As a vegetarian I am well aware that you can make a multitude of delicious dishes without having to use any sort of meat substitute product. So why do people use it? People will have their own personal reasons but here is mine; as a mixed household, that is vege and meat eaters, not to mention when people come over for dinner I sometimes want to make a direct vegetarian version of a dish. What do I mean by this? Well I could make a fantastic stir fry filled with yummy vegetables but what if I want to make chilli beef stir fry, I need something to slice. Finding something that is the right consistency for certain dishes can be the challenge, tofu and beancurd can be too soft, quorn has a place but is a little hard to add flavour to and I often find it salty.
Seitan is a great base that you can make at home, it has gluten as a main ingredient so has a consistency that is chewy, above all you can add many different flavours to it before you add the liquid making it completely versatile. It is great to have a batch made up in case Joe wants to cook something as he has less practise with vegetarian cuisine.
you will need;
2 1/2 litres of vegetable stock
150g gluten powder
50g ground almonds
30g malted yeast
1tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of marmite
2dsrt spoons dark soy sauce
3tbsp plain flour
(your choice of spices)
- Prepare your stock, keep this warm but not bubbling.
- Mix your powders together (arrowroot, gluten, malt & ground almonds). This is the best stage to add the spices of your choice. Here are some suggestions; (turmeric, mixed spice, cumin, curry powder, dried herbs, coriander, celery powder).
- Once everything is fully combined you can begin to add the liquid. Mi into your bowl the olive oil and soy sauce, slowly one spoon at a time add the warm stock, keep adding until the mixture is combined.
- Knead the mixture for 20 minutes, you can do this using a dough hook if you have one.
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- Break into your desired shapes. Add the marmite to the stock and stir until mixed through and melted.
- Lightly dust your shapes in the flour. Poach in the stock for 40 minutes.
- You can choose to dry fry the pieces after if you require a crispy finish.
- You as you would any meat.