Vegan Fried Chicken

Y’all, put down your mice and step away from the monitor. You have to go make this recipe for vegan fried chicken. Right now.

Okay, so maybe wait ’til lunch, or ’til you get home from work, or ’til you’re through selling your body to science for the day. But seriously, this has long been one of the most popular recipes on my blog, and for good reason.

Apparently lots of people hate boiled seitan, but I am not one of them. Well, to be fair, I’ve eaten my share of failed boiled seitan: seitan that practically disintegrates in water, seitan that’s undercooked and gummy, seitan that’s just fluffy and flavorless despite the two hours you spent making it. I once bought and cooked my way through a 25lb bulk bag of vital wheat gluten, so I’d say I’ve learned a thing or two about seitan. If you’re ardently opposed to boiling seitan, I still recommend that you try spicing and breading your preferred style of seitan this way. I promise it tastes good.

Remember that this is seitan, not a processed dead-animal analogue, so I’m not inclined to boast that you’re going to fool an obstinate omnivore with these patties (if you turn them into nuggets, though, all bets are off!). I’ve been saying it for years, but most of the enjoyment people get out of eating the corpses of non-human animals can be boiled down to* spices and preparation methods. This recipe is ingredient- and time-intensive, but once fried, it is almost weirdly authentic; it’s savory and juicy inside with crisp, salty breading outside, just like fried chicken … except without all the unbelievable shittiness inherent in, ya know, slaughtering a sentient creature.

Don’t skimp on the vegan Worcestershire sauce; if you must, you can try substituting some (vegan!) steak sauce and marmite. It packs a flavor punch, though, so it’s worth the extra effort to hunt it down or make it yourself.

Vegan Fried ChickenPin

Vegan Fried Chicken

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Entree
Servings 6


  • 1½  c vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp  garlic powder
  • 1½  tsp  cumin
  • ½ tsp  salt
  • ½ tsp  pepper
  • ½ tsp  chili powder
  • 1 c cold water
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce


  • 5 c water
  • 2 Tbsp  soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp  vegan Worcestershire sauce


  • ⅓  c water
  • 3 Tbsp  spicy brown mustard
  • 3 Tbsp  flour
  • 1 c flour
  • ¼ c nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp  cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp  baking powder
  • tsp  cumin
  • 1½  tsp  garlic powder
  • 1 tsp   paprika
  • ½ tsp  salt
  • ½ tsp  pepper


  • For the seitan, mix together gluten, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and chili powder in a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, mix together water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add wet mixture to dry and stir well.
  • Knead once or twice to work gluten into a ball.
  • Divide into at least 6 parts and shape into rough discs. Don't be afraid to really work and stretch them out thin; this elastic dough doesn't respond to gentle handling, and the discs will thicken substantially as they cook.
  • In a large pot, whisk together 5 cups water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Place cutlets in broth, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer cutlets, covered, for 60 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
  • In the meantime, assemble the breading. In a wide, shallow bowl, mix together water, mustard and flour until smooth. Set aside.
  • In another wide, shallow bowl, mix together flour, nutritional yeast, cornmeal, baking powder, and remaining spices. Set aside.
  • When seitan is done, remove from pot and let them drain on a plate.
  • Pour a generous ½” peanut oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat. Dip the tip of a wooden skewer into the oil to tell if it's ready; it should bubble steadily, but should not be smoking. If you add your cutlets too early, they’ll just soak up oil!
  • Working fast, dredge cutlets in wet breading mixture, followed by dry breading mixture.
  • Add two cutlets to the hot oil at a time and fry each side for a couple of minutes until golden.
  • Repeat until all cutlets are done, placing them on a cooling rack stood over a plate so excess oil can drip off without making your finished product soggy.
  • Serve hot!


The time it takes for your seitan to cook fully may vary depending on several variables, including how rapid your simmer is. Be sure that your cutlets are fully cooked through to the desired degree before breading the cutlets, as frying won't alter them much. If they're gummy or tough, simmer them a while longer!

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