Spicy vegan “chicken” nuggets

You’ve gotta love seitan – making meat dishes out of plant based products for decades 🙂  I had seen recipes for seitan “chicken” nuggets all over the interwebs for months, and sampled them in various vegan restaurants (they were delicious), so thought I’d give it a crack myself.

These ones are spicy, moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  Finger lickin’ good guys.

Not a recipe for those trying to avoid gluten (sorry GF peeps!) but definitely one to try when you have time.  They reheat brilliantly and taste incredible as leftovers in a fresh white bap with vegan coleslaw and bbq sauce.

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Finger lickin’ GOOD.

If you’ve not tried to make seitan before then this recipe is a good one to get you started.  Seitan can be a little tricky to make due to the hefty list of ingredients needed and the time it takes to cook/coat/cook etc., but in the end it’s worth it.  Not a recipe to whip up after work – leave it for a day off when you have plenty of time!

Word of warning here – these nuggets are SPICY.  If you want to turn down the heat then sub all instances of hot sauce with veggie broth and you’ll have a much less spicy nugget.  I do love a bit of spice though 🙂

 

Ingredients

Chicken

1 cup vital wheat gluten

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp chicken seasoning (ensure vegan!)

1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Franks hot sauce – can sub for Sriracha)

2/3 cup vegetable broth

2.5 Tbsp tahini

6 cups vegetable broth

Coating

3/4 cup plain flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic granules

1/4 tsp sugar

sprinkle of salt and pepper

2 Tbsp hot sauce

1/2 Tbsp mustard

2 flax eggs (or other egg substitute)

Oil for frying

 

Method

Makes 15 – 16 decent sized nuggets

Chicken

In a small bowl add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, onion powder and chicken seasoning and stir to combine.

In a large bowl, add the hot sauce, tahini and 2/3 cup vegetable broth and whisk to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Knead the dough for five minutes until it is elastic – ensure the dough is not too dry and not too sticky.  Adjust vital wheat gluten/water to ensure the right balance.

Split the dough into bite sized nugget pieces.  They will expand while cooking though, so don’t make them too big!

Heat the six cups of vegetable broth in a large pot and once boiling, carefully add the nuggets.  Reduce to a simmer and boil for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes or so.

Keep an eye on the broth – you may need to add more water if it evaporates too much and the nuggets aren’t entirely covered.

Once done, remove the nuggets from the broth and allow to dry on a wire baking rack for about half an hour.

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Coating

Add the hot sauce, water and flax egg into a small bowl and stir to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients to a separate shallow bowl and stir to combine.

Take one piece of chicken nugget at a time and coat with the flour mix, then coat in the hot sauce mix, then coat again in the flour mix.

You will get very messy hands at this stage of the process!

Continue with each nugget, setting aside until all the nuggets have been coated.

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Heat up enough oil in a fry pan to almost cover the nuggets.  You can use a deep fryer here if you have one (I unfortunately do not!).

Check to see if your oil is hot enough by carefully dropping a small piece of coating into the oil – if it bubbles to the surface quickly it is ready to go.  If it doesn’t bubble quickly and sticks to the bottom for a few seconds then it needs more heat.  Ensure you don’t overheat the oil however – if the oil is producing a smoke then take it off the heat and let it cool down.  No fires as a result of this recipe please!

Carefully place as many nuggets as you can fit into the pan, allowing plenty of space between them.  Cook on each side for around 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

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Once browned, place the seitan on paper towels to remove excess oil.  Serve immediately or allow to cool before placing in the fridge.

Time to make: 10 minutes prep/kneading, 1 hour boiling, 30 minutes to dry, 10 minutes coating, 10 minutes cooking = 2 hours

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) =  4.5, takes a lot of time and there are a fair amount of ingredients needed.  The time it takes is well worth it though – make a double batch and freeze so you don’t have to do it so often!

#nowplaying The Wombats – Kill the Director

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