The first time I heard of seitan, I was reading a Western recipe book. Seitan is the Japanese name for wheat-gluten. Wheat-gluten originates from China and is an elastic mass made by kneading wheat flour dough then washing it with water to remove the starch. It is commonly used as an alternative to soy-based meat substitutes.
Deep-fried seitan balls, also called 油面筋, are widely available in markets in Shanghai and surrounding areas. It is made by rolling the seitan dough into small balls then deep-frying in hot oil. At the market I have seen people fill the balls with minced meat so I guess that’s how it is eaten here. Since I am a vegan, I will just eat them plain and cook a stir-fry dish with it them.
These seitan balls are far too oily, so I highly recommend boiling them first to remove the excess oil. I also use truffle and porcini powder; this was given to me by a friend and I don’t think this ingredient is widely available, so it’s OK to omit it. I use it to enhance the mushroom flavor, but without it, this dish already has enough flavor to please you. ;)
It’s such a great companion to a bowl of brown rice!
Health Index: 3/5 (2 to 3 times a week)
Kitchen Gadgets: Frying Pan
1 cup edamame beans
1 bag of deep-fried seitan balls (80g)
Enough water to boil the seitan balls
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp truffle and porcini powder (optional)
1. Slice the carrots and chop the mushrooms into small chunks.
2. Boil the deep-fried seitan balls in the water for 2 minutes, flatten them one by one, then use a slotted spoon to scoop them out. Set aside.
3. Heat a stainless steel pan for 2 minutes, turn down to a medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, turn the pan to let the oil coat the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the carrots, edamame beans and mushrooms and stir fry for 5 minutes.
5. Add the prepared seitan balls to the pan, and fry for 3 minutes.
6. Mix the truffle and porcini powder into the soy sauce or, if you don’t have it, simply add the soy sauce to the pan, mix well and cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.