This veganized version of popcorn chicken is indistinguishable for "real" popcorn chicken and absolutely impossible to stop eating.The tofu and vital wheat gluten work well together in creating the perfect texture for the vegan chicken and then these nuggets are coated in the delicious breadcrumb mix and fried – it doesn't get much better than this.

Popcorn Tofu [Vegan]





For the Tofu:

  • 7 ounces firm tofu, drained but not pressed
  • 4/5 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of liquid seasoning or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Batter:

  • 2/3 cup aquafaba (the water from a can of chickpeas)
  • 2/5 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 3.5 ounces white breadcrumbs (around 3 slices of bread)
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Crumble the tofu into a bowl.
  2. Add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and then season it generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the liquid smoke seasoning (or vegetable stock if you prefer) and work the ingredients together with your hands.
  4. Once everything is combined, you should be able to squeeze small amounts of the mixture together without it falling apart.
  5. Set up three shallow bowls. Place the flour in one, the aquafaba in another, and the rest of the ingredients for the coating in the other. Combine the ingredients in the final bowl and season it generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Take a small amount of the "chicken" mixture and roll it into a ball. Dip it first into the flour, then into the aquafaba, then finally into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure it is fully coated.
  7. Place the coated "chicken" on a lined baking tray, and repeat this until the "chicken" mixture has run out.
  8. In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil to around 350°F.
  9. Place some of your vegan popcorn chicken pieces, carefully, into the oil. Try to avoid the pieces touching too much – you don’t want to crowd them.
  10. Fry them until they're crispy – this should take 3-5 minutes.
  11. Take the cooked pieces out of the oil and place them on some kitchen roll. Repeat this until all the pieces are cooked.
  12. Serve your vegan popcorn chicken with tomato ketchup for dipping.