How to Vegan "Chicken Fry"
Vegan fry batter is possible! No eggs required!
I recently posted about what I was making for our Super Bowl party--mini potato skins, jackfruit wings, and fried "mozzarella" sticks! I got a request for the recipes and here we are! Potato skins are super easy, so my focus for this post will be the method for frying the wings and "cheese" sticks.
Briefly, if you haven't done potato skins before, all you do is bake your clean potatoes. Cut them in half, scoop out the soft-baked insides, leaving some flesh, until they look like little boats. (Don't forget to save all that extra potato for mash, soup, or even a twice baked potato!) Then I spray the fleshy side of the skins with a little cooking spray and pop them back in the oven until they get a little color on them. Alternatively, you could drop them in a fryer for 2-3 minutes. But I like the baked version just as well, by the time you top them and it saves you some calories and some oily clean-up (unless you are already frying)! I topped my tater skins with cheese sauce, chives and imitation bacon bits.
To fry most anything you want to get your oil nice and hot or you may end up with a soggy mess. So, if you don't have a counter top fryer like I do you will want to use a large pot, fill it with enough oil to ensure that your food items will be fully submerged and able to move freely in the oil. Then you will need to use a thermometer to ensure that your temperature hovers around the 350 to 375 degrees mark.
Taste your dry mix! Sounds gross to taste dry flour, but it will ensure that you got the seasoning ratio just right. You don't have to put a spoonful in your mouth, just a pinch will do!
Use one hand for the wet mix and the other for dry. Your fingers will get super messy no matter what, but this makes is a little easier.
Always double batter for an even crispy coating!
Don't worry about clumps forming in your dry mix--that is where the crispy texture comes from!
If your wet mix gets too thick, just whisk in a little more liquid.
If you were born and raised in the South like me then you already know that there are endless possibilities for "chicken" frying! So let your imagination go wild! You could add a little corn meal to the dry mixture and fry up some dill pickles! OR go sweet by replacing the seasoning mix with some brown sugar and cinnamon!
"Chicken Fry" Batter
PREP TIME 10 | COOK TIME 15 | TOTAL TIME 25
2 c Flour (I use GF)
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbl Favorite Seasoning Mix (I use Montreal Steak Seasoning)
1 1/2 c Milk (unsweetened)
2-3 Tbl Corn Starch
Pinch of salt (I use seasoning salt)
Jackfruit in brine, drained
OR pressed Extra Firm Tofu cut into pieces
For Motz Sticks:
One recipe of cheese prepared in advance: https://avocadosandales.com/2015/08/24/aquafaba-cheese/ (Note: I felt I needed to add a little unsweetened milk to this recipe since mine came out of the blender thick and I didn't want it to burn while cooking. I also felt it could have used a bit more salt and of course I used vitamin C powder to replace the lactic acid.)
Start heating the oil in your fryer or pot to 350 degrees.
While the oil is heating, drain the jackfruit or press and slice the tofu. If doing motz sticks, slice the cheese into sticks.
Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate medium bowl. For motz sticks, pour the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
Begin battering your items by first coating them in the wet mixture. Then coat the wet pieces in the dry mixture. Then repeat by placing the coated jackfruit/tofu back in the wet mixture, and then back into the dry mix again. You can place battered items aside in order to fry in batches. Each batch should take 3-4 minutes. Remove from the oil when golden brown, and place on a paper towel lined plate. Serve hot.
For motz sticks, begin battering as stated above but instead of dropping the sticks into the flour mixture that last time roll in the breadcrumbs instead. So it will go: wet mix, flour mix, wet mix, breadcrumbs. Be sure to coat the cheese evenly or you my have cheese melting into your oil during frying.
We like to serve our jackfruit wings tossed in buffalo wing sauce. There are bottled versions that do not contain butter, so just read the label. Alternatively, you could toss in BBQ sauce! Either way these are great with a side of ranch and celery sticks.
I like my fried tofu with a side of mashed potatoes and brown gravy.
You can't serve mozzarella sticks without marinara sauce so be sure to have some on hand! I have also created a more sophisticated looking version for parties where I cut the cheese into square slabs and battered it the same, but topped the finished product with a little sauce, basil leaf and sliced tomato.