Of all the seitan recipes I've tried, my favorite remains the Vegetarian Beefsteak recipe from the Grit Restaurant Cookbook (which if you ever find yourself within 100 miles of Athens, Georgia I strongly recommend a visit). I went once on a cross-country road trip from the Pacific Northwest, and was completely enamored. Since I knew it would be years until I could dine there again, I bought the cookbook on my way out, and it has become one of my absolute favorites.
This seitan recipe is lightly seasoned, and is completely adaptable for quesadillas, sandwiches, pizza toppings, stews, or whatever else strikes your fancy. This recipe makes a large batch so you can experiment with using it for multiple dishes. Refrigerated and immersed in water, the seitan will last for a week or two. For tastiest results, slice thinly and saute in oil before devouring.
THE GRIT'S HOMEMADE SEITAN (AKA VEGETARIAN BEEFSTEAK)
3 quarts water
1 t salt
¼ c water
½ c vegetarian Worcestershire sauce*
½ c soy sauce or Bragg's all purpose seasoning
¼ t liquid smoke
2 ½ c wheat gluten flour
*Often the cheap store brands will be vegan, just check the label
Boil 3 quarts water and salt in a large stockpot. Meanwhile, combine together in a large mixing bowl or a standing mixer the ¾ cup water with everything except the wheat gluten flour. Add the flour and mix until a ball forms. Remove ball and place on a dry surface to knead for a few minutes or if using a standing mixer use a dough hook to knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes.
Slice the ball into 1½ inch thick slabs and when the water comes to a full boil, drop them in. Stir for the first minute or two of boiling to prevent the seitan from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes (after about 10 minuets the seitan will float to the top, so keep an eye on them and stir as necessary to insure that they cook evenly)
After the seitan is done cooking, remove from pan and drop in cold water and refrigerate for an hour or more before using. This recipe really shines when the seitan is sliced as thinly as possible and lightly fried in oil to create a nice crispy crust.
BEEF AND BROCCOLI STIR-FRY
(adapted from Kitchen La Bohème)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup tamari
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh, finely grated ginger
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 to 4 cups thinly sliced homemade seitan
3 to 4 cups broccoli florets
In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder and stir until smooth. Add sliced seitan and toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine tamari, brown sugar, ginger, chili flakes and remaining cornstarch and water. Set aside.
Fry seitan over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons oil until seitan is nicely browned and crispy. Set aside. In remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, fry the broccoli until nearly tender. Add seitan and tamari mixture, combining to coat sauce over broccoli and seitan and cook for a minute or two or until it looks good to you. Serve over steamed rice.