Party Poppers

Not too tricky
Not too tricky
Not too tricky
Not too tricky
1:50 h

Have you got that Friday feeling?? We certainly have! Hopefully you have a wonderful weekend in store, perhaps you're having a party or seeing some mates? If you are - MAKE THESE- delicious vegan party food that EVERYONE WILL LOVE! These party poppers are the perfect replacement for popcorn chicken. The ultimate plant based snack. They're perfectly seasoned and have a really satisfying bite to them. You won't be able to stop nibbling. Colonel who? These pretty party popper pieces pair practically perfectly with BBQ sauce. Also a great kids vegan recipe...they will love it too!

Start cooking ➞




For the popcorn bites

<item-todo-done>90g vital wheat gluten<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp onion powder<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp garlic powder<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>¼ tsp ground sage<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>¼ tsp ground thyme<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp sea salt<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp black pepper<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp ground cumin<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>130ml vegetable stock<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 ½ tbsp olive oil<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tsp apple cider vinegar<item-todo-done><item-todo-done> tbsp vegetable oil for frying<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>10g nutritional yeast<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tsp smoked paprika<item-todo-done>

For the buttermilk marinade

<item-todo-done>400ml soy milk<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 lemons<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200ml coconut yoghurt - the thicker the better<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tsp salt<item-todo-done>

For the dry coating

<item-todo-done>2 tsp cayenne pepper<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tsp garlic powder<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>300g plain flour<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>1 tsp pepper<item-todo-done>

For the Asian BBQ sauce

<item-todo-done>1 tbsp vegetable oil<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>4 tbsp tomato ketchup<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 tbsp Dijon mustard<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 small onion<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>2 red chillies<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>4cm piece of fresh ginger<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>4 garlic cloves<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>300ml apple juice<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200ml red wine vinegar<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>150ml soy sauce<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>200g light brown sugar<item-todo-done>

To serve

<item-todo-done>10g coriander leaves<item-todo-done><item-todo-done>½ tbsp chilli flakes<item-todo-done>

Before you start

Clean work surface dusted liberally with flour | Large saucepan with a lid on a medium-high heat | Kettle boiled | Steamer basket or colander | Large deep-sided frying pan | Cooking thermometer | Line a large plate with kitchen paper | Slotted spoon | Clear some space in the freezer | Freezer bags or parchment-lined baking sheet

First make the dough for the popcorn bites

  • Place the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and all the herbs and spices in a large bowl and mix to combine
  • In a separate bowl or jug mix together the vegetable stock, olive oil and apple cider vinegar
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until it comes together as a dough - this dough is known as seitan
  • Tip the dough on to the floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough becomes uniform and a bit spongy, being careful not to overwork it as it can get tough
  • Cut into bitesize cubes
  • Pour boiling water into the large saucepan until it’s 2cm deep
  • Place the steamer basket or colander on top of the pan and add the seitan cubes
  • Cover with the lid and simmer for 45 minutes to steam the dough
  • Check the water every now and then and top it up with boiling water if necessary to stop the pan burning dry
  • Remove after 45 minutes and set aside to cool to room temperature

To make the buttermilk marinade

  • Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl, catching any pips in your other hand
  • Pour in the soya milk, coconut yoghurt and salt, and whisk together well
  • Now make the dry coating by combining all the ingredients in a separate bowl
  • Put the cooled dough cubes into the buttermilk marinade and stir to cover
  • Leave for 10 minutes to marinate
  • Dip the marinated dough pieces into the dry batter, rolling them around to cover
  • Now double-dip them in the marinade and roll them in the dry batter for a second time

For the first fry

  • Pour the oil for deep-frying into the large frying pan so that it comes no more than halfway up the sides
  • Heat the oil to 130°C (this is a fairly low temperature for deep frying so if you don’t have a thermometer, drop a cube of bread into the pan to test the temperature: when it’s ready it should float but take a little while to brown)
  • Transfer some of the battered bites to the pan using a slotted spoon – do this in batches so the oil stays at the correct temperature
  • Fry, turning regularly, until light golden brown and a light crust has started to form, about 3 minutes
  • Transfer to plate lined with kitchen paper to drain and cool to room temperature, then transfer to freezer bags or lay on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and put them in the freezer for at least an hour
  • Keep the oil in the pan to use again later

Meanwhile, make the Asian BBQ sauce

  • Add the oil to the pan
  • Peel and finely chop the onions and add the to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring
  • Rip the stems from the chillies, cut them in half lengthways and remove the seeds if you prefer a milder sauce, then finely chop
  • Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon and finely chop
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Add all the ingredients to the pan and stir until the sugar dissolves
  • Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer
  • Cook for 40 - 45 minutes until the sauce is thick, then taste and season
  • Blend in a powerful blender until smooth
  • Transfer to a sterilised bottle or jar and store in the fridge

Finish and serve

  • Finely chop the fresh coriander leaves and sprinkle over the bites along with the red chilli flakes 
  • Once the bites are frozen, take them out of the freezer
  • Reheat the oil to 180°C, or until a wooden spoon dipped into the oil sizzles around the edges
  • Fry the frozen bites, in batches, until they are dark golden brown, about 5 minutes
  • Transfer to kitchen paper and sprinkle with sea salt
  • Serve with Asian BBQ sauce or your favourite dip on the side
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