Seitan is seasoned cooked wheat gluten or 'wheat meat'. It is similar to other cooked gluten products which are usually known as gluten or fu. Seitan dough is made either from wheat flour, with the starch then washed out from the dough, or from gluten powder where the starch is already removed.
How to make Seitan
At its simplest, seitan is just gluten powder and water, formed into a dough and boiled.
Traditionally, seitan is made in the West in a Japanese-influenced macrobiotic style*, with a seasoned dough and a seasoned cooking broth.
4 parts gluten powder are mixed with 3 parts liquid (vegetable stock plus soy sauce) with a little ginger and garlic. The resulting dough is kneaded for a few minutes to stretch the gluten, then rested for five minutes. The dough is then simmered for 90 minutes in a broth of vegetable stock and soy sauce, to which is added kombu (seaweed) and chopped onion.
*Although of Japanese influence, gluten in this form would not be recognised in Japan.