I’ve read so much over the years about this mysterious wonderfood called seitan, but never been able to find the basic ingredient (wheat gluten powder) in the UK, at least not within a reasonable price range, to have a go at making it myself. There’s a long-winded way to knock some up with ordinary flour, but it takes fucking forever (I know, I’ve tried) and you lose loads of bulk when you rinse it out, ending up with a tiny lump of the stuff (not to mention all the water used – there’s only so much waste water a small garden will absorb before technically becoming a swamp). Gluten powder has all the hard work done.
Now, thanks to the interwebs, I’ve found somewhere that offers it at a great price per kilo and will deliver up to 30 kilos for a fixed cost (just under a fiver). I bought 5 kilos and, even with the postage, it’s a good deal. If a group of vegans (what’s the collective noun for a group of vegans – a righteousness?) chip in and put in a bulk order, it’s a total bargain.
I’ve tried a couple of recipes so far, one of which involves boiling the seitan in stock so it comes out looking like a brain but slices up in a very meaty fashion (taken from Robin Robertson’s fantastic ‘1000 Vegan Recipes’), and one from the ever-dependable Post-Punk Kitchen that turns it into a salami sausage or loaf (depending on whether you make one roll or two). Although the boiled stuff is good (and essential for many recipes), the salami recipe is definitely the one that’s gonna be seeing regular action in my kitchen. Seriously, this stuff slices perfectly for sarnies, can be part of your pizza topping, chopped into pasta (sauce), stir-fried, diced into a chili or whatever other creative urge takes your fancy (although I wouldn’t recommend it on a cheesecake).
I’ve just found a new addiction.