Crunchy, crispy fried chicken wings are a popular appetizer that non-vegans often enjoy with ranch dressing. But did you know that vegan chicken wings exist, too?
Yes, that’s right, there are many delicious vegan chicken wing options available that are made from different meat replacements. What are vegan wings, exactly? Well, they are vegan wings that are made from ingredients like cauliflower, seitan, mushrooms, or tofu rather than chicken.
What are Vegan Wings Made Of? Let’s Find Out!
Typical options for vegan wings include vegan foods that offer a firm and bouncy texture that pairs well with the crunchy exterior. Luckily for us, there are many ways to whip up a vegan wing. What are vegan chicken wings options, you ask? Here are some foods that make for a great vegan wing.
Vegan Wings: Perks of being a Cauliflower
Cauliflower is considered to be one of the most versatile superfoods out there, and with good reason. It contains fiber, minerals, Vitamins B, C, and K, and a high concentration of anti-cancer carotenoids (antioxidants) and glucosinolates. Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables with cousins like broccoli, kale, and cabbage.
And another great thing about cauliflower? There are so many ways to prepare it! You can grill it, bake it, sauté it, puree it, blend it, make rice with it, and yes, you can even make vegan chicken wings out of it. With cauliflower, the possibilities are endless. The vegetable is easily available at organic grocery stores and supermarkets and another great thing about this superfood is that it is not pricey at all.
Vegan cauliflower wings go great with vegan aioli and together, they make for the ultimate comfort food. The cauliflower florets provide the perfect shape to your vegan chicken wing when dipped in batter.
Cauliflower has a mild and savory taste and adapts well to the seasonings it is dressed in. So, you can easily customize the taste of the vegan wings to your preference.
Vegan Wings: The World is Your Oyster
If the texture of the cauliflower just doesn’t do it for you, then you can try your luck with mushrooms. Oyster mushrooms are a type of edible fungi that is popular in vegan diets. It is also one of the most popular mushrooms in the world.
Oyster mushrooms get their name from their similarity in size, shape, and color to the raw oyster. They are not actually oysters, at all! However, when cooked, the mushrooms even taste a bit like oysters, which furthers the resemblance. You can easily find fresh oyster mushrooms in your local market or opt for canned options as well. Oyster mushrooms are rich in proteins, non-starchy carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and minerals. They are very low in cholesterol so you can enjoy your vegan oyster mushroom wings guilt-free. Here are some other ways to navigate low-cholesterol vegan options.
Oyster mushrooms can be used to make tasty vegan wings – they provide the perfect meaty texture that mimics that of a chicken wing. The oyster mushroom provides a stringy, tender, and succulent character to the vegan wing that just seals the deal with a crunchy coating on the outside.
When using oyster mushrooms to prepare your vegan wings, there are two ways to go about things. You can either find mushrooms that are just the right size for making your vegan chicken wings, or you can take mushrooms that are larger and tear them into smaller, wing-sized chunks. Tearing larger mushrooms will likely leave you with uneven wings though – although they’ll still taste just as good. Oyster mushrooms are a readily-available, tasty ingredient that can be used to conveniently make a batch of vegan wings. So next time you’re in the mood for some, give these mushrooms a go!
Vegan Wings: Seitan To The Rescue
Another main ingredient used to make vegan chicken wings is seitan. Seitan is a versatile protein made from wheat, so it is a vegan option. It is also known as the ‘wheat meat’. Other names for seitan include gluten, wheat protein, and wheat gluten. It is made by rinsing out the starch from the wheat dough. Seitan is readily available in the market and you can make it yourself as well. The process of making it from wheat flour is very labor-intensive and it is wiser to make it with vital wheat gluten, which involves a relatively simpler process.
When cooked, seitan resembles meat in look and texture to a great extent. This is why it is popular among vegans as a meat substitute. Seitan has a savoury and bland taste which is often compared to bland chicken or Portobello mushrooms. This is what makes it an ideal ingredient to make vegan chicken wings with. Seitan has the ability to absorb the flavours that it is introduced to, so you can add your favourite seasonings to it to amp up the flavour profile of your vegan chicken wings.
Where Can You Find Vegan Wings?
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making vegan chicken wings from scratch, you can choose from the many store-bought options.
- Gardein has a variety of vegan options in their freezer-aisle section, and they offer vegan chicken wings in multiple flavors. These options include the classic ‘Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Wings’, the ‘Spicy Gochujang Style Chick’n Wings’, and the comforting ‘Chipotle Georgia Style Chick’n Wings.
- Field Roast also offers an assortment of vegan chicken wings. They usually go best with vegan ranch.
- Another great option for vegan chicken wings is MorningStar Farms’ Vegan Buffalo Wings.
- Clean South provides you with two great choices for Chicken wings: the ‘Vegan Buffalo Wings’ and the ‘Vegan Honee BBQ Wings’.
Just Wing it!
So, to recap, vegan chicken wings are alternate, vegan-friendly wings that can be made with many different ingredients, some of which are listed above for your convenience.
Popular foundational ingredients include oyster mushrooms, versatile cauliflower, and exotic seitan. There are some other great substitutes for chicken that can be used to make vegan wings too, such as tofu.
It’s all about finding an alternative that has the right taste and texture to match your preferences.