How to make Seitan (also known as wheat meat). This is another one of the vegan recipes from Shemirah’s collection.
This unique and versatile food is made from wheat and water! It’s been around for thousands of years. In Japanese, “sei” means “is” and “tan” means “protein.” Seitan is a complete protein, and with some creativity and imagination, it can easily replace chicken, beef, fish, pork…well, everything, actually! And it’s free of cholesterol, too.
Here are some basic instructions for the “beefy” version.
Check the library and the bookstores for cookbooks with variations. One excellent book that’s out of print but available at libraries is: How to Make All the Meat You Eat Out of Wheat by Nina & Michael Shandler.
How to make Seitan Ingredients and Preparation:
Prepare a seasoning broth in which to simmer the raw gluten:
4 cups water
1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce
3” piece kombu (dried seaweed)
1/8” slice fresh ginger, cut into 4-6 pieces
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Combine all ingredients in 4-5 quart sauce pan or stockpot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Prepare gluten according to the following directions:
2 cups vital wheat gluten or 10 oz. box quick mix (NOTE: This is NOT the same as High Gluten Flour or Gluten – it MUST say Vital Wheat Gluten on the packaging!)
1 cup cold water or seasoned stock and 1 cup plain soy milk OR you could use 2 cups water or seasoned stock
Place vital wheat gluten in bowl and add water/stock/milk liquid(s) all at once (NOT THE SIMMERING BROTH). Mix vigorously to form dough. When dough becomes thick/stiff, knead by hand 10-15 minutes. Let dough rest 5 minutes, then knead again a few times. Let dough rest 15 minutes.
Tear walnut-size pieces of gluten from formed dough and drop them into simmering broth (do not allow broth to boil, or texture with be rubbery), and allow gluten to simmer (on low) for about 2 hours (or until most of the broth is absorbed). Allow seitan to cool in remaining broth. It is ready to eat or can be pan fried, deep fried, broiled, ground or refrigerated. It will keep in the fridge for about a week.
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Shemirah Brachah began her vegan voyage in mid-life, but it has made all the difference in the world! “When I was a meat-eater, I used to hate to cook,” she says. It was a fall down a flight of stairs that lead Shemirah to a chiropractor, who recommended yoga, which in turn lead her to read an article in the Yoga Journal about animals raised for food. That was it! Shemirah became a vegetarian and then a vegan overnight.
“Changing my diet changed everything! I started taking vegetarian and vegan cook books out at the library, experimenting with making my own seitan, cheese, cream…just about everything animal-based was replaced by homemade and commercially available plant-based products.
Shemirah and her oldest daughter, Michelle Johnson, started a vegan outreach non-profit, the Vegan Venue, and over the years they developed a variety of vegan recipes that anyone can make and everyone will love.
Shemirah began her career as a secretary; after college, she joined middle-management, working as Director of Governmental Affairs and Executive Director of the Bureau of Municipal Research; Shemirah went on to manage the Mental Health Foster Care Program of the Family Counseling Center of Fulton County in Upstate NY where she was also instrumental in developing and implementing the DAPW (Domestic Abuse Prevention Workshop). Shemirah worked as a freelance writer, managing a public relations service and overseeing, editing, and publishing a low-income neighborhood newspaper.
Since 2006, Shemirah has worked for FARM, the Farm Animal Rights Movement, where she manages the Letters From FARM editorial letter database; she also liaisons with food manufacturers and vendors for FARM’s annual Animal Rights National Conference as well as other annual programs, such as MeatOut and World Day for Farmed Animals.
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