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A chewy protein-rich food made from wheat gluten, used in cooking as a meat substitute.‘Many interesting meat substitutes are available, including seitan, a popular meat alternative in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cooking.’‘As if shellfish wasn't an odd enough core ingredient for jerky, two West Virginia guys decided to remove the meat altogether and replace it with bases of soy, seitan and shiitake mushrooms.’
Perhaps from Japanese shokubutsusei tanpaku ‘vegetable protein’.
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