Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Krop, The Other Wheat Meat

Inspired by a recipe for seitan sausage in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Brunch, I decided to try my hand at using her steaming technique for making a firm seitan, one that has the consistency of roast pork--like what you get in pork fried rice.

The above picture is from this evening's dinner: Krop (my on-the-spot invented word) with leftover risotto. This asparagus, red pepper, and rosemary risotto didn't really go with my wheat meat, but it went really well with the chicken I made for Michael, which was inspired by the chicken Melissa d'Arabian made on the finale of "The Next Food Network Star." Anyway, here's my Krop recipe. It takes 45 minutes (or the same amount of time that it takes to cook chicken breast in the oven).

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup teriyaki (I used Trader Ming's from Trader Joe's, brought back to downstate Illinois from New Jersey), but you can make your own from soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, a touch of sugar, and a touch of vinegar.
1 teaspoon (or so) toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon (or so) vegetable soup base
2 tablespoons water (the wet ingredients should amount to just short of 1/2 cup)

Start some water boiling in the bottom of a double boiler, and tear off two 12" X 10" (or so) pieces of aluminum foil. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon, and then knead everything together for a minute or two. If the dough feels too dry, add a splash of water, and if it feels too wet, add a bit more gluten. Divide the dough into two parts, and form into hamburger-like patties.

Place each patty on a piece of foil, and wrap the foil around each patty, sealing the edges. Place the patties in the top of the double boiler (one atop the other is fine), put the lid on, turn the flame to low, and steam the patties for 40 minutes.

That's it. You can slice it very thin, or eat it as is. You can brown it (notice that mine is nicely browned). You can smother it with onions, or put it in a salad. You can even put it in soup, and it won't fall apart.

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