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Chickwheat, The Incredible Shreddable Seitan

Hello, my friends. Long time no blog! I know I’m behind on bringing you printable versions of my recent vegan croissant recipe and vegan KFC “chicken” sandwich…but I had to tell you about THIS revolutionary seitan first! It’s called Chickwheat and it’s not my recipe. 

Video tutorial for Chickwheat | Shreddable Vegan Chicken-style Seitan

 

What is Chickwheat?

CHICKWHEAT is the answer for veganizing your old favourite chicken dishes that also need to be high-protein, soy free, mushroom free and delicious. The main ingredients are chickpeas and wheat protein. With its unique texture, this seitan looks like chicken and shreds like chicken. Chickwheat’s texture has a meaty bite to it and has a different mouthfeel compared to other kinds of seitan. Does this seitan taste like chicken though? I don’t think so — there’s no artificial chicken flavour here. You can certainly MAKE it taste like chicken. But even without anything extra, it does taste good! Savory flavours from the chickpeas themselves, miso, onion and garlic, plus vinegar helps cut the natural wheaty flavour of gluten. You can also mix in your own flavourings of choice. For your first time though, I highly recommend sticking to the original recipe.

After waiting LITERAL YEARS to try this amazing vegan ‘chicken’ seitan recipe, I’ve kinda gone all in on it. This shreddable vegan ‘chicken’ makes incredible vegan ‘chicken’ salad sandwiches, BBQ chicken wraps and vegan KFC fried ‘chicken’ sandwiches. I’ve also used it to veganize sticky sesame chicken and chicken ramen. Eaten cold, stir-fried or deep-fried; the possibilities are endless! What would you use chickwheat for? Let me know in the comments!

NOTE: Sorry, my gluten-free friends. This recipe is NOT gluten-free and cannot be made gluten-free.

Fried chickwheat sandwich with bite taken out

History of Chickwheat

While “shreddable” faux chicken has been around for a long time (I mean, Chinese & Taiwanese faux meat makers have had it down and have been selling to Asian customers for decades), making it easily at home is NEW (or it was in 2017 when chickwheat was developed). In the western vegan home-cooking world, shredded “chikun” was widely introduced by Chef Skye Michael Conroy in his cookbook, Seitan and Beyond (2015). I attempted the recipe and (probably due to my own hand budget constraints) failed to achieve the texture. When Lacey from AvocadoandAles.com created her own version (2017) with easier to measure ingredients and completely different process, I was STOKED. I didn’t have a pressure cooker so I waited a while (BTW, you DON’T actually need to pressure cook). When I finally got one, I set aside a weekend to make the recipe…but before that, decided to make a batch of fresh bread first…and promptly broke my food processor attachment. Hence this two year wait until I finally got a stand mixer to to the work this time around. PLEASE read the whole blog post before getting started and follow the recipe exactly to get the best results.

How to Make Chickwheat

The process of making chickwheat is really easy! As long as you have a good food processor, stand mixer, or bread maker that can knead the specially formulated seitan dough for you. Measure your ingredients carefully and follow this recipe exactly.  After the first time you make it, you’ll understand the recipe more. Then, you can go off with your own variations. Lacey has recommended trying other beans (like white beans) for a different look. She even has a few other riffs on this recipe like Pulled Phauxrk (vegan pulled pork).

So what are you waiting for? Head on over and start making chickwheat today!! If you’ve already made it, please let me know your favourite dishes to use chickwheat in!

 

Showing 31 comments
  • mags
    Reply

    I love this Avocado and Ales recipe. I’ve modified it a lot—I exchange tahini for the oil and add poultry seasonings and a dollop of BTB No Chick’n Base. I always double the recipe–it’s that good! Two of my favourite things to make with it are Butter Chick’n and Chick’n Pot Pies! Here’s my recipe for the pot pies: https://margaretschlegal.com/2019/02/27/vegan-chickn-pot-pie/

    • Mary
      Reply

      Yum! Those sound amazing and perfect, mags! Thanks for sharing – Mary

      • Marlene
        Reply

        Love, Love your recipes. Thanks for sharing I’m learning so much In New to the vegan community. I excited about trying this recipe and so many others. Waiting on my InstaPot to arrive and I’m on it.

        • Mary
          Reply

          Thank you so much, Marlene! And good luck 🙂
          – Mary

    • Marie
      Reply

      Do you exchange the same amount of tahini for oil? How much much poultry seasoning do you add. I just made chickwheat today ( it’s steaming in the instant pot as I’m typing this actually????). I’m so excited to cook with this.

  • DrewT
    Reply

    I am stoked to try this as soon as I get home! This could be the answer to all my faux-meat dreams! Thanks Mary!!!

    • Mary
      Reply

      Yay! You’re welcome. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂 – Mary

  • Jenna M.
    Reply

    Is it possible to make this recipe without a standing mixer? Say, kneading by hand?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Short answer: not without a machine. The original recipe uses a food processor.
      Long answer: I’m sure there are people out there dedicated enough to do it by hand. I just haven’t met any IRL or online. ha

  • Mark
    Reply

    I’d like to try this one day, but I hate seitan based products. Just has a strange, off-putting bland chewiness

  • Lee
    Reply

    Thank you for this chickwheat recipe! My plan is to make Chicken Tinga tostadas….
    I do not have an instapot …wish me luck????????

  • Lee
    Reply

    I did it! Tinga shredded chickwheat tostadas…. came out delicious! My next recipe will be chickwheat egg foo young ????

    • Mary
      Reply

      That sounds incredible, Lee! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Chickwheat egg foo young sounds great too!
      Cheers,
      Mary

    • Farrah
      Reply

      Hi Lee,
      How did you cook this without the Instant Pot? I don’t have one and really want to make this.
      Thank you, Farrah

  • Kate
    Reply

    Hi Mary, what do you think about using garbanzo bean flour instead of the cooked beans? I’m having trouble getting dried beans of late, but have bean flour on hand.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Sorry Kate, I haven’t tried that yet, but maybe go over to Avocado and Ales to ask or check the comments there. There’s a facebook group called Seitan Appreciation Group that might have an answer too. Good luck!
      Cheers,
      Mary

      • Kate
        Reply

        Thanks, Mary! I actually asked on Avocado and Ales first, but she wasn’t sure either. I’ll check out the FB group.

  • Lupi
    Reply

    Hi, I try this recipe and it came out perfect, but I am curious to know if I omit the miso paste, will it change the texture?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Not the texture, just the taste.

  • Louise Moore
    Reply

    I can’t thank you enough for highlighting this recipe. It’s amazing and I’m so happy to have a really great chicken seitan recipe after trying many different recipes and none of them being quite right. I used to buy expensive mock meats for several dishes I cook and now I can use this recipe and make my meals not only far cheaper but even tastier.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Love that you could take this recipe and save money with it! Thanks so much for your comment, Louise. I appreciate it so much. I’m just glad Lacey from Avocados and Ales came up with it and let me share about it here. And what a genius name – chickwheat!
      Stay well and safe!
      -Mary

  • Kerrie
    Reply

    I just shredded my first batch of this. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I didn’t have miso so I mixed some soy sauce and veggie broth base together to replace the 2 Tbs of miso. The flavor is really good. This recipe filled a 64oz food storage container with shreds and chunks that’s a lot of meal options! Thank you for the video it definitely gave me the confidence to jump in and I enjoyed watching it. You have a very personable way of sharing information. My dough came together pretty fast in the food processor. It was warm and gliding on top of the blades in less than 2 minutes and I had to hold my Cuisinart down because it was trying to walk off the counter so I stopped. Also, I was so excited I used Ove Gloves to shred it right out of the IP. My chickwheat was semi-shreddable but not really shreddable like yours. Should I have let it go longer in the processor or let it cool a bit more or both?
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Kerrie,
      Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! Your experience is convincing me I should just stop hemming and hawing and get a food processor myself.
      As for your question, yes, you really should let the chickwheat cool down. It seems to help set the texture, making it easier to shred.
      Hope that helps!
      Cheers,
      Mary

      • Kerrie
        Reply

        Perfect! Thanks so much for the quick reply. BTW if you go for the food processor I used the regular blade not the dough blade with no problems at all. And you were right the chilled chickwheat texture is fantastic and much more like yours. This is a game-changer for sure. :o)

        • Mary
          Reply

          Thanks for the tip, Kerrie! 🙂
          I’m so glad the texture worked out after you chilled it! yay!

  • Lisa
    Reply

    I made two batches of the chickwheat seitan. The first batch was great, completely cooked. The second was cooked on the bottom side but squishy on the top when I unwrapped it.

    Not sure what happened but is there a way to dry out the second batch? Has this ever happened to you?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Lisa,
      Sorry, no this has never happened to me. It sounds like uneven cooking…which has only ever happened to me when I bake seitan (which is not how this seitan is made so I assume you did not bake). Perhaps, your second batch wasn’t wrapped well and water got in, causing the wet top? Only a guess.
      Hope that helps.
      Mary

  • Daniele
    Reply

    Hi Mary! Thanks for sharing!!
    I’ve made this recipe and got wrong! 🙁
    It gots very dark after cooked and it looks like a ham or something like that. Does not shred. I’m wondering if the vital wheat we use in my country is the same there where you are. Mine is 90% protein.
    Any thoughts?

    • Mary
      Reply

      Hi Daniele,
      That percentage sounds fine. Did you get the dough to the taffy-like stage that Lacey describes in the recipe? It really has to be well developed so you can see the long strands in the dough. Then, you must make sure to cook it all the way. Lastly, allow it to cool before trying to shred it. I hope that helps.
      Stay well and safe,
      Mary

  • Damian
    Reply

    Thank you so much for this recipe! By far the seitan chicken recipe out there and finally found a recipe that gets rid of the lingering taste of VWG!! I am beyond grateful! Thank you so much!

  • Christine
    Reply

    Can you use a different bean? I have canned black beans on hand…

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