Seitan, or seasoned wheat gluten, is a highly nutritious, protein-rich food that can be quickly and easily prepared in a variety of interesting ways. Although not widely known in the West, seasoned wheat gluten was traditionally eaten in China, Korea, Japan, Russia, the Middle East, and probably other countries that grew wheat. Seasoned wheat gluten is also associated with the dietary habits of religious groups such as Buddhists, Mormons, and Seventh Day Adventists. Seitan is a Japanese word that usually refers to wheat gluten that has been simmered in a broth of soy sauce and Kombu. In the West seitan is often flavored with rosemary, ginger and even black pepper to give it additional flavor and familiarity. Mitoku Seitan is amazingly meat-like in texture, with a delicious, savory flavor that makes it a very appealing and versatile vegetarian source of protein.
Nutritionally, seitan is a powerhouse. In both quantity and quality, the protein in seitan is similar to that in beef. Sirloin steak and seitan both supply approximately 16 grams of protein per 100-gram (3.5 once) serving, or about 25 percent of the U.S. Reference Daily Intake. This is twice as much as an equal amount of tofu and 40% more than is supplied by two medium eggs. Although unseasoned seitan, raw wheat gluten, is low in one essential amino acid, lysine, this is easily offset by cooking it in soy sauce-seasoned broth, or by combining or serving it with lysine-rich foods such as beans. And while the 3.5-ounce sirloin comes with 11.5 grams of saturated fat, 58 milligrams of cholesterol, and nearly 300 calories, seitan contains no saturated fat or cholesterol, and only 120 calories per 3.5-ounce serving.
Red Meat Replacement:
In recent years, fish and seafood have been touted as the optimal low-fat, low-cholesterol, and high-protein replacement for red meat. More and more reports, however, are cropping up warning of the dangers of eating fish because of the huge quantities of industrial and agricultural chemicals, toxic metals, garbage, and raw sewage being dumped into the fishes' habitat. Toxic metals and contaminants such as lead, arsenic, methyl mercury polychlorinated biphenylis (PCBs), DDT, and chlordane have shown up in high concentrations in freshwater fish and seafood samples. Seitan is a clean, safe way to get high quality protein.
Vitamins & Minerals:
High in protein and essential amino acids, seitan made with whole wheat flour and cooked in a Kombu and soy sauce broth is a good source of some vitamins and minerals. A four-ounce serving of seitan supplies between 6 and 10 percent of the U.S Reference Daily Intake of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron.