Although it is made from wheat, Seitan has very little in common with flour or bread. It is also known as “wheat meat”, “wheat protein” or “wheat gluten”. When cooked, Seitan becomes quite similar to the look and texture of meat making it a popular and cruelty free substitute.
The word Seitan itself is Japanese and roughly translated means “proper” or “correct” protein. It was coined in the early 1960s by Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa.
It’s documented that people have been eating Seitan (albeit by another name) in China, Japan, Vietnam and other East and Southeast Countries since the 6th century. It is very popular with Buddhists who are, in the main, vegan or vegetarian.
Seitan made its way to the West in the mid 20th century and is popular with vegans and vegetarians looking for a high protein product. It is much closer in texture to meat than other substitutes such as Tofu & Tempeh.