If the word “seitan” conjures images in your mind of devil horns and fire, think again. There are no pitchforks necessary—only real forks—when gobbling up this two-ingredient vegan chicken recipe that’s sure to please both you and the planet.
Last month, TikTok user Future Lettuce shared how to make his vegan chicken recipe in a video. Since then, it’s garnered more than 10 million views and 1.7 million likes. And it’s safe to say most people are a mix of confused and amazed at how much something made with a base of flour and water gives you a final product that closely resembles the real deal.
Here’s a little secret: He starts with water and flour, but his technique creates seitan. (Which is actually pronounced “say-tan,” BTW.) While it’s new to thousands of people who watched the video, it’s been used as a meat substitute in Japan and China for centuries, where it was originally created by Buddhist monks. You start with a glutinous dough, but by the time you season it with spices and pan-fry it, you’ll be left with a flavorful, crispy chicken texture.
More complex versions of this vegan chicken recipe exist, like making realistic chicken wings by wrapping the dough around a pasta bone. (Genius, right?) But for a quick fix or a novice in the kitchen, this is a great place to start. Follow along with Future Lettuce’s instructions below to try the chickenless chicken for yourself.
2-Ingredient Vegan Chicken Recipe
Adapted from Future Lettuce’s recipe
1. Combine plain flour and water in a bowl, using a 2:1 ratio. Knead until you form a ball of dough.
2. Cover and let the dough rest for one hour at room temperature.
3. Add fresh water to the bowl, kneading again. Rinse, then knead again. This gets rid of the starch. Continue this process until the water is nearly—but not fully—clear.
4. Set your dough on a clean plate and add seasonings to your liking. He used salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika.
5. Cover and rest for one hour at room temperature.
6. Either twist and knot the dough to make a chicken breast, like in the video above. Or, break it up into smaller pieces.
7. Simmer in a few cups of vegetable broth for 45 minutes, allowing the dough to absorb the flavor and develop a chicken-like texture.
8. Pan-fry it to create a crispy “skin,” air-fry it, or prepare it however you please.
9. Enjoy your vegan chicken recipe!