Are you craving chicken nuggets but prefer an alternative to eating the actual meat?
Well, good for you, there are many options you can choose from to replicate the taste and texture of chicken. The best part about replicating the taste is chicken itself is pretty tasteless. It’s seasoned anyway to give it some flavor.
That means all you need is your plant based alternative and good seasoning, and you’ll have a great alternative to the chicken dish you’re craving.
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Jackfruit is increasing in popularity for being a plant based chicken alternative, and there’s a good reason for that. Even though it’s a tropical fruit, it can be used to make savory dishes like BBQ “chicken” and “pulled chicken” sandwiches.
It almost melts in your mouth, which is why it’s such a fantastic substitute for chicken. It also has a fairly neutral flavor that allows it to pair with almost any sauce, even those with intense flavors.
Jackfruit is most notably used in enchiladas and when it meets the sauce and the flavors of the other ingredients, you might mistake what you’re eating for actual chicken.
You might be surprised that tofu is on this list, not for the taste but the texture. That squishy, chewy texture that blocks of tofu have come in handy when making chicken alternatives. It’s incredibly absorbent and can soak up tons of flavor.
For this reason, tofu “chicken” is excellent in a stir fry, pot pie, or even a curry. You have a few firmness options to choose from, but extra-firm works best.
Pro tip: freezing your tofu before preparing it creates air pockets. This will give the final product an even more spongey, chicken-like bite to it.
Tempeh is similar to tofu except that it is fermented and has a grainy and nutty texture and taste. It’s also arguably more nutritious and can be easier to cook with. It’s a little more malleable than tofu as well so you can even make “chicken meatballs” or toss it in a chipotle salad.
The only downside of tempeh is it isn’t as easy to find as tofu in some grocery stores. But if you do find it, you can try out the same recipe using tofu and see which one you like more.
You’ve probably seen cauliflower buffalo wings buzzing around the internet. Admittedly, you won’t get the same texture from the cauliflower as you would chicken. But toss it in enough sauce, and you might not even notice the difference in terms of flavor.
You can also coat cauliflower in batter and bake them like you would wings. When they’re baked, their texture can be similar to steak, so they’d pair well with any dipping sauces you have on hand.
If you want something quick that you can just pop in the oven or microwave, plant based chicken is available in almost all grocery stores.
There are popular brands you might be familiar with. But a secret to getting plant based chicken that tastes similar to the real thing is buying newer brands.
These brands seem to have taken old recipes and perfected them. Like Simulate’s chicken nuggs, for example. Tried and true is good, but new and improved is better.
The list can go on and on about plant based chicken alternatives since there are tons you can try. The key to preparing plant based chicken is matching the texture to the dish you’re making and making sure your alternative is thoroughly seasoned.
It’s basically the same thing as preparing actual chicken. But this way is harm-free and healthier for you!