We Tried the Fake Chicken All Over Tik Tok, and We’re Shocked

We Tried the Fake Chicken All Over Tik Tok, and We’re Shocked

Plant-based meats are here to stay, especially after a banner year in the world of meat substitutes in 2020. The alternative meat industry is now a $7 billion dollar industry, which will likely see exponential growth after Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods’ recent launches of their own plant-based chicken alternatives

The two alternative protein giants are riding the wave of a number of other pioneers in the “chicken” space, including popular brands like Daring and (my personal favorite) NUGGS. Side note: a quick Google search just revealed that apparently vegan dino nuggets exist, so brb while I bulk-order those. 

I’m not vegan, or anywhere near plant-based. But, I do love trying new wacky foods and especially staying on top of trends in the culinary world. That said, when I started to see this two-ingredient vegan fake chicken recipe pop up ALL over Tik Tok, I had to jump in on it myself. Initially posted by user @futurelettuce, the video shows how to create a home-made version of seitan, a.k.a. “wheat meat” or a decades old Chinese tradition of making protein from wheat gluten. 

Of course, unleashing anything remotely vegan onto the internet (especially if it @s the meat-lovers) will definitely cause some ruckus in the comment section, which is why this recipe has gained so much traction. The process is simple, but the results are mind-blowing and for some, upsetting. 

I decided to make the viral fake chicken for the Kitchen Critic team, but with a catch — I didn’t tell them it was plant-based. I went a bit above and beyond, making buffalo “chicken” mac with the seitan, and out of six people who tried it, only one noticed that something was different, although she couldn’t quite place what it was until I told her. I don’t say this often about plant-based alternatives, but this recipe absolutely blew my mind.

Here’s how to make it:


Makes 2 cups of shredded "chicken"

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (optional)


Step 1

Make the dough: mix the flour and water together until it forms a shaggy dough, then turn onto a clean work surface and knead into a ball, about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth, not sticky.

Step 2

Rest the dough in a large, clean bowl for 1-2 hours. Then fill the bowl with room temperature water and squeeze the dough between your fingers for 3-5 minutes. It will start to get slimy as the starch separates from the gluten, and the water will turn milky.

Step 3

Drain, then repeat 4-5 times, or until the water is mostly clear. The dough might start to fall apart, but it’ll come back together as the gluten develops. Once this process is done, knead the spices into the dough and then let rest for about 15-20 minutes.

Step 4

After the dough has rested, stretch it out gently and tear into a few strands. Twist and knot the strands together — this is what creates that long stringy texture that mimics chicken.

Step 5

Next, heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium pot with a lid. Fry the dough knot until golden brown, then flip and repeat with the other side.

Step 6

Once the seitan has browned, pour in veggie broth and soy sauce (if using) and bring it to a simmer and cover. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, flipping the dough halfway through.

Step 7

Remove from heat and let cool for at least 15 minutes before shredding gently with your hands or two forks. Et voila! This is the basic recipe, although I’d recommend crisping up the chicken shreds in a bit of olive oil before adding to your favorite dish.