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I must admit, this is my first major success with Vital Wheat Gluten. I tried a few recipes with it before and the texture was always too firm and chewy. A crucial key element that I was lacking was simmering the patties in a broth for about 45 minutes. It helps give the patties a perfect, tender texture that isn’t chewy. If you’ve had bad results with vital wheat gluten in the past, do not give up on it just yet, give this recipe a try!
These ‘chikun’ patties are so amazing. Vegans and non-vegans alike love this recipe. I’ve made this Tender Vegan Lemon Chicken recipe several times now, and it always turns out so awesome! It’s so easy that it’s hard to mess it up. I could eat this pretty much every single day, and not get tired of it.
What’s Vital Wheat Gluten?
Vital Wheat Gluten is basically a powder that is comprised of all gluten with very little starch, made from wheat flour. If you’ve got sensitivities to gluten, you’ll want to avoid this recipe.
Vital wheat gluten is an amazing ingredient for making vegan ‘meats’. It’s also super high in protein. 75% of its weight is actually protein! That means every ounce of vital wheat gluten (28g) contains 21g of protein. Holy moly! Each of these vegan lemon chicken patties contains 29g of protein. Add a wheat bun, toppings, and sides – now you’ve got an incredibly high protein meal, great for post-workout!
Tips for making an Amazing Vegan Chikun Sandwich
- When making the seitan dough, if it’s too dry add a Tbsp of broth to it at a time. You don’t want it to be dry and crumbly when kneading, but also try not too add more liquid than you need. I start with 1/3 cup of broth, and usually have to add 1 or 2 more Tbsp to get it just right.
- You can flavor the patties however you like! Feel free to add things like hot sauce, wing sauce, barbecue sauce, and different herb combinations. The recipe is super versatile, and you can recreate a countless number of different flavors with it.
- Kneading the dough – start off with a wooden spoon or spatula and get it all combined, then dig in with your hands. Just work the dough with your hands by pressing it together, pulling it apart, and kneading it for about 4-5 minutes. You should see strands when you try to pull it apart, which is what you want.
- We love to use “Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base“. It’s so good, and it’s cheap compared to buying big containers of broth. We just put a big teaspoon of it into a large pot of water (enough to fully cover the patties), and we have vegetable broth that is perfect for this recipe.
- When simmering the patties in the broth, remember that the patties will at least double in size. They will get big. Make sure there’s enough broth for the patties to get covered.
- The simmering broth should not be boiling aggressively. You want a simmer or VERY gentle boil.
- I always like to flip the patties a couple of times while they simmer, just to make sure they’re getting covered everywhere by the broth.
- Let the patties cool and dry a bit for about 5 minutes after the times up from simmering in broth.
- When frying the patties on a skillet, be sure to watch closely because they can burn easily. Once you’re starting to see black marks from cooking flip it over (it should take about 2-3 minutes on medium heat per side).
- Top the patties with your favorites. We like spinach, vegan mayo or ranch, tomato, avocado, and onion. You could also slice up these patties and use them in pastas, salads, or perhaps as a topping for vegan pizza.
Tender Vegan Lemon Chicken Sandwich
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup tahini
- 1 tsp lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon)
- 1 tsp lemon pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 7 cups vegetable broth (divided)
- 1 Tbsp canola oil (or olive oil / vegan butter)
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl, EXCEPT do not add all of the broth or the oil. Add only ⅓ cup of the broth to the mixing bowl.
- Mix with a wooden spoon to get it combined, and then get in there with your hands and knead the dough for ~5 minutes. If the dough is feeling dry/crumbly, then add a Tbsp of broth at a time.
- In a large pot add the remaining broth and get it to a boil, before turning the heat to low.
- Tear or cut apart the dough into 4 pieces, and press them down into thin patties (don't worry if they seem small, they will expand a lot while they're cooking).
- Carefully place the patties into the broth and cover with a lid. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. Half way through the cooking time turn the patties over with tongs or a wooden spoon.
- Remove the patties and set them on a cooling rack to dry for ~5 minutes.
- Place a Tbsp of oil or butter on a skillet and set the heat to medium. Once it's heated add the patties and cook for 2-3 minutes per side.
- Serve the patties however you prefer! We enjoy them on sandwiches, topped with spinach, vegan mayo, tomato, onion, and avocado. They would be great without bread as well. You could slice it up and use it on salads, pastas, pizza, etc. ENJOY!
Looking for a gluten-free vegan sandwich patty? Check out our Chickpea Parm.
You may also like our easy Tofu Chickpea Salad or the Vegan Panini!
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