For the wet mix
360g pressed extra firm tofu
½ cup sweetcorn
1tbsp kala namak (or farty-egg-salt as we call it)
1tbsp massel chicken flavour stock powder
3tbsp good quality apple cider vinegar (yes, 3! But if you feel your acv is too pungeant, use less)
1tsp toasted sesame oil
4 garlic cloves
¼ small thumb size ginger (optional, I can’t decide if I like it better with or without)
1tsp msg (if you’re worried about msg (don’t be), use another source of glutamate like white miso)
1 heaped tsp mixed herbs (I use a mix of parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and savory)
1 heaped tsp savory
½ cup water
For the dry mix
1 cup vital wheat gluten (if using US cups you might need another couple tbsp)
1tsp baking powder
For the simmering stock
6-8 cups water
1 bulb garlic (minus the 4 you used for the seitan)
2tbsp massel chicken flavour stock powder
3tbsp nutritional yeast
1tbsp mixed herbs
For the ‘skin’
1tbsp toasted sesame oil
1tbsp mushroom soy sauce
3tbsp vegetable oil
1. Pop all wet mix ingredients in a blender. Mix until completely smooth.
2. Pour (scrape) wet mix into a bowl. Clean the blender (I pour water in the blender cup, shake it about and save it in the pot for the simmering stock) and dry it well.
3. Add baking powder and vital wheat gluten. Stir the mix until it’s all incorporated. It will be very sticky.
4. Process the mix in batches. How many and how long for depends on your blender. (I use a NutriNinja 900w and for me it takes about 3 batches and a couple of minutes in total.)
You want the mix to be stringy and very sticky.
Once everything is mixed, take a handful (~150g) of the mix, put it back in blender, add another tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and mix the living daylights out of it until you have the consistency of taffy. This will be your ‘skin’ which you will wrap the rest of the seitan in, so it needs to be more firm and elastic. Put it aside when done.
5. Now you need to twist the seitan to create the texture. First work the seitan in your hands so you know it’s been processed enough. Then lay it on a plate, form it into a sausage shape, pull it out slightly, then start twisting it. You won’t be able to twist it tight, just until it starts breaking is enough. Then fold it over and give it another small twist. Tuck the ends into the seitan so you have a round shape.
Take the ‘skin’ batch and stretch it out enough to cover the twisted seitan. Then wrap it around the twisted seitan and seal it well. You don’t want any holes or seams that can unfold when simmering.
6. Make the simmering stock and put it on the lowest heat possible for the slowest simmer. I recommend adding the leftover wet mix from step 1. ☝️ I use my simmering stock as a base for gravy so I don’t put too much seasoning in it, you can obviously season it as you please.
7. Once the stock is at a low simmer (surface stirring, occasional bubble), put the seitan in and simmer, uncovered, for 3hrs. Leave it to do its thing but come back to turn the seitan over a few times. You’ll probably need to top up with water once or twice too.
After 3hrs, take the seitan out and place it in an ovenproof dish. Pour the toasted sesame oil over it.
8. Turn the oven on high or grill. Once the oven is hot, sprinkle cornflour/starch over the top of the seitan and rub it in so it’s evenly coated. Put it in the oven.
Pour the oil in a cup. Take some garlic and herbs from the simmering stock and mash it up in the oil.
Open the oven and pour the oil/garlic/herb mix over the seitan.
Leave the roast in the oven for about 10-20mins, depending on how good your oven is, basting it with the oil mix regularly. You don’t need the top to go too dark as the mushroom soy will take care of that.
9. When you’re happy with the top and it has a nice crunch, take it out of the oven and pour the mushroom soy over the top. It will separate because of the oil, so keep scooping the soy sauce that has run off it, over the top until evenly coated. Then put it in the fridge to cool for several hours before serving.