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A reader asked in the forum:

The last time I made seitan, it was so rubbery and tough that I could not eat it that way. Can you tell me why? Maybe I over-kneaded it?

Figuring out exactly the right proportions, spices and cooking time can be a bit of a trial and error challenge when you make your own seitan. If your seitan is rubbery and tough, thereís a few things you can do to adjust the consistency. First, use a bit more water or other liquid in the initial mixing process- it may be that the gluten to water ratio is too high, making the seitan chewy. Second, make sure you simmer it for a whole hour- no cheating and turning the stove off early! Third, make sure that the clump of gluten is fully submerged in broth when simmering, or, flip the pieces over occasionally so that the entire surface area can absorb some liquid. This will help make it lighter and a bit fluffy.

When using seitan in a recipe, such as a stir fry, be sure to cut it into thin strips and, if it's too tough, cook it a bit longer than usual. This is a trick to help mask any toughness, but wonít really get rid of the problem.

Donít give up! Keep trying and youíll get the hang of it eventually! Making seitan by hand is much more economical than buying it ready-made, and, you can control the texture and flavor by adding different spices.

Photo by Jolinda Hackett


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