Seitan ("SAY-tahn"), often referred to as "wheat meat" because of its similarity in texture to the real thing, is made with wheat gluten.  It is believed to have originated in ancient China, as a meat substitute for adherents of Buddhism.  The term "seitan" is said to have been coined by George Ohsawa (father of macrobiotics) in the early 1960s, possibly derived from the Japanese sei- ("to be", "to become") + tan- ("protein").

SEITAN - Basic Boiled Method

Dry ingredients
2 cups of Vital Wheat Gluten
2 Tbsp of All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast

Wet Ingredients
1 1/2 cups of Cold Water
1/2 cup of Bragg's Aminos, Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Ketchup/tomato paste
1 Tbsp Canola Oil (or Olive Oil)
2 cloves of Chopped Garlic
1 tsp of Lemon Zest

Cooking Broth
12 cups of Cold Water
1/2 cup of Bragg's Aminos, Tamari or Soy Sauce

First combine the three ingredients that make up the dry part of the recipe in the mixing bowl of your KitchenAid Mixer and mix up the wet ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk. Pour all of the wet ingredients in on top of the dry ones and begin mixing on the lowest setting with the flat paddle mixer for about 5 minutes. While this is mixing, bring the cooking broth to a boil on the stove.

Place the gluten onto a cutting board and shape it into a loaf shape using your hands. When the broth has started boiling, turn the heat down to simmer from this point on. It's very important that it does not boil while the seitan is in the broth.

Cut the big piece of seitan into six smaller pieces. Use a spoon to carefully place the six pieces of seitan into the cooking broth.  Put a lid on and let simmer for about an hour until the seitan is floating on the top. Remove the pot from the stove and put it somewhere out of the way to cool. I usually even dump a couple of cups of ice cubes in just to help it cool down completely. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you let it cool down completely if you want your seitan to be as firm and as meat-like as possible.

You can use the chunks immediately, or store them in a container of their broth in the fridge for about 5 days, or freeze for later use.

SEITAN - Basic Baked Method

Dry Ingredients:
1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper (I use 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (you can use 1/8 tsp if you like it less spicy)
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tsp garlic powder

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 325°.

In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients.  Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl.  Whisk well until mixed.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix well, then knead for a minute or two.. it doesn't need long.

Form into a log (6-8" long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends.  Bake for 60-90 minutes.  When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way.  Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate.  Slice to use as desired.

Hot & Sour Soup

Start with 8-12 cups of water/broth.  Mine had about 1/4 c of Bragg's Liquid Aminos, but soy sauce would work as well.  You could also use homemade stock or boullion cubes.  If your broth is thin, you may want to add a thickener (mix 1 tbsp rice flour with 1/4 c hot water to dissolve, then add).  I made this soup to use up leftover cooking broth from making seitan, so my broth was already somewhat thickened. 

Add 1/4 to 1/3 c of rice vinegar and 2-3 tsp Sriracha sauce, and bring to a simmer. 

Add vegetables as the broth is heating up.  Lots of different veggies would work in this soup, but the veggies I used were:
6 garlic scapes
4 green onions (white/light green parts)
about 2 c sliced mushrooms
about 2 c chopped broccoli
about 2 c chopped swiss chard and beet greens (cabbage would be good too)
1 red bell pepper
1 carrot

You may also want to add some ginger.  I was out, so I didn't add any.

Finally, add your protein.  I used a package of pre-cubed Nasoya firm tofu, but you could also use 1-2 packages of baked tofu, seitan, or whatever.  If you prefer, saute your tofu/seitan before adding.

Heat through, taste/adjust seasonings, and serve.  Top with more scallions, garlic chives, fresh cilantro, etc.