What’s happening people! It’s a chilly, wet Wednesday evening in London. Today’s my first full day back at home from a week away in sunny Tuscany but you know what, I’m feeling good because I just ate these amazing vegan KFC chicken burgers 🤘
Are you wondering what these beauties are made from?
The ingredient used to make the ‘chicken’ is called seitan. Seitan is made from wheat gluten. After cooking it takes on a dense meaty texture which makes it a really popular meat replacement in vegan and vegetarian meals. What I love about seitan is that you can season your wheat gluten mixture before cooking which gives you full control over its flavour. It can be made to taste like red meat too, but in this recipe the seitan is seasoned to mimic chicken.
To make the seitan you will need some ‘vital wheat gluten’. You can find this in most health stores or buy straight from Amazon like I do.
These chicken strips taste amazing (as do most things fried in oil come to think of it). Honestly though the seitan has a very chicken-like taste and the breaded coating is full of strong spicy flavour. Admittedly these are not the healthiest option but work great as an occasional treat or if you want to impress your non-vegan friends. Joke, there’s no such thing as non-vegan friends obviously.
The original recipe for these comes from the great work of Gaz Oakley aka The Avant-Garde Vegan. Thank you Gaz!
Vegan KFC Burgers
How to make vegan kfc style chicken burgers at home. Great for impressing your non-vegan friends, if you have any left.
Seitan Dry Ingredients
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup chickpea (gram) flour
Seitan Wet Ingredients
- 1 cup diced tofu (squeezed of excess moisture)
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsps caster sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tsp ground all spice
- 300 ml vegetable oill (for frying)
- 4 buns
- 1 cucumber
- sweet chilli sauce
- Sriracha mayonnaise
- mixed lettuce leaves
Preparing the Seitan
Mix the dry ingredients for the seitan in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the seitan wet ingredients into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. Add the blended wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Begin to mix the wet and dry ingredients with a spoon. Aim to combine the ingredients and get all the wet bits off the side of the bowl. Once the ingredients are combined into a ball, remove from the bowl onto a clean surface ready to knead.
Kneading the gluten mix properly is key to getting a good firm seitan, so get this part right! Knead the dough firmly for 10 minutes. You will feel the dough getting firmer, this is good. Punch the dough with your fist and do whatever you need to do to get a firm consistency with no air pockets. Be rough! You don't want your seitan too spongy when cooked. Knead it out so you end up with a thin (roughly 1cm thick) circle shape at the end of the 10 minutes. Set aside and rest for 10 minutes while you make the broth.
Making the broth and seitan
Heat the vegetable stock in a pan until simmering. Add the onion, rosemary and thyme and continue to simmer.
Cut the seitan dough into 4 pieces and place in the broth liquid. Simmer them in the broth for 35 minutes or firm to the touch.
Allow the seitan to cool completely. Once cooled tear each piece in half roughly. Tearing is better than cutting with a knife as the rough edges look much more authentic. You now have the base for your 'chicken' done! Once cooled you can also freeze or refrigerate the seitan for later use if required.
The KFC coating
Set up your station for coating the 'chicken' pieces. In one bowl add 1 cup of plain flour. In a second bowl combine the chickpea flour and water. Stir this until the lumps are gone. This is your egg-less batter for all the spices to cling to. In a third bowl mix together 2 cups of plain flour, 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs and the rest of the spices and seasoning.
One piece of 'chicken' at a time, first coat in the flour, then cover in the wet batter mix before coating in the spice mix. Set each piece aside ready to be fried.
Heat up the vegetable oil in a frying pan until very hot. You can test it's hot enough by dropping a little piece of waste batter mix into the oil. It should bubble up in the oil immediately. Carefully place the chicken pieces (max 4 at a time) into the oil and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
Up to you how you want to serve these but I have placed them in a sub roll with some sweet chilli sauce, Sriracha mayonnaise, sliced cucumber and mixed lettuce leaves. Delicious!