Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chipotle BBQ Seitan Nuggets

When I first became vegetarian, I missed barbecue flavor more than almost anything.  (And hot dogs... but that's a different story.)  We love to buy those Morningstar BBQ Riblets, but they're, like, crazy expensive on a student budget.  Plus, they're full of processed soy, and I'm not a big fan of that sort of thing.

These BBQ nuggets are made with my homemade seitan, which is bar none the best seitan I have ever eaten - if I do say so myself.  I'll post the recipe sometime soon.  You can also use storebought seitan, but frankly, it's totally bland and the texture is just blah.  Making your own seitan is a little time-consuming, but totally worth it for the extra yumminess.  And it's about a third the price to make your own.

The barbecue sauce is a tasty smoky-sweet sauce, based on a honey chipotle barbecue and veganized to substitute agave nectar.  It's a great way to use up those extra chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.

Chipotle BBQ Seitan Nuggets
Adapted from Honey Chipotle Barbecue Sauce at
  • about 16 oz seitan, cut into nuggets
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • salt and pepper
for sauce:
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp. adobo sauce from the peppers
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Mix ingredients for sauce together in a mixing bowl.  If you desire a perfectly smooth sauce, purée with a hand blender or in a food processor, but I like the small chunks.  Refrigerate the sauce to blend the flavors.
  2. Squeeze as much of the water out of the seitan nuggets as you can get without damaging them.
  3. Put the flour and a little salt and pepper into a medium mixing bowl.  Toss the seitan in the flour to get a light coating, and shake off the excess.
  4. Heat oil to 350° in a deep fryer, or heat an inch or so of frying oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.  Fry the seitan nuggets until golden brown and slightly crispy.  Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the oil.  Drain the nuggets briefly on a paper towel.
  5. Empty the remaining flour out of the mixing bowl.  Put the cooked nuggets back in the bowl and toss with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the BBQ sauce.  You should still have sauce leftover for dipping, if desired.
For best results, serve immediately.

This is a great recipe to make when you're stuck inside on a chilly winter day.  You can serve it with coleslaw and fruit salad, and pretend like it's summer.

Happy eating.

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