« plantfoods.org
Seitan / Gluten

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.


Seitan (firm)
[click photo to enlarge]

Firm seitan has a solid springy texture. The seitan pictured above is commercially made and purchased chilled.

spongy seitan

Seitan (spongy)
[click photo to enlarge]
Spongy seitan has an open bread-like appearance, but the texture is elastic. The seitan shown above is homemade boiled seitan made from gluten powder.

gluten powder

Gluten Powder
[click photo to enlarge]
Gluten Powder is also known as Vital Wheat Gluten or simply Gluten Flour. It is sold as a flour improver for bread-baking or sometimes labelled 'for making seitan'.


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.


Other Resources:
Gluten Powder is available to purchase online:
UK source: Honest to Goodness
US source: Bob's Red Mill

[Please contact us if you spot a dead link. Thanks!]

wikipedia/seitan »