How to Make Vegetarian Chicken Substitute

Updated April 17, 2017

A good chicken substitute is one of the holy grails of vegan and vegetarian cooking. Many of the products available in your local grocery store are largely made up of dairy and egg products. But don't worry. This recipe will teach you how to make your own chicken substitute at home!. There are many variations possible using this core method, so experiment with it to find the right style for you.

Make some okara, which is Japanese for "noble pulp". This bland, high-protein, mash is left over from the process of making soy milk. To do this, soak dried soybeans in plenty of water for 8 hours. Grind the soybeans in a blender or food processor with a little water.

Boil the ground soya beans in twice the volume of their weight for 20 minutes. The water will become frothy very quickly. Add cold water and stir frequently. When the water settles, you will only need to boil for another ten or so minutes.

Strain out the okara (pulp) from the soy milk, and measure the okara.

Measure your wheat gluten and place it in a separate bowl. Use a ratio of three parts okara to two parts vital wheat gluten.

Add two teaspoons of vegetarian chicken flavour (optional), one teaspoon of cornflour, half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of sugar for every cup of gluten. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.

Add two teaspoons of vegetable oil per one cup of okara. (This step is not necessary, but will create a richer "chicken" taste.) Mix thoroughly.

Mix the dry ingredients with the okara mixture.

Create patties in whatever shape you desire. Try to keep them to under half an inch thick. If the patties aren't holding together, add small amounts of extra wheat gluten.

Deep fry the patties briefly if you have a deep fryer. Just toss the patties in the fryer until the outside turns slightly crispy. If you don't have a deep fryer, pan fry the patties using a light cooking oil. (Peanut oil is best). Remove the pan from the heat when the patties become slightly crispy.

Bake the patties on a baking tray for 15 minutes at 260 degrees C. Flip each pattie half way through. Patties are done when golden.

Treat them as you would any chicken patty. Apply your favourite sauce. Try, "buffalo" sauce, ketchup, or honey mustard.


To get an unbreaded chicken breast texture, wrap the uncooked patties tightly in cheesecloth and boil for 30 minutes. Afterwards you can prepare them like you would an almost-cooked chicken breast.


If you don't have a deep-fryer, use a well-seasoned cast iron pot or a non-stick pan. With a high okara to gluten ratio, the patties can be quite sticky. Adding wheat gluten makes them easier to fry, but also makes them tougher and less flaky. It's a trade-off.

Things You'll Need

  • Soybeans
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Spices
  • Cornflour
  • Vegetarian Chicken Flavor
  • Vegetable Oil
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Laura Gee has a B.A. in history and anthropology, but now spends more time blogging and producing web content. She has worked and/or trained as an illustrator, crafter, caterer, yoga teacher, child-care provider and massage therapist, and she loves to travel when she gets a chance.