Meatless Nuggets (Less Oil)
by Oliver Pau
Meatless Nuggets (Less Oil)
Yield:About 1/2 Pound
This easy meatless nuggets (less oil) recipe replaces the deep fryer with a two-step cooking process. There is a wet stage where the nuggets are simmered in a liquid and a dry stage when the nuggets are crisped in an oven or air fryer. The results are a similar crispy on the outside and soft on the inside nugget, but using a lot less oil than the Easy Meatless Nugget recipe..
As in the previous recipe, these easy meatless nuggets can be made using our plant protein mix, a good vegetarian broth and a sauce. You can make your own broth and sauce, or just keep it simple and use store-bought versions. These nuggets work great with a wide variety of sauces, including orange sauce, buffalo sauce or BBQ sauce.
The dry to wet ingredient ratio is about one to one by weight. If you want a half of pound of nuggets, then start with a quarter of a pound of mix and you’ll use roughly an equivalent amount of broth.
1 cup (120 g) plant protein food mix
Vegetarian broth/stock (store bought or homemade, your choice)
Sauce (store bought or homemade, your choice)
Oil for a light coating
To form the nuggets, create a well in the dry mix and gradually add the broth. Stir gently with a fork, gradually add more stock, and continue stirring. Once the ingredients are wet, they will start forming a loose dough. At this point, do not add more stock, but continue to mix until a firmer dough ball forms (use hands to knead, if needed). A firmer dough helps the nuggets keep their form during the simmering stage. .
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and reduce heat to a simmer. Pull small pieces from the dough ball and drop them in the water. Continue this process until all the dough is used. The nuggets will expand during this cooking step, so portion the pieces accordingly. Maintain simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pot and let the pieces cool completely.
While the seitan cools, preheat the oven to 375 F. When the nuggets are cool enough to handle, squeeze as much liquid out of them as possible with your hands. Place the nuggets on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the oil onto the nuggets and toss to coat them (or use cooking spray to lightly coat the nuggets). Bake the nuggets for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are brown and firm. Stir the nuggets around the half way point.
Alternatively, after coating the nuggets in oil, place the nuggets in a single layer in an air fryer. Follow instructions for your air fryer. In my case, I set the air fryer at 390 F for 10 minutes. I gave the basket a shake after 5 minutes and the nuggets were brown and firm in just under 10 minutes. Do not over crisp the nuggets or they will be really dry.
To glaze the nuggets, use a pan that can fit the nuggets in a single layer. If using a smaller pan, you can glaze the nuggets in batches. Place pan over medium heat and pour desired sauce to form a thin layer over the bottom of the pan. You can use a prepared sauce or make your own. If the sauce is really thick, add a small amount of water or broth to loosen up the sauce.
When the sauce is hot, place nuggets in the pan and stir to coat with sauce. Add more sauce, if needed. You can also add a little water or broth to keep the sauce from burning or sticking to the pan. Continue to stir until the nuggets are completely glazed and the sauce turns thick and sticky.
To make a flavorful liquid, you can add 1 tablespoon each of soy sauce (or tamari/liquid aminos) and maple syrup to the water or vegetable stock.
This recipe makes about a 1/2 pound of product. The recipe can be scaled up or down to make the amount that you want.