Becca (rebbyribs) wrote in vegancooking,

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Wheat gluten question

Hi! New here - I've been lacto-ovo vegetarian for 9 years now, and I'm trying to transition into vegan. (For now, this means buying vegan groceries, cooking vegan at home, and eating lacto-ovo vegetarian when I'm out if that's all that's readily available)

I had a fun shopping trip the other day to 99 Ranch (a huge Asian grocery store) and bought lots of new-to-me vegan foods. My favorites so far have been canned lychees and dried sweet potatoes. Mmmmmm!

I also tried to get seitan, since I've liked it in restaurants but never cooked with it before. I found some in cans, but it had a ton of salt and MSG, so I didn't get it. Instead I got something from the refrigerated section marked "Wheat Gluten". It looked pretty much like a big slab of bread, but the texture was much more chewy. I decided when I got home to use it in stir-fry. I cut it into bite-sized chunks and simmered it in water with dried mushrooms and soy sauce while I cut up the veggies. The stuff swelled hugely! I drained it and the mushrooms and added it in at the end of the stir-fry. It all tastes pretty good, but it's nothing like what I've had in restaurants. It's like stir-fry with chunks of soggy bread.

1. What does good packaged seitan look like? What section of the store? What brands?
2. Is the canned stuff any good? Can you rinse off most of the saltiness and MSG? (I dislike salty food.)
3. What was the "wheat gluten" that I got intended for? Any good recipes for that sort of thing?

I did look through the Memories, but that seemed pretty focused on homemade seitan, which I'm unlikely to do, since tofu and veggies are so much easier.

Thanks for your help, and thanks for being an awesome community!
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