Vege and Vegan options are quickly moving from “nice to haves” to “must haves” in New Zealand hospitality. But gone are the days when the only vege option is a simple salad or vegetable medley – New Zealand’s creative chefs are crafting incredibly flavourful and satisfying menu items which could turn any meat-eaters head.
We’ve also seen the rise of meat substitutes made from the likes of flour, jackfruit, beans, soy protein – the list goes on.
So we thought we’d try our hand at making one of these trending meat substitutes called seitan. Seitan is made by washing away soluble gluten from wheat flour dough, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten which is cooked before being eaten. Seitan has been around for a long time, but recently it’s been popping up on social media showcased for its meat-like texture, looking incredibly close to the real thing.
How we did it... 1. Take 3 cups all-purpose flour, mixing in water until a dough is formed We ended up adding about 1 and a half cups of water
2. Place ball of dough in a bowl and cover with foil – rest for 1 hour
3. Add some more water and knead the dough - removing the soluble starch to leave the gluten behind.
4. Dispose of the water as it gets opaque, add fresh water and keep kneading until water is clear – but not completely transparent We had to do this quite a few times to get the final product
5. Squeeze out the remaining water
6. Add your desired seasoning and fold in
We used salt, paprika, chilli powder and garlic powder
7. Rest for 1 hour
8. Twist or knot the dough then fry for a few minutes each side until a nice golden colour
9. Add ½ cup of vege stock – turn heat right right down and simmer for 45 minutes
Does it shred?
We then shredded the finished product using two forks, covered it in BBQ sauce and made it into a burger.
The verdict? It looks very similar to meat and has a very meaty texture when you bite into it, however in order to get that meat like flavour, some experimentation needs to be done with seasoning or the sauce – it definitely doesn’t have a flavour on its own that could trick you into thinking it’s the real deal.