Now that you have your Northern Seitan Company Whole Turkee, you might be wondering: how do I prepare it? If so, this recipe and guide is for you.
In order to create a "skin" on your Turkee, we recommend using rice paper. There are a few variables at work here, so you'll want to have them decided before you start the prep process.
The basic variables are:
- How will I reheat my Turkee?
- What texture(s) do I want the skin to have?
- What type of oil and herbs/seasonings will use to brush the skin?
Variable 1: Reheating your Turkee
After you defrost your Turkee, you can reheat it in one of three ways: steaming, baking, or simmering. Each option will take about 20-30 minutes.
But before we get to the options, let's talk about the why. You want to reheat your Turkee before wrapping in rice paper in order to reduce the risk of overcooking the rice paper while your Turkee comes up to its final temperature. It is possible to place the rice paper on the Turkee, cook it at a lower temperature, and then turn the temperature up way up at the end to develop a crispy skin at the last second...but that would take longer than what I'm proposing here.
Back to your reheating options:
- Steam your Turkee in a large steamer basket or pot for about 20 - 25 minutes. Wrap the Turkee in parchment paper or foil, or both, before steaming.
- Bake your Turkee in a roasting pan @ 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes, with either oil or a little broth on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. Cover the pan with foil.
- Simmer your Turkee in a broth for 20 minutes. This option is tricky as you can compromise the Turkee's integrity if it absorbs too much water. This happens if the water is too hot while simmering (see recipe for further guidance)
You'll know you're finished reheating when your Turkee has an internal temperature greater than 100 degrees in the middle, but isn't so hot that you can't handle it well. Depending on your cooking equipment, it may finish sooner than the suggested times.
Variable 2: How much rice paper do I use?
The second variable is how much rice paper you should use. Here are some potential options and their pros and cons:
- 1 sheet of rice paper on top, 0 on bottom (pictured)
- Pro: Simple. Will give thinnest finish. Zero worries about removing from pan at end.
- Con: Could tear or crack, or leave gaps in the skin.
- 1 sheet of rice paper on top, 1 on bottom
- Pro: Full seal gives nicer appearance than above option
- Con: Complicates the removal process, as bottom rice paper wrapper may become quite moist
- 2 sheets of rice paper on top, 1 on bottom (my preference)
- Pro: More attractive due to less tears/cracks. Still retains seal on bottom.
- Con: When you use multiple sheets of rice paper, you may develop air pockets between the layers that become visible later. The more rice paper you use, the more complicated the process becomes.
- 3 sheets of rice paper on top, 1 on bottom
- Pro: Almost guaranteed not to have a tear/crack that makes loaf directly visible. Will have noticeable thick skin layer once finished. Potential different textures for top vs bottom rice paper.
- Con: Risk of visible air pocket. Top vs. bottom rice paper may develop different textures.
Variable 3: How to season my Turkee?
The third variable is what type of oil and herbs or seasonings you will brush over the rice paper. The main purpose of the oil is to help cook the skin without it drying out. The Turkee is already well-seasoned and simmered in a tasty broth before being frozen, so it will already have some herb flavoring.
With all those considerations, here's the recipe.
- 1 Northern Seitan Company Whole Turkee, thawed
- 1 - 4 large (~22-24 cm) rice paper wraps
- 1/4 cup oil of your choosing (for brushing rice paper)
- 1 tsp herbs/seasoning of your choosing (optional)
- 1/4 cup oil or broth (if baking before adding rice paper)
- 10 cups of water or broth (if simmering before adding rice paper)
- 4 cups of water (if steaming before adding rice paper)
- 1 Roasting Pan (for Turkee roasting with rice paper and for *optional* reheating)
- 1 large plate or bowl
- 1 large plate to wrap Turkee with rice paper
- 1 large steamer (if steaming Turkee before adding rice paper)
- 1 large pot (if simmering Turkee before adding rice paper)
- 1 food brush or baster
If you've already reheated your Turkee, proceed to step 2.
- Reheat your Turkee using one of the following options:
- Baking: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add 1/4 oil or broth liquid to the roasting pan to prevent the Turkee from sticking. Place the Turkee in the middle of the roasting pan, cover with foil (be sure to keep foil from touching Turkee), and place in middle oven rack for ~20 - 30 minutes. You want the Turkee to be warm on the inside and able to be held without burning yourself on the outside (~100 degrees)
- Simmering: To simmer your Turkee, bring broth to a boil then reduce heat to low. Add Turkee to the liquid and bring to a low simmer. You want the Turkee to heat but you do not want it to boil or be sitting in water too cold to get to the desired temperature. Simmer for ~ 20 minutes. You want Turkee to be warm on the inside and able to be held without burning yourself on the outside (~100 degrees). You will likely need to remove it completely from the water before testing temperature. Note that it is very easy to tear the seitan if it is over-hydrated.
- Steaming: To steam your Turkee, bring water in a steam pot to a boil then lower to simmer. While water is heating, wrap Turkee in foil, parchment paper, or both. Place Turkee package in steam basket. Steam for ~20 - 25 minutes. You want the Turkee to be warm on the inside and able to be held without burning yourself on the outside (~100 degrees).
- Remove Turkee from reheating package or container and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place lukewarm water in a large bowl or on a large plate. Rehydrate rice paper by submerging in water. You do not need to wait for it to be completely soft - in fact, it will likely fall apart if you wait too long. Place rehydrated rice paper on the large plate for wrapping the Turkee. Repeat this step for each layer of rice paper you will use for the bottom of your Turkee.
- Place bottom of Turkee on the rice paper. Bend the edges of the rice paper above the Turkee so that they rest on the top of the Turkee that is currently face up.
- Rehydrate another rice paper and place it on top of the Turkee. Stretch it over the rice paper on bottom and tuck it underneath as neatly as you can. Try not to be too perfectionist about it as there are diminishing returns to moving the rice paper around. Repeat this step again for each layer of rice paper to be used on the top.
- Using the food brush or baster, coat the wrapped Turkee with oil, mixed with any optional herbs/seasonings. You want to keep the coating somewhat light, too much oil will prevent the skin from cooking evenly.
- Place the basted Turkee in the roasting pan, uncovered. Bake for ~25 - 30 minutes. Lightly poke the skin to test for desired skin texture. For the Turkee temperature, animal turkeys are considered done at ~160 degrees so if you're trying to simulate that, there's your target. Remember that all Northern Seitan Company products come ready to eat once thawed, so it is already safe to consume.
- Once desired temperature and skin texture is reached, place finished Turkee on plating dish. Wait at least 5 minutes after baking to cut or serve.