This vegan shredded chicken is so versatile it is one of the meat substitutes I make most often. This “chicken” is made from seitan which is a protein made from wheat. It may sound confusing but it really is one of the simplest mock meats you can make.
The key to getting a really good texture and consistency is by using seitan. Seitan is made from gluten, the protein part of wheat and this is gluten is elastic, stretchy and fibrous so it really mimics the texture of chicken.
What Is Seitan Chicken?
If you have never heard of seitan before, don’t worry, it is really simple to make and the ingredients you’ll need can be found in most health food stores or online.
The key ingredient for making this shredded chicken is vital wheat gluten.
Vital Wheat Gluten Chicken
Vital wheat gluten is a type of flour that has all the starch removed. The carbohydrate part of the wheat has been separated leaving mostly just the protein part of the wheat.
This means our seitan chicken is high in protein and although not nutritionally the same as chicken it is a great source of protein.
Creating Chicken With Texture Using Vegan Ingredients
The ingredients used to make this shredded chicken are all vegan. I try to keep the ingredients as simple as possible but you may need to shop for some that you might not have used before.
Everything I have used has been first to flavour of chicken and secondly to get a meaty texture.
Vital Wheat Gluten: the basis of the shredded chicken and forms a dough that can be stretched and pulled into fibres.
Chickpea Flour: helps with the texture keeping the seitan lighter but also firm with bite.
White Miso: is used to introduce a deep savouriness. Miso is fermented soybean paste and contains high levels of glutamates that are what makes meat savoury.
Vegan Chicken Bouillon or Broth Powder: is used to introduce some chicken-y flavour. You could use regular vegetable bouillon if you can’t find a vegan chicken one but it is important for that savoury character in the seitan.
Onion Powder: Another ingredient high in glutamates and a nice savoury flavour.
Tahini Paste: this is a little unusual but I find adding tahini paste adds a little nuttiness and oil that helps keep the vegan chicken nice and moist as well as imparting a subtle flavour.
Kneading To Create Texture
How you mix the ingredients for the seitan chicken together is where we begin to introduce the texture we want.
Shredded chicken has a fibrous texture with many strands and a dense bite so we want to try and replicate that texture.
When the ingredients for our shredded chicken are mixed it creates a soft dough. This dough is then kneaded which promotes gluten formation. The gluten forms strands and strings that are highly elastic and this is what we want to encourage to create the chicken texture.
The easiest way to do this is using a food processor or stand mixer although if you don’t have one you can still develop the gluten by kneading the dough by hand.
Using a food processor with a dough blade fitted the seitan can be processed for just 2 – 3 minutes to achieve the texture we want.
A stand mixer with a hook will take around 6 -7 minutes to knead the dough.
Kneading the dough by hand will take around 10 minutes to achieve the right elasticity.
What To Make With Seitan Shredded Chicken
Shredded vegan chicken is really versatile and it has uses in so many dishes. As you will be shredding the seitan yourself you can make it as large or small as you like and by the time you have shredded the chicken, it is cooked so can be eaten cold or heated in a pan.
I like to fry the shredded chicken in a little oil for a few minutes to colour the outside and then it can be added to your dish.
You can add it to stews, soups, risotto, curries or sauces for pasta.
You can coat in mayo and make sandwiches, wraps, tortillas and so on.
Seitan Shredded Chicken - Vegan
This vegan shredded chicken is one of my go-to recipes. It is made from seitan and can be used in so many dishes. The texture of this seitan shredded chicken is perfect and it has great flavour. Try this and you will make it again and again.
- 225g vital wheat gluten
- 1 tbsp vegan chicken bouillon/broth powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 140ml water
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 0.5 tsp white wine vinegar
- Combine all the ingredients for the shredded chicken seitan in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor combine it in a bowl
- If using a food processor use a dough blade and process for around 2 - 3 minutes to form a dough, it may look crumbly but should stick together when pressed. If you are kneading by hand mix the ingredients thoroughly and then knead by hand on a work surface for around 10 minutes until thoroughly elastic.
- Place the kneaded dough on a work surface and begin flattening and stretching the seitan into a long strip 4 - 5 inches wide. Stretch the dough to form a linear grain which will help achieve the texture we want in the finished chicken.
- Once stretched and strands form roll the seitan loosely into a short cylinder and then wrap this in two layers of aluminium foil twisting the ends to seal.set the chicken seitan in a steamer and steam for one hour. After an hour, remove from the steamer and allow to cool.
- Refrigerate the chicken seitan overnight or for around 8 hours to firm and then unwrap. Carefully unroll the seitan looking for the seam where you rolled it.
- Shred the seitan into bite-size pieces. It is now ready to be used, To reheat fry in a little oil or add to sauces or whatever dish you are making.
The shredded chicken seitan will last for around 7 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
For longer-term storage place portions in freezer bags and freeze for several months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 804mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 31g