Sunday, June 22, 2008

From the Vegan Dad Test Kitchen

A few days ago Teresa asked if there was any way to make the seitan in the chicken wingz a little less chewy (or did she say rubbery?). Then, Happy Herbivore dubbed me the Seitan King (which sounds vaguely evil). Then, a reader from the UK mentioned that she could not get vital wheat gluten anywhere. All of this to say that I have been messing around with an old school seitan--one made by kneading dough in water to release the starch. I am trying to create a seitan that is tender but also white like chicken to sway even the most die-hard omnivore (you may know some of these). Above is a trial run of the new seitan made into a sweet and sticky chicken wing. It was pretty good. I think the recipe would also make good chick'n strips (say goodbye to Yves). More to come later.

15 comments:

Teresa said...

Keep up the good work! This new version looks delicious. I'm looking forward to the recipe. BTW...it was 'rubbery' and 'bouncy'. The next day the leftovers seemed to be a little better.

I'd love to try what you have in store next. I've puttered with vital wheat gluten several times but only made the old school type from flour in the water once myself (which actually came okay). Once you're done at the sink, all you have left is a tasteless glob of gluten. The only thing I'm wondering about with this method is how to get flavor in it other than boiling it in flavored water. You can throw all sorts of ingredients in the vital wheat gluten method, and you can cook it other ways, too.

Thankfully, Vegan Dad doesn't keep any secrets up his sleeve!!!

Looking forward to your next post.
~Teresa~

Toni said...

I'm enjoying reading your blog. I recently decided to move in the direction of vegetarian meals for my family. We're about 60/40 at present (60% of the meals I serve are vegetarian) and I hope to increase this as far as they will go with me. Hopefully, 100%. As for myself, I am interested in vegan as well. At age 43, it's a big change. But for me, not that difficult (with the exception of cheese, I'm not a huge fan of dairy). Trying to get our kids to enjoy vegetarian or vegan meals is the ultimate challenge. I'll be checking in for ideas to that end.
Blessings,
~Toni~

Eesh said...

Lovely! I made your McChick'n nuggets tonight for dinner and they were sooo good! The seitan turned out wonderful. Can't wait to see the recipe for this!

Vegetation said...

Wow, these look great. I have to say, you have way more kitchen patience than I do. I tried making seitan the original way just once and vowed I would never make it like that again (but I think I went wrong somewhere, I had a goopy sloppy mess of blech :P)

Chris said...

The first time I made seitan I made it the old school way but my back hurt afterwards from all that standing and kneading ;-)

Vegan Dad said...

toni,
I hope you find some recipes here that will fly with your kids. Best of luck.

Vegan Dad said...

After these comments, I may have to shelve the old school seitan. I admit, wheat gluten flour does make life easier.

Trish said...

ok, these look really really good. I am going to have to add a few more items to my shopping list and try this. I LOVE hot wings and if I can find a veggie alternative the better for me and my family.

Thanks so much for sharing this!

SallyT said...

Last night I made your sausages using tofu instead of beans. I thought that seitan was very tender and it was a hit with my family.

Teresa said...

I didn't mean to shy you away from a new adventure for you.

I'm curious...the old school gluten wingz that you posted here, how did you cook them? Did you boil little balls first and then skewer them? If so, how'd you get the crumbs to stick on? I'd love to know since you may never attempt it again...

pavotrouge said...

looks yum!

for your UK reader and everybody who can't buy vital wheat gluten- you can find it in most vegan online shops in Europe, but the easiest- and cheapest way- is to find a nice and good bakery and ask for the stuff.

They use it in enormous amounts and a happy to sell you a kilo or two.

Lysy said...

Woo hoo! Thanks for rising to the challenge - I'll keep looking out for the update.

Thanks to the commenter for the tip about sourcing the wheat gluten in Europe, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I've only just discovered your blog and it is so amazing! My husband and I are going to tune in every day. Your meals look so fantastic. I noticed that you mentioned a UK reader who can't get vital wheat gluten in the UK - indeed it is unheard of! I live in the UK, and it is so frustrating, gluten doesn't exist anywhere - what my husband and I do (bizarrely) is when we visit family in Canada (Ontario) which we do about once a year, we buy lots and bring it back with us in our luggage! Though a bit scary as it does look like it could be something else... Anyway, I recently came across a website that said you could get gluten in the UK from this shop, they call it 'gluten powder': http://www.flourbin.com/cgi-bin/psProdSrch.cgi?mode=user&transid=%7Etransid%7E&search_text=gluten+powder&formCategory=All
I've not ordered any yet, but I will be soon. Keep up the amazing work!

Anonymous said...

one other thing, re publishing your cookbook - for comparison purposes you could look into www.lulu.com, a really cool online self-publishing service

Anonymous said...

The UK, as in Australia where I am, might market vital wheat gluten as gluten flour. For all your recipes, and for my own seitan recipes, I use gluten flour and achieve the same results. I imagine it's the same product.

Perhaps you could pass this on or make a post about it, there might be hoards of vegans outside North America who keep looking for vital wheat gluten and are continually disappointed.