Vegan Fried Chicken Recipe

Rating 5.0
| 1
This vegan fried chicken is a great alternative to traditional fried chicken. This fully vegan dish is crispy, juicy and bursting with flavor! Freezing and then thawing the tofu completely changes its texture, creating a much "meatier" bite. This step is totally optional but well worth the time.
Utensils Dinner
Globe New American
Chef Mike has experience concocting a wide range of ethnic cuisines, including Thai, Indian and Ethiopian options. For the past five years, he has led a variety of cooking workshops, but his specialty lies in crafting ethnic plant-based dishes. Chef Mike has worked in corporate test kitchens for Walmart and Campbells, and he even worked as an on-call assistant to the chef of the Canadian Prime Minister. He is eager to impart his worldly knowledge unto aspiring chefs.


For the Vegan Fried Chicken
450 g
extra firm tofu, frozen solid then fully defrosted, see notes 1
batch of vegan buttermilk, see below
batch of coating, see below
oil, for frying
For the Vegan Buttermilk
1/2 cup(s)
plant-based milk
1 tblsp
apple cider vinegar
2 tsp
nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp
sea salt, see notes 2
For the Coating
2/3 cup(s)
all-purpose flour
3 tblsp
1 1/2 tsp
sweet paprika
1 tsp
garlic powder
1 tsp
sea salt, see notes 2
1/2 tsp
ground black pepper
1/2 tsp
onion powder
1/2 tsp
dried thyme
1/8 tsp
cayenne pepper, or to taste

Directions 9 steps | 45 Minutes

Step 1

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C) to keep the tofu warm after frying. Set a wire rack onto a second baking tray to drain the vegan fried chicken. Press the tofu between several sheets of paper towel or a lint-free kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Tear the pressed tofu into six to eight chunks that are two to three bites in size. Set aside.

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Step 2

Prepare the vegan buttermilk. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together plant-based milk, vinegar, nutritional yeast and sea salt.

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Step 3

Prepare the coating. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, sweet paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, ground black pepper, onion powder, dried thyme and cayenne pepper. 

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Step 4

Dunk several pieces of tofu at a time into the vegan buttermilk. 

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Step 5

Then one piece at a time, cover them in the prepared coating. Tap to remove excess flour. Transfer the coated pieces to the parchment-lined baking tray. Repeat with the remaining tofu. Once all the tofu has been coated, repeat the process one piece at a time. Dipping each into the vegan buttermilk, then covering them with the coating a second time. Transfer to the parchment-lined tray until ready to fry.

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Step 6

In a heavy-bottomed pot, add enough vegetable oil to fully submerge several pieces of tofu. Do not overfill the pot as it may boil over when frying. Over medium-high heat, heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) or until a wooden utensil gives off tiny bubbles when dipped in the oil. 

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Step 7

Fry three to four pieces of tofu at a time for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. It is important not to overcrowd the pot. Be careful when frying as there may be some splatter. 

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Step 8

When the tofu is golden and crispy, transfer to the prepared wire rack and keep warm in the oven while frying the remaining pieces in batches. 

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Step 9

Serve and enjoy!

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  1. Freezing the tofu separates the cellular structure. This gives it a much meatier texture and allows it to absorb more flavor. This step can be skipped to save time, but dramatically changes the final dish.
  2. For more "chicken" flavor, replace the salt with 1.5x the quantity of vegan chicken flavored bouillon powder. This is totally optional. The recipe is still delicious with sea salt.
  3. This recipe can be made gluten-free by replacing the all-purpose flour with any 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.

Nutrition Per Serving
View All
22.5 g
45.1 g
60.1 g


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Jolee S.


26 Jul 2022

I have tried MANY vegan fried "chicken" frozen meals and recipes before, and most are underwhelming. This recipe really blew me away -- freezing the tofu really does make such a difference and these nuggets were perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside!

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