Seitan: What On Earth Is it?!

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Everything you need to know about Seitan

seitan stir fry

Nowadays, people have an increasing focus on health. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of staying healthy and making lifestyle changes that maintain our health.

Therefore, it makes sense that most of us now want to switch to healthy ingredients that promote overall well-being. One of the most vital switches that many of us are making is switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Recent research shows that there are many drawbacks to consuming a diet high in meat. Furthermore, many have health issues that prevent them from consuming a lot of meat.

However, meat has been a focal part of many cuisines, and it can be challenging to eliminate it from your diet.

If you’re missing the taste of meat, an easy fix can be trying some fake meat. Fake meat is the latest culinary trend that is full of nutritional benefits while being incredibly tasty.

Seitan is one of the most delicious and popular varieties of fake meat. Fake meat has many varieties, and there are two sources of fake meat; animal source and plant source. Fake meat is an excellent substitute for those who want to avoid red meat in their diet due to different reasons and want to improve the quality of their physical health.

If you’re interested in learning more about Seitan, keep reading below.

What is Seitan?

seitan burgers

Seitan UK is a substitute for vegan meat. It’s made from a wheat protein called gluten, which is a main key ingredient.

Fake meat is amazingly similar to real meat in look and texture. Furthermore, it’s available with different seasonings like ginger, onion, rice vinegar, and rice bran oil.

Traditionally seitan is made with water, wheat gluten, soy sauce, and garlic, and soy sauce gives the characteristic saltiness to seitan. Seitan is the only product or meat substitute which has no soy, so it’s perfect for anyone with a soy allergy or sensitivity. 

Seitan is more famous for its texture rather than its taste. It is comparatively meatier compared to tofu.

It’s also dense and pleasant, and when you add different seasonings and other ingredients to your dish, you can enhance the flavours immensely. Seitan is incredibly popular in many countries like Japan, China and southeastern countries of Asia.

In some countries, seitan is the staple food of their diet. You can easily find seitan in various vegetarian dishes around the world, which speaks volumes about its popularity.

What is Sietan made of?

Seitan is made with wheat flour and water. When you knead wheat flour with water and repeat this kneading process until only wheat gluten remains, you transform the gluten.

This gluten then remains in starchy or spongy strands after rinsing off all the dough. Then, you can cook this wheat gluten, season it, and use it as a substitute for meat in different forms.

Seitan can be made at home also, and many leading brands are producing seitan, and they are good and available with different shapes and seasonings.

What does Seitan mean?

Seitan is a Japanese word, and it means “made of protein” as it is created with wheat flour and water. The sticky gluten strands which remain after rinsing off the dough completely is called wheat protein, making pure seitan protein.

a fake meat burrito

Why Use it & 4 Health Benefits

Seitan’s demand is rising day by day as many people switching to healthy options in their diet. Seitan is simple, healthy, plant-based, low-fat and high in protein substitute to meat.

The latest research shows that seitan is the fastest-growing meat alternative product as it closely resembles the texture of real meat. Moreover, seitan is packed with protein and is an excellent source of iron too.

Furthermore, it provides you with amino acids which are essential for the development of the human body. Seitan doesn’t come from an animal source and is a completely plant-based product, so you can avoid red meat easily by adding seitan to your diet

1. Improves health

We all know protein is essential for the proper development of the human body. We need it for several tasks, ranging from building muscle to producing hormones, even in repairing tissues.

So, protein plays a key role in the growth of the human body. However, animal-based proteins often come with many unnecessary and harmful compounds which can cause an adverse reaction.

Thus, switching to healthier alternatives like Seitan is the best choice. Seitan is protein-rich and allows you to cover your dietary requirements easily. Furthermore, high protein products can also keep you feel full for a longer time, so anyone coping with weight issues can maintain their body weight by adding seitan in their diet plan.

As seitan doesn’t come from an animal source, it’s a completely plant-based product and is high in protein and minerals. A standard portion of seitan has enough protein for an adult, making it a good source of building muscles.

If you’re not gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive, then you can even enjoy eating seitan almost every day as the main protein source.

2. It's Incredibly Versatile

Seitan is an incredibly versatile product, and you can fit it easily in any vegan and vegetarian diet plan. Different diet plans add this protein substitute into their diet plans as it takes on different flavours easily.

Seitan has a neutral flavour which is why it tends to absorb other flavours well. You can make different recipes with seitan like kinds of pasta, burgers, kebabs, stew and much more.

You can sauté it, simmer it, and barbeque and steam it. All you need to do is buy seitan in your favourite flavour and enjoy your diet with versatility.

One of the biggest reasons why many people are wary of changing to a vegan or vegetarian diet is because they think it means they’ll never enjoy good food again. However, healthy and tasty alternatives like seitan allow you to enjoy all your best dishes just like before.

 

3. It's Digestion friendly

Seitan can be digested easily, which is why people who find meat and dairy products hard to digest will normally be comfortable eating seitan without any difficulty as it has all wheat nutrients. Seitan is very low in fat and fibre; that’s why it keeps your bowels running smoothly.

If you frequently experience digestion-related issues, following a vegetarian diet with seitan at the forefront can be the best solution.

4. It's Diet-friendly

If you’re following a strict diet for health or fitness-related reasons, you’ll know how hard it can be to find ingredients that suit your requirements. However, seitan is an excellent ingredient that you can use easily.

It is soy-free and 100% vegan, making it the perfect ingredient for many diets.

Furthermore, it is low in carbs, which means you don’t need to worry about any useless calories. If you’re wondering where to buy seitan, it is easily accessible too. Additionally, seitan is also low-fat, which makes it ideal for weight-watchers.

How to use it?

You can cook or serve seitan in endless ways. Seitan is incredibly tender with a soft, chewy texture like real meat, so you can use seitan in any of your recipes where you want to replace the meat.

You can use seitan in burgers, sandwiches, salads, different kinds of pasta, barbeques and plenty of other dishes.

Seitan is incredibly versatile and can go with many recipes as it takes on other flavours very well. You can find many varieties of seitan, each flavoured differently.

You can barbeque seitan or cooked with any recipe or can simmer or sauté according to the demand of the recipe. However, you need to remember that you don’t need to cook seitan like real meat until it becomes tender because it’s not real meat.

It takes less time to cook and still can be tender and meaty.

You can cut seitan into little pieces like meat, and you can marinate it, or you can also bake it. Furthermore, you can cut and transform it in any form as you do with real meat, such as making mince or slicing it in strips or chunks.

If you want to fry seitan, then you can bread it and fry it like a patty or in finger sticks. It can be used like real meat in any dish, and you can even add this beautiful meat alternative in soups.

a fried seitan burger

Stockists of Seitan in the UK

With the benefits of Seitan being so obvious, you might be wondering where to buy Seitan UK.

Love Seitan is the only leading bulk producer of seitan in the UK, and they produce delicious, healthy meat alternatives that’ll tingle your taste buds. You can either order online or buy your daily fix from supermarkets such as Tesco.

Love Seitan is a Grade A certified vegan product, and you can find it across all healthy food stockists.

Where to buy it?

Many brands are selling seitan products in supermarkets, and you can also buy these products from their online shops and various seitan stockists UK.

seitan schnitzel

FAQs on Seitan

Is Tempeh better than Seitan?

Tempeh is yet another popular vegan meat alternative. However, it is vastly different from Seitan. Tempeh has a strong, nutty, toasty flavour, whereas Seitan has a milder taste. If you prefer your fake meat to have a strong taste, go with tempeh.

However, seitan is a much more versatile option owing to its blandness. It can take on the flavour of any dish you add it to.

Does seitan taste like chicken?

Seitan has a neutral taste, and it’s more similar to bland chicken, but it has the quality to absorb different flavours. This makes it a much better cooking option than chicken, which can often remain bland and can make your dishes seem dull.

As you cook seitan with different ingredients, it takes more flavours in it and develops a deeper taste.

How to make seitan spongy?

If you’re making your seitan yourself, you can make it less rubbery by cutting down on the kneading time. As you knead less, you’ll have a spongier texture.

Is seitan keto-friendly?

You might be wondering is seitan good for you if you’re following a keto diet.
Yes, seitan is the perfect meat substitute if you’re following a keto diet. This meat can help you cut back on any carbs, and you can easily pursue your fitness and health goals.

Can you buy seitan in the UK?

Many leading brands in the UK are and producing and providing seitan in grocery stores and straight to your doorstep. For example, Love Seitan is the easiest way to purchase seitan online, and they are the leading manufacturer of seitan in the UK.

Do supermarkets sell seitan?

You can find seitan in the frozen section of mock meats or perhaps in the vegetarian section. Grocery stores keep it refrigerated with other ingredients like tofu or other meat substitutes.

As it’s increasingly high in demand, that’s why most of the grocery stores usually have this product in their stores.

Does Holland and Barrett sell seitan?

Yes, Holland and Barrett sell seitan as many of their foods are vegetarian friendly and also suitable for vegans.

Can seitan be eaten raw?

Seitan has to be cooked before eating. This meat-like textured product has to be seasoned, braised and simmered well, and then you can enjoy it with any recipe.

Raw seitan won’t have a pleasant taste or texture, just like raw meat.

Is seitan healthier than tofu?

Some people often confuse seitan with tofu, but both are incredibly different, and this difference is considerable. Seitan has up to four times more amino acids than tofu.

Furthermore, tofu is made with soya bean and seitan is made with hydrated wheat gluten. This difference makes it healthier than tofu, and if someone is sensitive or soy allergic, then seitan is a good alternative for them.

Conclusion

As people are now more diet and fitness conscious and want to adopt healthier options for themselves, there are many meat alternatives available in markets to choose from. With these options, people can plan and maintain their diet.

Furthermore, meat alternatives, like plant-based sausages, allow you to lose fat by avoiding carbs and maintain your muscles without affecting your blood sugar. Seitan is thus an excellent addition to your diet if you’re looking to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

You can cook seitan in many different ways as per your taste and recipe. It has a bland but pleasant taste, so you can cook it with many ingredients.

With seitan in your diet, you don’t need to feel like you’re missing out on delicious filling food even if you have to eat clean.

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Andy Canter

Andy

Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!