For many of us, TikTok makes us do foolish things. Like purchasing supposed butt-lifting leggings in the middle of the night or trying one of dozens of sometimes impossible dance trends, for example. But a new trend taking the platform by storm is one involving making vegan chicken using flour and water, along with a couple of other easy to find ingredients.
If it sounds totally off the wall, that's because, if you've never had to make a meat substitute in your life, it kind of is. In some ways, it also totally works. But after one user uploaded the video making this shredded chicken substitute called seitan, which is a vegan protein using wheat gluten and water, TikTok was alive with the sound of "WTF."
What is the flour and water chicken substitute on TikTok?
As copycat videos have shown on TikTok, making the flour and water chicken substitute on TikTok is as easy as it looked in the initial video. What the original user did was use flour, water, vegetable stock, seasonings, and some well-timed frying and simmering to make what looks like actual shredded chicken.
In the video, the user mixed together the flour with water and kneaded it until it was smooth. Then, they let the ball of dough rest for an hour. After that, they took the dough and kneaded it while it was completely submerged in water.
From there, they drained the water, added the seasonings, and gently kneaded the dough again. After an hour of letting it rest, they formed it into a knot and fried the knot on both sides in a pan.
Then, they added vegetable stock to the pan and let it simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Finally, they transferred the "meat" to a bowl and began shredding it. Miraculously, it shredded just like real chicken.
And, some TikTok users would have you believe, it also tastes close enough to the real thing. The trick to making the seitan is "washing" out the starch and being left with the gluten, which is where the protein comes from.
While the original TikTok video did not explain what the actual recipe is, there are plenty of them online to get the exact measurements down. Some recipes might include the use of soy sauce for flavor or even chickpeas to add more protein. But you can find an example here of the flour and water chicken that TikTok is going wild for in more ways than one.
I don't know how I ended up on this side of TikTok but the v*gans are now making "chicken" out of flour and water and I want out NOW— Kylie Callura (@kyliecallura) February 23, 2021
Now there are tons of other meat substitute recipes on TikTok using the same method.
Unsurprisingly, other users, and even the original TikToker who shared this vegan chicken, are now using a variant of the flour and water recipe to make other similar meat-free vegan alternatives. And once again, for some users, the substitutions work well.
The user who posted the original water and flour chicken recipe made a vegan pastrami using vegan food coloring, the water and flour method, and some specific seasonings and sauces to get the taste just right.
Someone else used the original method, as well as some chickpeas and other sauces, sweeteners, tomato paste, and kidney beans to make a vegan filet mignon.
It's a whole thing now and whether you're vegan or you assume a Ron Swanson-level meat diet, you have to hand it to the creativity of these TikTok chefs.