Vegan-food’s had a spruce up. It isn’t just bean burgers and avocado and falafel anymore. And one of our favourite vegan ingredients spicing up vegan dishes is seitan.

With a suspect name and meat-like texture, seitan’s got a certain mystique about it. So, we’ve answered all the questions on the tip of your tongue…

What is seitan? - tastecard

First things first, how do you pronounce seitan?

The seitan pronunciation seems like a tricky one. But it isn’t. It’s essentially the word say followed by tan.

What is seitan made of?

While tofu and tempeh are made of soybeans, and banana blossom and jackfruit are natural ingredients, seitan’s made of gluten. It’s made by firstly taking flour from wheat and then washing away any starch in the flour, leaving high-protein gluten. So, it couldn’t be any further from gluten-free if it tried. You might hear it called ‘vital wheat gluten’ or ‘wheat protein’ too.

What does seitan taste like?

Like most meat-substitutes, it doesn’t have much flavour. But it’s its lack of taste that makes it a flavour-chameleon. From zesty spices to fruity marinades, it’ll take on pretty much any taste, which paired with its meat-like consistency makes seitan burgers and seitan chicken wings like the real thing. It’s mainly used as a vegan chicken replacement, but you can use it to replace pork, beef or even donner meat.

Is seitan healthy?

Seitan lacks in a lot of essential amino acids we get from animal protein. So, make sure you do your research before going vegan to keep up a balanced diet. Introduce other sources of protein to your diet like grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds which are plant-based proteins.

In one 56g portion, you’ll find just 8g of carbs because all the starch is washed away, and 0.5g of fat as wheat grains are almost fat-free. Plus, 10g of iron and 120 calories. So, it’s generally a nutritious vegan ingredient.

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