Seitan Diares Part Deux: Accidental Katsuobushi (Vegan)

  • 1 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten
  • /2 cup polenta
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 vegan Worcester sauce
  • 1/8 cup soy
  • 1/4 liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup maple
  • 1 tbsp yeast extract
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1/2 cup stock

What katsuobushi? Well it’s basically a Japanese ingredient used to give stocks and broths a dark, rich flavour. Typically made from fermented fish our version is a little friendlier to our fishy friends. You can use it like a super concentrated stock, adding slices in the early stages of cooking to give your dish intense an umami hit. Whether its ramen broth, or Bolognese our katsuobushi gives the intense flavour Pierre White and his stock pots can only dream of. Yes, we were experimenting with our seitan mixes when we mistakenly created this, no that doesn’t make it any less cool, sometimes accidents can be the best thing to happen to you, right?

As with all gluten based recipes what they lack in difficulty they make up for in time, this ain’t no Jamie’s 15-minute meal, settle in for an afternoon with a beer or brew and knock this bad lad up. Right dry ingredient; gluten, polenta, national yeast, garlic, paprika, and salt in a large mixing bowl, give them a mix and leave them be. Wet ingredient minus the stock; Worcester sauce, soy, liquid smoke, maple, yeast extract (two types of yeast? I can think of at-yeast three yeast jokes), and miso in another bowl and beat to high hell.

Nice and slowly add your wet bowl to your dry bowl, combine everything together and begin to kneed. If your dough is too dry add some stock little by little. You are looking for a moist, workable dough, definitely not sticky. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes before a short kneed again, at this point the polenta will have absorbed some liquid so you might need a little more stock to keep it workable. Form your brown mush into a thin block, preheat your oven to about 100 Celsius and half fill a deep baking tray with water. If you’re hi-tech you can vacuum pack your soon to be delicious brown blob, but a tight cling film job will do the trick if not. Ready for some fancy French cookery language? Well don that beret and let’s cook sous vide! Sounds better than vacuum pack, and poach in a water bath, doesn’t it? Anyway, through your dough into the baking tray and into the oven, cook for an hour before turning and cooking for another hour. Turn the oven off, give it a little door fan and leave the katsuobushi to cool in the oven. After all that waiting its ready, keep it in the fridge slice off what you need when you need it.. enjoy!