoon of tomato puree. You can also add a little liquid smoke at this stage too.
Mix it all then slowly add up to 500ml water, mixing it a little at a time until you have a dough like texture. Knead for 10 minutes until it becomes very elastic. Cut into 3-4 pieces. Take a piece and stretch it into a steak like shape. It may be easiest to bash it with a potato masher to get it wider and thinner. Do this for all the pieces
Take a wide pan and add stock, garlic, chopped onion, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and another tablespoon of tomato puree. Bring to a simmer, then lower the steaks into the broth. Bring back to a very gentle simmer and leave for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the stock, then allow to cool. The steaks are perhaps a little thick now so would be rubbery when eaten so you need to make them thinner ready for frying. Take a large, sharp knife and slice the steak into two horizontally. Now get a little more flavour into the steak by pressing roughly into a bowl of soy sauce or teryaki sauce.
In a large frying pan, heat some oil. Coconut or rapeseed oil are good. When very hot, fry the steaks, pressing into the hot oil to get some charred colour onto them.
Serve with chips and peas.