Pan-Seared Seitan

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

TIME: 10 minutes with prepared seitan

The simplest way to cook seitan is to cut it in slices and fry it in a little oil. For more elaborate dishes, substitute seitan for tofu in any of the stir-fry recipes in The Basics of Stir-Fried Tofu. Seared pieces of seitan are also great on salads or in soups.

Any cooking oil is fine here, but pick one that goes with the other seasonings you plan to use: peanut with Asian flavors; extra virgin olive oil with Mediterranean. Or use a neutral oil like grapeseed or corn.

2 to 3 tablespoons oil

1 to 11/2 pounds seitan, cooled, thinly sliced, and patted dry

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the seitan, taking care not to overcrowd (you will have to work in batches). Cook until the pieces are well browned and release from the pan, 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels, taste, and sprinkle with salt and pepper if you like.