Seitan – the muscle of flour

Seitan is the Japanese term of wheat gluten. In Chinese cuisine it is called Mien chin. Chinese noodle makers discovered it around the 6th century. It was used as a meat substitute in Buddhist monasteries, according to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking

It can be obtained from scratch by washing flour because the gluten protein is insoluable in water. So the starch and other stuff wash away and you are left with the protein rich gluten.

Or you can do it the easy was (which is what I did) by buying Vital Wheat Gluten

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The beauty of it is you can add seasoning and flavouring to either the dry ingredients (like onion and garlic powder). Or you can add it to the liquid ingredients (soy sauce). For this recipe I made a porcini mushroom tea along with some liquid smoke.

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You mix it much like a pasta dough and let it sit and rest for about an hour. Then I stretch it out for about 5 minutes. I’m making kabobs so I tear off about 1 inch pieces . They simmer in the flavour liquid for about an hour

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Meanwhile I prep my veggies for the kabobs. Red, Yellow, Orange and Green bell peppers, small Cremini mushrooms and onion.

Take out a piece of the seitan and taste test it. Should be chewy with no flour taste. You will also see how they puff up and match nicely with the veggies on the skewer

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If you are using bamboo or wood skewers, make sure you soak them in water for a few hours, especially if you plan on cooking them on the BBQ. Now load up the skewers and brush with vegetable oil. Add seasoning. This is for a low sodium diet so I’m using Mrs Dash garlic and herbs seasoning.

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I used my indoor grill (and shut off the Smoke Alarm so I wouldn’t be disturbed).

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And, of course, the pugs got to try some seitan. It was their first time trying it and the little chunks went down smooth. And the skewers make a nice veg compliment to dinner items later in the week.

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