Seitan is believed to have originated more than a thousand years ago in China, as a meat substitute for Buddhists. Its preparation process is simple. It involves washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the gluten (wheat protein).
This process makes seitan a low-fat, medium-carbohydrate and high-protein source. Depending on the ingredients used in manufacturing it, seitan can also have a high calcium content.