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Experimenting with Seitan: frying

If you have been following my Seitan posts then you know I’m all about making it as close as possible to a meat-like consistency or at least not rubbery or mush.  I’ve discovered that adding powder mixes (such as gravies) add a lot of flavor but creates a mushier substance.  If we add more gluten or less powder, we lose flavor.  So my new quest is to add only liquids to the gluten and see how that works.  This means that I am making the sauce packets prior to adding the gluten.

Yesterday, I decided to try tomato paste as a liquid.  I added a bit of oregano, garlic salt and onion powder to the mix as well.  I kneaded it like dough and added only a few tablespoons of water to get the consistency as I would like it.  Then I separated it into pieces and added it to a pan of hot oil!  Yes, I skipped right past the boiling portion of the recipe just to see what happens.

Here’s the results:

  • The seitan burns EXTREMELY easily when not boiled first so keep it on the move even at a low temperature.
  • Keep the pieces small as the outside will cook long before the inside or keep the pieces thin.
  • Taste, taste, taste!  I had to check it numerous times for consistency before it was done.  Remember it can go from perfection to a door stop within a very small window.
  • It will absorb some oil and thus the oil’s flavor.  I used olive oil which was perfect for the dish I was making (Italian) but can easily see how this factor could ruin a good idea.  Keep your oil neutral or in line with the flavors of your dish.
How did it come out?
They tasted like and had the consistency of sun dried tomatoes!  I can easily imagine using a broth to add a meatier flavor to it or even using it in an Italian “meat” sauce.  I was very impressed with how it came out and am encouraged to try it again with a different flavor… PESTO!  From there, I’d like to try something closer to a hamburger flavor as Bre misses Boca burgers and I hate to deprive her of anything.