Tag Archives: seitan

Restaurant Day: Pop Up Food Festival

Restaurant Day is one of my favourite food festivals in Helsinki and is held a few times per year. Although it’s world wide, it is especially big in Finland. Everybody can open their own pop up restaurant which can be in the city, in the backyard or even at home. For one day you don’t need a license to serve food. Just a table, a barbeque or even a blanket on the grass and then you can sell self-made goods. You reserve a location online so your customers can find you or you can find nice places to wander around and have a taste yourself.

It’s a perfect opportunity to try something new and foreign. I think the mixture of cultures in Helsinki make this food festival so great. Lots of different flavours, food from all the corners of the world, no matter if you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or vegan.

I had actually planned to put a little café up myself this time but for some reason I didn’t really have time to prepare anything. Maybe next time.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki
The statue dedicated to Zachris Topelius was having a drink

Instead, Tiia and I had a look around Esplanadi first. We were there in the early afternoon and it was packed with people!

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

A nice little Turkish place sold Köfte which I just couldn’t pass without trying them myself. They came directly from the grill and were delicious!

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

I have to say the food places were a bit more commercial than last time. A lot of actual restaurants had opened up a booth and also a few market stands that sold their food for the normal price. Instead of fighting our way through the crowd, we decided to go to the Old Church Park.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

Tiia spotted a vegan place and bought a seitan kebab at Soul Mama’s Kitchen. It’s also a restaurant in Helsinki but for some reason we haven’t made it there yet. The kebab was really great. The seitan itself spicy and tender. Maybe we’ll find the time soon to pay the restaurant a visit.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

There are always too many places to choose from and too little space in the stomach!

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki
The old grave stones in the middle of the park

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

Unfortunately there are never enough trash bins around but at least people tried to arrange their waste around them so it can be picked up easier later.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

After our savoury food tour it was time for some dessert! We stopped at a little stand where some girls sold oriental cakes.

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

For the way home Tiia bought a little cake pop. Maybe next time I’ll write a post from our own pop up restaurant.

Stef

2women2cats: Restaurant Day, Helsinki

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Pulled BBQ Seitan – The Best Summer Burger

For a few years now I have experimenting with making seitan. I have to admit that before I met Tiia I didn’t even know what it was but I was intrigued right away. Seitan is made from wheat gluten and then steamed, cooked or baked. I always buy seitan flour online or at the supermarket.

I have tried a few recipes but they were always a bit too bland or the amounts just weren’t working out perfectly. So here is what I have come up with over time. The first recipe is for a basic seitan loaf. That can be used to make the pulled seitan burger (scroll further down for the recipe) or, after baked, just be eaten by itself, on bread or as a steak. If you want to make the burger buns yourself you will find our recipe for those here.

Basic Seitan:

Ingredients

1 cup kidney beans (cooked)
4 sage leaves
3 tsp roasted onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp paprika
3 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp yeast extract
1 1/4 cups water
2 3/4 cups seitan flour

First heat up some water in a steam kettle. If you don’t have one you can just use a big pot and put a colander in it to steam the seitan.

In a food processor blend together the beans, sage, garlic, onion and olive oil until everything is really smooth.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Add the rest of the spices, mix well and add the water and seitan flour. Depending on the type of gluten you’re using you might have to add more water. The dough is right when everything sticks together nicely.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Form a loaf and wrap it in aluminium foil.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Make sure it’s packed tightly and nothing can come out of the sides. When the water is ready, steam the seitan for 60 minutes. Turn it around once after 30 minutes.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Now it depends on what you want to do with your seitan. If you want to use it as pulled seitan for burgers or sandwiches, steaming it should be enough since it will get fried later. If you want to eat your seitan thinly sliced on bread or as a steak for lunch it should go into the oven after it has steamed for an hour. In this case heat up the oven to 175°C and let the seitan bake in the aluminium foil for another 60 minutes.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger
The seitan loaf after steaming and baking

I also like to use this recipe for other occasions like Christmas and fill the seitan with pesto and crushed nuts!

If you now want to make pulled seitan continue with the following recipe.

Pulled BBQ Seitan:

Ingredients

1 loaf (or less) of the ready steamed seitan
1 small onion
3 cloves pressed garlic
1 tsp olive oil

For the sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 apple vinegar
1/3 cup muscovado (or brown) sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp paprika
3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
3 tsp freshly ground pepper

In a bowl mix together all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

Pull the seitan apart with a fork and fry it in a pan with the oil until it gets a crust.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

Add the onions and the garlic only after 8 minutes or so since the seitan will take a while to fry and you don’t want to burn them. When the seitan looks done and the onion is glossy turn the stove to medium-low heat and add the bbq sauce. Let it simmer for a while until most of the liquid is gone.

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

The bbq seitan will be soft and moist. If you like it to be a bit more firm you can also just bake the loaf in the oven after steaming, like written above in the basic recipe. Afterwards you can cut the loaf into desired pieces for the burgers and start the bbq recipe with frying the onion and garlic instead of the seitan. Add the seitan together with the bbq sauce since it doesn’t need to be fried anymore.

Serve with freshly made burger buns (recipe here) or on sandwiches. We ate our burgers with fresh rucola, avocado and mint. It made a great combination!

Enjoy!

Stef

2women2cats: Pulled BBQ Seitan Burger

World’s Best Hamburger Buns

Ever since I ate an amazing burger at Streat Helsinki Eats, I have wanted to make some proper hamburger buns. The ones you can buy at grocery stores usually tend to be absolutely disgusting, and it is always a shame to ruin a good hamburger with buns that taste like a mix of cardboard and spit. I guarantee that after you’ve tried these you won’t be buying those ever again.

2women2cats: World's Best Hamburger Buns

The recipe is originally from Heléne Johansson’s book called Leipä (Bröd från Brunkebergs Bageri), and I got it from the blog Pumpkin Jam. The recipe is actually  for hot dogs, but they work as well as hamburger buns.

My goal was to make the buns more interesting taste wise and a lot more funky looking. The spices are an oompf but not in a hot way. If you want plain ones, you can just leave them out (but keep the salt).

Burger buns with an Oriental twist (10-12 buns)

2 1/2 dl milk or vegetarian “milk”
37 g fresh yeast
375 g plain white flour
25 g butter or vegan margarine (room temperature)
10 g sea salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp curry

Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk. Pour the mixture in a kneading machine, add the spices and the butter. Add the flour a third at a time. Knead it for 10 minutes or double the time if you’re doing it by hand. Let the dough rest for half an hour.

2women2cats: World's Best Hamburger Buns

Cut the dough into 10-12 pieces (depending how big you want the buns – mine were quite small). Roll them into buns, put them on a tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise for 1½ hour or until they have doubled in size.

2women2cats: World's Best Hamburger Buns

2women2cats: World's Best Hamburger Buns

Preheat the oven to 225 °C. When the oven is hot, bake the buns for around 10 minutes. If you’re not eating all of them on the same day, you can freeze the rest once they’ve cooled down.

If you want extra awesomeness, enjoy your hamburgers with some pulled seitan! Click here for our recipe.

2women2cats: World's Best Hamburger Buns

Tiia

Streat Helsinki Eats

Sometimes I just love this city. Spring has arrived and Helsinki is finally alive again. The people on the streets actually look happy!

Helsinki cathedral

There’s always something happening in here, and on the Saturday 22nd of March there was a brand new street food festival called Streat Helsinki.  Over 30 little street restaurants offered everything from oysters to tacos.

Streat Helsinki TacoBot

Taco socks

It was a fine spring day with a cloudless sky, so naturally the streets were packed with people. Over 10 000 attended the festival! For once we were smart enough to avoid the biggest rush hours and went there at 11 am. Apparently in the afternoon the queues to the food stands were ridiculous.

Streat Helsinki

The food there was well worth the queuing. There were tons of vegetarian options, which was really nice for me personally. At least two stands were selling seitan kebab, but instead I decided to get Tokyo Seitan Burger from Richard McCormicks Burger Joint. It was just delicious. It was with marinaded seitan strips, sprouts, mint and coriander leaves and wasabi mayo. I have a feeling we will be trying to recreate this in the kitchen some time soon…

Tokyo Seitan Burger
Easily the best burger I’ve ever had

We also shared a vegan hot dog from Social Food Street. It was also really good, but not as jaw dropping as the burger. Although it didn’t say on the menu, I’m pretty sure the sausage was made out of black beans. It was served with grilled zucchini and paprika, rucola and mustard seeds.

Vege Koira

For dessert we shared a Dutch sirup waffle from Flying Dutchman. Unfortunately they only had one waffle maker and although the queue seemed small, we had to wait quite a bit.

Flying Dutchman

Dutch Sirup Waffle

What a great gastronomic Saturday we had. I really hope Streat Helsinki happens next year as well!

Tiia

Streat Helsinki

Streat Helsinki

Streat Helsinki
A little girl was playing in one of the last snow piles

Streat Helsinki