Wheat gluten was discovered as a meat substitute in China in the 6th Century during the noodle making process and has the most surprising meat-like in texture. Already prepared wheat gluten can be found canned and my mom would always have a can of ‘fake meat’ on hand for the rare power outage or vegetarian option. I never gave it much of a thought until viewers started sending me TikTok videos about it asking for confirmation on the truth of the recipe, and so here we are. Let’s wash some flour and make wheat gluten!
This recipe was inspired by @futurelettuce on TikTok.
Wheat Gluten Chicken Substitute
- 3 C. all-purpose flour
- 1¼ C. water room temperature
- 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- to taste cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/2 C. vegetable stock
- 1-1½ C. water Added as needed while cooking.
- 1-2 tbsp. oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and water to form a soft dough. Add more water if necessary.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour.
- Pour room temperature water the dough and begin kneading to remove the starch. Drain off the starch water and add more and continue kneading. Rinse and repeat 6-7 times or until it forms a stretchy stringy mass and the water is nearly clear.
- Place the dough into a colander to drain. Add salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne and squeeze to incorporate. Continue draining in the colander and rest the dough for 1 hour.
- Stretch and twist the dough into a rope and tie into a knot. Press the dough to flatten slightly.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to a skillet and fry the gluten until golden and crisp on both sides.
- Add vegetable stock reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes. Add additional water a 1/4 cup at a time as needed to maintain a shallow simmer.
- Shred and serve as you would chicken.