My name is Jessie Valentine and I have a confession to make: I am completely obsessed with the soy nuggets at Whole Foods Market! I first found these delicious little meatless nuggets of bliss a few years ago while circling 'round the salad bar and since then I've been hooked. Unfortunately for my wallet, a 1 lb. container of soy nuggets typically cost about $10, and as someone who is on a food budget, I wanted to find a way to make my own (similar) type of soy nugget.
The consistency of the soy nuggets at WFM are like a less chewy/spongy version of seitan. If you've never tried seitan, it's a meat replacement made up of wheat gluten and typically seasoned with soy sauce or some kind of vegetable broth base. For my version of soy nuggets, I used soy flour along with vital wheat gluten. You can buy vital wheat gluten and soy flour at any health food store. It's typically found in the baking/flour section. I used Bob's Red Mill brand for both.
For flavor, I used three different marinades, thus making three different flavors of these nuggets. Feel free to use whatever you have available or if you have a certain flavor in mind (spicy, teriyaki, bbq, etc.) use dressings/sauces/seasonings that you prefer.
I hope you try this recipe and feel inspired to make your own homemade versions of your favorite foods.
Protein-Packed Vegan Nuggets (serves 4)
- 1 cup vital wheat gluten
- ½ cup soy flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- seasonings- (choose whatever you want). I made three varieties- a teriyaki/seseame flavor (teriyaki sauce + sesame seeds), a buffalo sauce flavored variety (I used buffalo sauce marinade) and a spicy variety (I mixed taco seasoning + hot sauce. Caution: muy caliente).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine wheat gluten, soy flour, and water. This combination will create a dough. Knead and stretch the dough for a minute or so.
- Cut the dough into small, bite-size pieces (nuggets)
- Boil water in a large pot. When the water comes to a boil, drop the nuggets into the dough, piece-by-piece
- Lower the water to a simmer (it should not be boiling as the nuggets cook). If the water is boiling, the nuggets will come out chewy and rubbery.
- Allow the nuggets to simmer in water for 1 hour
- Remove from heat and drain using a colander. The nuggets should have expanded. Allow to cool a bit.
- Now, for the flavoring- in a ziplock bag, allow the nuggets to marinate in whatever sauce/seasoning you choose for 1 hour-overnight (your choice).
- After the nuggets have marinated to your liking, preheat the oven to 350°F
- Spray cooking spray on a cookie tin or baking pan (both will work) and place the nuggets on the pan. If you'd like, you can add more sauce at this point, as some will evaporate as the nuggets bake in the oven
- Bake the nuggets for 20-30 minutes
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool, and enjoy