Thursday, August 20, 2009

Seitan, are you kidding me!

Seitan is a food made from the gluten of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch dissolves, leaving insoluble gluten as an elastic mass which is then cooked before being eaten.

As prepared in macrobiotic practice, seitan consists of powdered wheat gluten, which is extracted from whole wheat flour by washing the flour and rinsing away the starch. The gluten powder (also called vital wheat gluten or gluten flour) is then mixed with just enough water to form a stiff paste, which is then kneaded in order to produce a firm, stringy texture. The dough is then cut into pieces and cooked via steaming, boiling, frying, or other methods. While seitan is itself rather flavorless, it holds a marinade very well.

Bet you didn’t know that! I’ve tried seitan. It’s not very good. I tried it in the shape and under the guise of bacon. It didn’t taste or feel like bacon. I’ve been to some nice restaurants in my time, and never have I been offered seitan. The stuff is funk. Tofu looks like a prime cut of dry aged rib eye compared to seitan. If my bike had a flat tire I would use a piece of seitan to patch it up with…if you know what I mean. Does seitan have a niche to fill, sure it does, and that niche is far, very far from mainstream.


DianeS said...

You really have to try Annie's seitan at Sun Luk Garden in Cleveland Hts. It will completely change your mind about the wheat version of tofu. I think that she actually makes her own seiten. The dish I like is seiten with baby ginger and pineapple.

Rachel said...

A niche to fill? I just cooked a completely vegan dinner last night that was absolutely delicious -- and I'm pretty convinced the only niche for seitan is in an apocalyptic world where there is no other protien source available. So unless zombies are coming down the street -- even the vegans have many other yummy options to stick to.

Michael Walsh said...

I'm willing to give seiten one more chance, but only in an Asian application. Being vegan seems like such torture.

Michael Walsh said...

I was looking at seiten at Nature's Bin and one package said, "chicken flavored" WTF does that mean?

I understand the words, but why, and who, and how, and why again????