you may have attempted to make your own mock meat from scratch,
and you may have succeeded...
or you may have failed.
what did you do?
you bought a box of vital wheat gluten and followed the directions EXACTLY...
but somehow, it has NO FLAVOR.
don't hang up your hat! there are a few tips and tricks for better seitan!
1. IT ISN'T ELASTIC-Y! IT IS SO MUSHY!
solution #1: buy VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN. if you buy plain flour, it is extremely time consuming, and you may not get the texture you want.
solution #2: add less water next time-- or other liquid ingredients.
solution #3: add less secondary dry ingredients.
2. I COOKED IT IN BROTH, BUT IT HAS A FUNNY TASTE!
solution #1: i normally never say this, but add more salt.
solution #2: if you are using store-bought broth, CHECK THE INGREDIENTS. sometimes veggie broth contains lemon or lime and i have noticed this gives seitan a funny flavor. if you want a citrus taste, wait til the seitan is done-- then add it to your sauce or whatever.
solution #3: don't boil / simmer your seitan in plain water!
solution #4: add miso to your broth.
solution #5: other yummy broth add-ins are ketchup, vegan worcestershire, vegan bouillon, kombu, brown sugar, liquid smoke, braggs or soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and more! make your own combo! what spices do you like? broth it up!
3. WTF DID I BOIL A LEATHER JACKET?!
solution #1: if your seitan is too rubbery, you may have over-kneaded. the longer you knead, the tougher it gets. you want a springy, elastic texture.
solution #2: add more water next time.
4. I FOLLOWED THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY. IT TASTES LIKE CRAP!
solution #1: i will repeat-- don't boil / simmer your seitan in plain water. screw the directions.
solution #2: add some spices to your vital wheat gluten before you mix it-- thyme, garlic powder, ginger, smoked paprika, sage, black pepper, onion powder, chipotle powder, cumin, fennel, and nutritional yeast are all delicious options to add to your vital wheat gluten. find your own combo and run with it!
solution #3: lessen the amount of water you are using to mix your dough, and add some liquid seasonings instead-- braggs or soy sauce, liquid smoke, tahini, sesame oil (a small amount), ketchup, and broth are such options.
(p.s. i have not yet tried ketchup, but i know some people swear by it)
5. I SEASONED IT, BUT NOW IT IS A YUMMY, BLOBBY, BRAINY MESS!
solution #1: try simmering your seitan or cooking it in a crock pot instead of the boil method. i personally love the crock pot.
solution #2: cut or tear the seitan into the size / shape you want BEFORE you add it to the broth.
solution #3: cut up the blob into the size / shape you want AFTER it is done.
solution #4: aluminum foil method A-- roll your dough in aluminum foil, twist the ends to seal them, and steam in a pot!
solution #5: aluminum foil method B-- roll your dough in aluminum foil, twist the ends to seal them, bake for 45 minutes. turn it over, bake for another 30-45 minutes.
solution #6: put your seitan dough in cheesecloth before you add it to the pot of broth.
6. IT IS OKAY, BUT I WANT IT LAYERED, LIKE MOCK CHICKEN!
solution #1: layer and then put it in broth-- stretch it out, roll it over itself. stretch the sides, roll over the other rolled part. stretch, roll.
solution #2: layer... and bake-- preheat your oven to 375 and place your layered and CUT (large cutlets won't have the same effect) seitan on an oiled cookie sheet. brush them with olive oil or other oil that you use. bake for 8-10 minutes. turn them over then bake for another 2-3 minutes.
solution #3: fried chicken method-- layer, cut or tear, and deep fry! drain off the oil on your yummies with paper towels. (p.s. its so fattening haha!)
7. I CAN'T HAVE GLUTEN... DOES THIS MEAN I CAN'T MAKE MOCK MEAT?!
solution #1: you could always go back to tofu.
solution #2: try this recipe-- IT ROCKS!
solution #3: another good one!