By Brittney Hemmands
Blog Content Contributor
When I was first cutting meat out of my diet, I knew the one food I would miss more than anything would be wings. Eventually, I ended up replacing my favorite meat and dairy meals with ones that are healthier and more nutritious, but I still wondered how to make certain meat dishes like ribs, meatloaf, and wings without the cruelty. After researching internet recipes and watching plenty of YouTube channels, I finally found the number one ingredient that the majority of meat substitutes are made of: seitan. Seitan, also known as vital wheat gluten, is a flour that is mixed with different seasonings, spices, and sauces to mimic the texture of real meat. It may seem a bit weird at first; the thought of making wings out of flour seems nearly impossible. However, seeing the successful results of other people’s dishes made me decide that it was time for me to try and make it for myself. I decided to do two types of wings: buffalo and sriracha barbecue. While every recipe is a little different, here are the steps I took to make my seitan wings.
INGREDIENTS YOU WILL NEED:
- vital wheat gluten
- nutritional yeast
- vegetable broth
- garlic powder
- your favorite wing sauces
- onion powder
- black pepper
- Cajun seasoning
- meat tenderizer
- breadcrumbs, flour, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper
- OPTIONAL: egg replacement (can use almond milk)
All of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery or health food store.
STEP 1: Mix the Dry Ingredients
What seasonings you add depends on what you want your wings to taste like. The seitan will absorb and taste like any flavor you put in, so make sure to use a lot of spices. You can omit or add in any of the above seasonings, depending on what you like. Also, a little seitan goes a long way so determine how much vital wheat gluten you want to make. I usually use 1 and ½ cups to 1 and ¾ cups. Then, after mixing all the dry ingredients, you are ready to move to step two.
STEP 2: Add in the Wet Ingredients and Knead the Dough
While I decided to only add in vegetable broth, you can add in soy sauce, tamari, or water. Some people even add in a little bit of their wing sauce to add more flavor. You want to make sure you don’t put too much liquid, or too little, or the consistency will be too runny or have too much dough. I like to pour in a little bit at a time to give the seitan time to absorb the liquid before adding more. If you do decide to do the 1 and ½ cups of vital wheat gluten, I would add in 1 to 1 and ½ cups of liquid. For 1 and ¾ cups of vital wheat gluten, aim for 1 and ½ to 1 and ¾ cups. When you feel like you have the perfect dough consistency, knead the dough for at least five to 10 minutes. This will make the texture less spongy and more of a meaty consistency.
STEP 3: Boil Your Water and Make Your Wing Pieces
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make sure not to put too much water, because the seitan will expand and cause the water level to rise. I like to add a little bit of seasoning to the water to infuse more flavor and for that you can use vegan chicken seasoning and any other seasonings you like. Then, you want to tear your seitan into small chicken wing like pieces. Make them as small as possible because they will double in size. After the water is boiling, you want to boil your pieces for 45 minutes to an hour. If you choose to bake your seitan pieces, you can bake them at 350 degrees in vegetable broth and add more seasoning for them same amount of time, turning them at 45 minutes.
STEP 4: Fry Your Wings
While your wings are cooking, you can go ahead and make your coating to fry your wings. Mix together a coating of flour, breadcrumbs, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in one bowl. In the other, put either almond milk or egg replacer. You can even add some of the hot sauce to the wet bowl. After the wings are done, prepare your deep fryer or a pot with oil and begin to dip the wings in the wet to dry mixture. You want to fry the pieces for five to eight minutes or until they are light brown and crispy. Then, put the finished pieces on a plate or tray and cover them with your favorite wing sauces.
The amazing thing about these wings is only 1 and ¾ to 2 cups of vital wheat gluten makes 14 to 18 chicken wing pieces! Meaning you would only be spending $2 for more food and can even meal prep the pieces for later meals. After making these wings, you will most definitely be tempted to try making other meatless meals using seitan. Below, I have listed some links to some YouTubers that have some amazing recipes using seitan that may just blow your mind.
Featured image by Brittney Hemmands.