Use Seitan for a Vegan Version of the Popular Pub Food
You don't need chicken to make a tasty batch of Buffalo wild wings: you just need a protein to coat with a vinegary hot sauce. This vegan version of the classic pub food starts with seitan, or wheat gluten, which you prepare from scratch and then season until it's so flavorful that your family won't even miss the bird. Unlike chicken, seitan has no fat of its own, though it's quite high in protein. And once you learn to make it from scratch, you can use it in a wide range of recipes, substituting it for just about any kind of meat to make your family's meals lighter and healthier.
Total time: 1 hour | Prep time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4
- 3 quarts water
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons hot sauce
- Heat the oven to 400 F.
- In a large stockpot, boil the water along with the soy sauce.
- Mix the wheat gluten with enough warm water to make it hold together in a sticky blob, then cover it with additional warm water and knead for a few minutes underwater – squeezing it, turning it and then squeezing it again.
- Break off pieces of the gluten mixture about the size of a peanut and drop them in the boiling water. Cook, stirring often, until the pieces are spongy all the way through, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, remove a piece from the pot and cut it in half. If the center is dense and sticky, cook a bit longer. If the center is light and spongy, drain the remaining pieces.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the seitan and garlic powder and cook for a minute or two until the pieces are well-coated with the oil and the powder. Add the hot sauce and stir to coat the seitan.
- Arrange the seasoned seitan pieces in an 8 by 10 baking pan (or anything reasonably close). Roast for about 15 minutes, until the sauce thickens to form a glaze.
If your gluten flour isn't particularly fresh, it may not hold together in a blob once you add water. If it doesn't, pour the pieces through a colander or sieve and press them together. Your seitan will cook up nicely when boiled.
Devra Gartenstein is a self-taught professional cook who has authored two cookbooks: "The Accidental Vegan", and "Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes". She founded Patty Pan Cooperative, Seattle's oldest farmers market concession, and teaches regular cooking classes.