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.
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!
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/
Yum! Those sound amazing and perfect, mags! Thanks for sharing – Mary
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.
Thank you so much, Marlene! And good luck 🙂
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.
Just found your blog via Pinterest! Love it. What food processor are you using? Since I am on a plant base diet I seem to have the wrong kitchen appliances – good enough to chop some nuts but not to make humus and definitely not to make seitan. Are there any other kitchen gadgets that are good for a plant based diet to get a away from vegan processed food and make my own? zz
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!!!
Yay! You’re welcome. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂 – Mary
Is it possible to make this recipe without a standing mixer? Say, kneading by hand?
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
I’d like to try this one day, but I hate seitan based products. Just has a strange, off-putting bland chewiness
Thank you for this chickwheat recipe! My plan is to make Chicken Tinga tostadas….
I do not have an instapot …wish me luck????????
I did it! Tinga shredded chickwheat tostadas…. came out delicious! My next recipe will be chickwheat egg foo young ????
That sounds incredible, Lee! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Chickwheat egg foo young sounds great too!
How did you cook this without the Instant Pot? I don’t have one and really want to make this.
Thank you, Farrah
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.
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!
Thanks, Mary! I actually asked on Avocado and Ales first, but she wasn’t sure either. I’ll check out the FB group.
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?
Not the texture, just the taste.
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.
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!
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?
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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!
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)
Thanks for the tip, Kerrie! 🙂
I’m so glad the texture worked out after you chilled it! yay!
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?
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.
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.
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,
Can the Olil be left out or what substitute would you recommend to make this oil-free?
The author of this recipe suggests you can use tahini in place of oil.
Hope that helps.
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!
Can you use a different bean? I have canned black beans on hand…
I forgot to add oil, but this came out perfectly. I used half of the shreds in a Gyoza/BBQ sauce over rice, and made a stew with the other half. My spouse went back for seconds for both! Thank you so much for this recipe.
That’s wonderful! So glad to hear it, Elizabeth!
Hi! Any Alternatives to chickpeas (trying to avoid it from my diet…)?
This recipe is fabulous. I used the seitan for a chopped chik salad with homemade silken tofu mayo,celery and red oinion and spices Amazing!
Sounds wonderful, Shelly! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Could I use Gram(chickpea) flour instead of chickpeas ?
Just re-watched your video and the suggestion of using muslin instead of foil caught my attention. Have you tried it? Would you replace both the parchment and the foil or just the foil?
I’d like to make it more sustainable so I was considering just muslin but I’m concern that so much additional moisture might change the consistency.
Thanks for any thoughts!! :o)
This looks delicious! But I do have 1, 2, 3 questions before I try it this week. I scrolled to see if anyone asked, but I didn’t notice any. First I’m worried the water in the instant pot will dry out before 2 hours is up, is that an issue? Also if you use a food processor do you knead it for less time or does it depend on how the dough looks? I think you said you had it in the mixer for 45 min? Why? Lastly can you freeze what you don’t use? Thank you! I’m eager to try this out! I will go to the original creators website or channel for the recipe! Best
Thanks for the questions!
1. Make sure to close the vent so when it’s cooking, all the water actually stays inside your instant pot so it will not dry out.
2. Yes, it will typically not take as long when you use a food processor. Some people use a dough hook; I’m not sure that you have to. Go by how the dough looks and feels: smooth and easily stretched like taffy. My friend Lacey from AvocadosandAles.com created a similar recipe years ago where she uses a food processor and it only takes her 8 minutes! Much shorter time. I use my stand mixer because it’s what I have.
3. Yes you can freeze the finished seitan. 🙂
Hope that helps! Please enjoy!
Amazing stuff. Thank you so much for educating us and sharing. I’ve only made basic vital wheat seitan but love this recipe. Can’t wait to try it.