All recipes are deliciously vegan.

Find VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on YouTubeFind VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on InstagramFind VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on FacebookFind VRC | veganrecipeclub.org.uk on Twitter

Seitan Popcorn 'Chicken'

kid friendly
freezable
2 spoon difficulty rating

Serves:

Seitan Popcorn 'Chicken'

Seitan - or gluten - is the original meat alternative. This tasty dish originated in China hundreds if not thousands of years ago as a food for vegetarian Buddhist monks. It has since percolated round the Far East, eg Japan and Vietnam and is now used widely in contemporary Western veggie and vegan food.

High in protein, low in fat, and dense in texture, it lends itself to all sorts of dishes, including stir fries, 'steaks', deli slices for sandwiches, meat balls/chunks and more.

While it is an excellent source of protein, it is pure gluten so best not eaten more than once a week - it's always good to include as wide a variety of foods as possible, eg pulses, tofu, nuts, wholegrains, vegetables, fruit and the like. Obviously, seitan is unsuitable for the gluten or wheat intolerant.

Shopping tips

Ready-prepared gluten flour (also known as vital gluten or vital wheat gluten flour) is available from some health food shops or else online from stores such as BuyWholefoodsOnline; Veggie Stuff and Realfoods (who sell an organic version). Ebay also carries a range of prices and brands!

Engevita nutritional yeast flakes are available from Holland & Barrett, independent health food shops and Ocado or the above sites.

We've also seen both products on Amazon!  As you'll see, it's worth shopping around to get the best deal. It can be a very economical dish to make.

Do I need to make so much?!

No - this recipe is easily halved or even quartered. But remember, it freezes well so if you've got the space it's a brilliant core ingredient for many recipes.

Ingredients: 

Seitan

  • 225g/8oz/1½ cups vital wheat gluten (also known as gluten flour)
  • 30g/½ cup nutritional yeast flakes, (Engevita)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour or tapioca flour
  • 120ml/4fl oz/½ cup soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp oil, olive or plain vegetable
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed OR 1 heaped tsp garlic powder/granules
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 225-50ml/8-9floz/1 cup + water or vegan stock, cold (you can dissolve bouillon/cubes with a bit of hot water then top up with cold
  • Optional: dried or fresh herbs, eg ½ tsp allspice; 1 tsp paprika; ½ tsp chilli; 1 tsp mixed herbs – experiment

Extra stock for poaching

  • 3L/5pints COLD strong vegan stock (see notes on stock above)
  • 60ml/2floz/4 tbsp soya sauce, as above

Coating

  • Bowl of water (if using light, powdery breadcrumbs) OR
  • 5 tbsp plain flour mixed with 5 tbsp water (if using larger/heavier breadcrumbs)
  • 230g dried breadcrumbs (the photo above uses Tex’s Original Fried Chicken Coating which can be found online and some Asian supermarkets – this product is vegan)
  • 1L/1¾ pints vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Method: 

Seitan

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, mix the puree, oil, soya sauce and garlic. Add this to the dry ingredients then gradually mix in the stock about a cup at a time with a wooden spoon or spatula. Start to mix everything together with your hands so all the dry bits round the edge of the bowl are incorporated into the ball of dough. Continue adding the liquid until everything is integrated and a thick dough has formed.
  2. Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is elastic and easy to handle. Now form it into 6 large chunks.
  3. Pour the extra stock and soya sauce into a large saucepan with a lid and then place the seitan pieces in carefully. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer/rolling boil. Cook them for 30 minutes. Turn them over and repeat for another 20 minutes. Make sure the seitan is covered with liquid at all times. Taste to see that the stock is strong enough - you can always add a dash or so of soya sauce but remember that the seitan can be seasoned in cooking so you don't want it too salty.
  4. Remove seitan from heat, and let it cool in the stock.
  5. When it is cool, divide it into bit-sized chunks and set aside.

Coating

  1. Heat a medium saucepan half full of vegetable oil on med-high heat or use a deep fat fryer.
  2. If you have light, powdery breadcrumbs then you might be able to stick them to the seitan chunks without any extra water or flour/water paste. If they aren’t sticking then brush a bit of water onto the seitan and dip them in the breadcrumbs.
  3. If your breadcrumbs are heavier/bulkier or the powdery ones aren’t sticking then mix the water and the flour together to form a paste. Dip each piece of seitan into the flour/water paste then into the breadcrumbs.
  4. Lower a few pieces of the ‘chicken’ into the hot oil at one time and fry until golden and crispy.

Share on FacebookShare on Twitter

Did you know that Vegan Recipe Club is run by a charity?

Viva! is a UK-registered charity which educates people about the realities of factory farming and how it impacts our health, the planet and animals. Vegan Recipe Club is part of our project to make going – and staying – vegan really easy by providing amazing recipes which make even meat-eaters’ mouths water!

We’re doing it because veganism saves animals, protects our planet and is better for the environment and your health.

We don’t receive any government funding. We can only keep going with YOUR help. Please consider donating to Viva! to help us continue to offer these life-saving services.

New recipes

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18
Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

These pancakes have been described as 'heavenly'... fluffy, sweet and moist... thick American-style... what better way to enjoy your left...See recipe »
Pumpkin & Chickpea Burgers

Pumpkin & Chickpea Burgers

What a tasty, healthy way to use up that left over pumpkin. These burgers are fun to make, very easy...See recipe »
Roast Pumpkin Salad with Tahini Dressing

Roast Pumpkin Salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is so addictive... we challenge you not to eat the whole thing in one sitting! The sweet pumpkin...See recipe »
Beetroot & 'Ricotta' Ravioli with Pistachio, Mint Pesto

Beetroot & 'Ricotta' Ravioli with Pistachio, Mint Pesto

This is a very fancy dish that will impress at any dinner party and at the same time it’s super...See recipe »
Crispy Sesame-Coated Baked Tofu

Crispy Sesame-Coated Baked Tofu

This recipe is everything you want in a tofu dish - it's quick and easy, really healthy, crispy on the...See recipe »
Açai Berry Cheesecake

Açai Berry Cheesecake

Award-winning brand Sambazon , has partnered with vegan chef and influencer Gaz Oakley, also known as the Avant-Garde Vegan ,...See recipe »
Spicy Savoury Pancakes

Spicy Savoury Pancakes

A fiery blend of spices boldly intertwined with courgette and spinach topped with salsa and chutney, just what you need...See recipe »
Courgette & Carrot Pad Thai Salad

Courgette & Carrot Pad Thai Salad

A colourful, zesty play on Thailand's most famous dish. A healthy mix of raw and juicy vegetables, perfect for the...See recipe »
Easy Energy Balls

Easy Energy Balls

These are really easy, healthy and great for packed lunches or just a simple protein pick-me-up!See recipe »
Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Smashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich

This lovely complex-tasting filling is easy and cheap to make, especially if you have most of the ingredients already. It's...See recipe »
Cheesy Broccoli & Tomato Quiche

Cheesy Broccoli & Tomato Quiche

A few new twists on our old deluxe quiche recipe to make it super delicious. If you'd like a gluten-free...See recipe »
Jamaican Banana Fritters

Jamaican Banana Fritters

Jamaican fritters are a traditional Jamaican dessert made from overripe bananas... and they're delicious!See recipe »
Ackee & Tofu

Ackee & Tofu

Ackee is a fruit which is eaten as a vegetable. It’s Jamaica’s national fruit and a part of the national...See recipe »
Carrot, Beetroot & Cumin Burgers

Carrot, Beetroot & Cumin Burgers

Healthy, delicious and simple to make... what more could you want!? Enjoy theses burgers in summer months on the barbecue...See recipe »
Vegan Raita

Vegan Raita

We love this minty, creamy Indian dip! We've added a pinch of cumin for a nice, warming kick. Serve with...See recipe »
Tofu Tikka Kebabs

Tofu Tikka Kebabs

These tikka kebabs are so easy to make and super delicious... prepare to be the envy of every barbecue!See recipe »
Sticky Barbecue Seitan Ribs

Sticky Barbecue Seitan Ribs

Deliciously sticky barbecue ribs which can also be cooked in the oven. Incredible taste and texture and this seitan dough...See recipe »