These crispy seitan fried “chicken” tenders are the perfect vegan alternative to traditional chicken strips. Featuring a tender “meat” made from homemade seitan and a crispy vegan buttermilk breading that fries up beautifully.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- “It tastes just like chicken” is cliché, I know, but in this case it’s really true! Our seitan fried “chicken” tenders taste every bit as delicious as traditional chicken strips. Serve them with fries and your favorite dipping sauces and you’ve got a perfect meat-free comfort food.
- The breading on these seitan tenders fries up beautifully – perfectly crispy and golden brown. It’s seasoned well, too; no boring, bland food here!
- We used a homemade seitan, but you can use a store-bought version instead if you’d rather. Sometimes you just need something that’s quick and easy, and eliminating that process speeds things up considerably.
- For the juiciest, most tender “chicken” strips possible, you’ll want to simmer the seitan, rather than steaming it. It’ll absorb some of the boiling broth, giving it an extra boost of moisture and flavor.
- I really recommend using a deep fry thermometer to make sure the oil is at the right temperature. If the oil is too cool, the breading will just soak it up. If it’s too hot, the breading will burn.
- Every time you add seitan to the oil (or replenish the oil that cooks down), the temperature will drop. Be sure to wait for it to heat up again before frying more tenders.
- For the crispiest seitan fried “chicken”, let the fried pieces drain on a wire cooling rack rather than a plate lined with paper towels. With paper towels, the tenders will sit in the hot oil, which can make the breading soft on one side. A wire cooling rack allows the oil to drip off and away from the fried “chicken”, making the breading as crispy as possible.
Try These Vegan Recipes Next
- Vegan Enchiladas
- Vegan Fried “Chicken” (Made with Tofu)
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- 45 Incredible Vegan Instant Pot Recipes
- Simple Vegan BBQ Sauce
- neutral oil as needed for frying
For the Seitan
For the Vegan Buttermilk
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Large bowl
- whisk or rubber spatula
- flat surface, plastic wrap optional
- Large pot with lid
- large bowl or plate
- 2 shallow bowls for dredging "chicken"
- 2 whisks
- medium pot for frying "chicken"
- deep frying thermometer, optional but recommended
- plate or wire cooling rack
- Paper towels
- Add vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to large bowl. Mix well to thoroughly distribute ingredients.
- Slowly add 2 cups vegetable broth and 2 tablespoons olive oil to bowl, stirring constantly until all ingredients are fully combined to create dough.
- Transfer dough from bowl to flat surface covered in plastic wrap. Knead dough to form ball, then divide ball of dough into two equal pieces.
- Add 5 cups vegetable broth to large pot over medium-high heat. Bring broth to boil, then reduce heat to low and let broth simmer. Once broth is no longer boiling, add seitan to pot and cover with lid. Simmer covered 25 minutes, then transfer cooked seitan to large bowl or plate to cool.
- In one shallow bowl, whisk together all vegan buttermilk ingredients until mixture is fully incorporated. Set aside.
- In other shallow bowl, whisk together all ingredients for breading until ingredients are fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Add enough oil to submerge seitan tenders in medium pot. Heat uncovered over medium-high heat until oil temperature reads 350° Fahrenheit.
- Once seitan is completely cooled, break seitan into pieces resembling chicken tenders. Dip seitan tenders first in vegan buttermilk, coating both sides well. Let excess buttermilk drip back into bowl, then dredge seitan through flour mixture. Shake excess flour mixture back into bowl.
- Drop breaded seitan tenders in hot oil. Fry seitan until golden brown, then transfer to plate lined with paper towels or wire cooling rack. Repeat process until all seitan tenders have been breaded and fried. Serve fried tenders warm with desired dipping sauces and sides.
- Make sure the vegetable broth is simmering, not boiling, when you add the seitan.
- You may need to press the breading into the seitan a little to get it to really stick.
- Let the “chicken” tenders rest on a wire cooling rack (not a plate lined with paper towels) for the crispiest breading possible.
- The longer you knead the seitan, the chewier and more meat-like it will be! The less you knead it, the spongier it’ll be.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.