About a year ago, the topic of seitan came up with a friend, and she mentioned a YouTube video on making seitan in a pressure cooker. Our previous attempts used the basic simmer in broth on the stove top method, and, while the results were okay, we weren’t crazy about the texture. Perhaps pressure cooking was the trick?
While rather over-sized for everyday cooking, pressure canners can double as pressure cookers (but not vice versa), so I already had the necessary equipment. I just lacked the time and motivation to experiment.
Our vegan barbeque experience in Portland included “psstrami,” their take on pastrami, made from seitan and served with barbeque sauce. The texture and very thin slices were great, but frankly, I thought I could do better flavor-wise in the barbeque department.
With that in mind, I pulled out the canner two weeks ago to take a stab at the seitan. I more or less followed this recipe/method, except I brilliantly decided that a single recipe would not yield much, and as long as I was heating up the canner, I may as well go for a double.
Though it seemed like extra trouble, I wrapped my uncooked dough in cheesecloth as suggested, locked the lid, brought it up to pressure and waited. Once depressurized, I opened the canner to find two HUGE logs of a suspiciously meat-like substance.
Half pleased, half horrified, and a good dose of overwhelmed at the sheer quantity of seitan I had created, I set about the task of slicing it — some ultra-thin slices for sandwiches and some chunks for other dishes.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve had seitan reubens, gumbo, stir-fry, and, of course, the barbeque seitan sandwiches (which were better than the food truck version). Gluten overload, anyone?
Anyway, I’m really not sure how long prepared seitan is supposed to keep, but we have just a bit left. If it seems okay, it may make a final stand in tonight’s dinner, possibly as some kind of bbq/stir fry fusion dish.
Thoughts on pressure cooker method
I really liked the texture of the ends and outside part of the seitan logs — very similar to what you buy in the store (usually for $4-$5 for just a few ounces). The center of the log was very dense, and while edible, was not my ideal. Perhaps smaller logs would help?
A double recipe was WAY too much. Sure, I got to use it in fun, creative, and tasty ways, but we were eating seitan in some form almost every day for over a week — I really prefer more variety in protein sources, especially because beans and soy are healthier options than concentrated wheat gluten.
I’ll probably make pressure cooker seitan again as a single recipe with two or three smaller logs, but I’ve also seen a recipe that calls for baking the seitan in broth. Now that we’re back to oven weather, that may come first.