Cook This: Deep-Fried Chicken Seitan, The Wheat-Based Meat Substitute with a Chewy Bite

April 19, 2017

Lent has come and gone and we’ve all come out better from it. Whether you’ve lost a little weight from switching out fish from your diet or evaded temptation during the last 40 days. Though seitan, the vegetarian wheat-based alternative, is a different story. Although there’s nothing keeping you from taking a bite of famous juicylicious or finger lickin’ good fried chicken, if you’re looking to keep your meatless streak going, look no further—our deep-fried chicken made from seitan is the recipe for you.

Seitan (say-tan) sounds menacing, but this alternative meat substitute has only done good by providing protein and amino acids. Made from vital wheat gluten and a mix of flavorings, the dough-like mixture is rinsed and poached. Through the rinsing and poaching process, the seitan loses starch and reduces the mixture into a gluten rich mass. The amount of kneading dictates how chewy your seitan will turn out, working the dough for longer will make it chewier but kneading for a shorter amount of time will make for a tender dough.

In this recipe, the only steps that differ from your usual fried chicken recipe are those for preparing the seitan. Otherwise, it’s the same as how you would bread and fry chicken.

Expect some spice in our seitan, as cajun seasoning is incorporated in each step of the process, starting with the actual dough. Coupled with turmeric, paprika, and mustard, the seitan takes on the flavors of the spices and a tinge of the tangy mustard. The texture is chewier than what you would expect and without the fibrousness of actual chicken, but the crisp crust and seasonings makes up for the difference. At a bite, you’ll first notice the crust and the seasonings used to flavor the breading which gives way to the chewy layered seitan.

Fried Chicken Seitan

Yield: 2 portions
Time: 2 hours

Ingredients: Seitan

  • 1½ cup vital wheat gluten
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup water

Ingredients: Poaching Liquid

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 vegetable broth bouillon cubes
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Ingredients: Batter

  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Ingredients: FRYING

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 3 cup canola oil


  1. To make seitan, mix vital wheat gluten powder with turmeric and paprika.
  2. Add water to dry ingredients and knead into a smooth dough.
  3. Cover and allow to rest while you prepare the poaching liquid
  4. To make liquid, place water in a pot, add the vegetable bouillon cube and Cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Then bring down to a simmer.
  5. Cut the gluten into chicken like pieces and poach in liquid till it floats. Place on tray and cool in the fridge to firm the poached seitan.
  6. Make batter by mixing all ingredients together and whisking till smooth.
  7. To finish, heat some oil up in a heavy bottomed pan over low to medium heat. The oil should come up to about half an inch.
  8. Dredge seitan in flour, dip in batter, and coat with panko.
    Shallow fry till golden brown.
Bernice Escobar SEE AUTHOR Bernice Escobar

Bernice loves to get nerdy about food and making people hungry. In her free time, she attempts to play with her anti-social cat and fantasizes about all things sweet.

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