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Party Poppers

Party Poppers
Party Poppers

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! 👀

These party poppers are the perfect replacement for popcorn chicken. 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.

Ingredients
Method

Ingredients

Popcorn Bites

  • 90g vital wheat gluten
  • 10g nutritional yeast
  • 1⁄2 tsp onion powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground sage
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1⁄2 tsp black pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin
  • 130ml vegetable stock
  • 11⁄2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Buttermilk Marinade

  • 2 lemons
  • 400ml soya milk
  • 200ml coconut yoghurt (the thicker the better)
  • 2 tsp salt

Dry coating

  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Asian BBQ Sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 4cm piece of fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 300ml apple juice
  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • 150ml soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 200g light brown sugar

To garnish

  • 10–15g fresh coriander leaves
  • 1⁄2 tbsp red chilli flakes

Method

  1. 1.

    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 | 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


    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


    Finely chop the fresh coriander leaves and sprinkle over the bites along with the red chilli flakes | Serve with Asian BBQ sauce or your favourite dip on the side


    To make the Asian BBQ sauce: add the oil to the pan. Peel and finely chop the onions and add the to the pan. 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 and you have about 250g. Tate and season. Use it just as it is or for a more typical smooth sauce, blend in a liquidizer until smooth. Transfer to a sterilized bottle or jar and store in the fridge.