Chickwheat Shreds 

17 Dec

I live in a large town in Illinois, and we are lucky to have an abundance of local stores that sell chickpeas. Most of the time I wonder why I lived so much of my life without the joys of baked chickpeas and I spend an exorbitant amount of my free time planning what I’m going to do with my next batch of chickpeas, because I buy them in 5 pound bags and always am looking for new recipes.

I enjoy seitan making as much as I enjoy chickpeas. If you’ve followed my Instagram lately, you have seen how much seitan I’ve been experimenting with. This recipe was the result of running out of tofu and not being able to leave the house with two small children. The chickpeas add lysine (and lots of flavor) to the seitan and the method used to knead the seitan gives it a great shredded texture. I add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the recipe to cancel out the strong gluten flavor, but feel free to omit if you don’t have it.

This recipe is pretty dependent on an Instant Pot for similar results. If you have a conventional steamer, you may possibly be able to achieve a similar result if you are able to maintain the steam for 2 hours. If not, try making several smaller packets and steaming for an hour. Edit: since the writing of this recipe, many people have tested different cooking methods and steaming on the stove top or in a stove top pressure cooker works well!

Most food processors come with a dough hook, it’s just a plastic thingamabob that kneads instead of chops. If you don’t have one, or can’t find it, you should be able to get a similar texture with your metal blade. Just be sure to process long enough that it comes together and turns stringy and taffy like. You can also use a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook for 15 minutes or longer.

I prefer to weigh the ingredients in this recipe, as I think it yields the most consistent results, but I have included volume measurements for most of the ingredients if you don’t have a kitchen scale.

If you make this recipe, please use the tag #chickwheat on Instagram or public Facebook posts! I’d love to see your creations!!


  • 2 cups/300g cooked chickpeas (cold, don’t use warm)
  • 1 cup/225 ml aquafaba (vegetable broth or water can be substituted)
  • 2 tbsp/30 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp/35g white miso paste*
  • 1.5 tsp/10g salt**
  • 1 tbsp/12g onion powder
  • 2 tsp/6g garlic powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cup/255g vital wheat gluten


  1. Measure all ingredients up to the vinegar.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Weigh out vital wheat gluten while chickpea mixture is blending.
  3. Combine vital wheat gluten and chickpea mixture in a large bowl. Let rest about 15 minutes to allow gluten to absorb the moisture.
  4. Separate dough into 2 parts. Fit a food processor with a dough hook (see note above), blend each portion until the dough is warm, stretchy, smooth, and ‘shreds’ of gluten are visible. This can take up to 8 minutes, depending on your food processor. Don’t be alarmed if it initially starts to break apart into crumbles. Keep processing it and it will come together into a large ball. If it’s too crumbly, add a few more tablespoons of liquid and it should come together.
  5. Combine 2 kneaded balls of dough onto a large sheet of aluminum foil.
  6. Fold foil into a rectangular package and seal each end tightly. Cover with another large sheet of aluminum foil and repeat.
  7. Add 2 cups of water to Instant Pot and insert trivet. Place packet on top of trivet. See my above note if you don’t have an instant pot.
  8. Set Instant Pot for manual, high pressure for 120 minutes.
  9. When roast is finished cooking, quick release the pressure, and allow to come to room temperature. Remove foil whenever it is cool enough to touch.
  10. When roast has cooled enough to handle, split roast in half.
  11. Shred gently along the grains that were formed by the food processor, until entire roast is shredded. Refrigerate for best texture.
  12. When ready to cook, sauté in a pan with a light layer of oil. Add at the end of recipes with high moisture content (soups or stews) otherwise use as you would any other meat alternative.

Note: this recipe is meant to be seasoned or sautéed post steaming. You may find the initial product a bit bland and/or gluten flavored. It is a base ‘bland chicken’ recipe. Please consider it like you would bland chicken.

*sub chickpea miso if soy intolerant.

**use less salt if using canned salted chickpeas.

**A special thanks to Chef Skye Michael for the methods and techniques which inspired this recipe.


142 Responses to “Chickwheat Shreds ”

  1. Jill March 25, 2018 at 5:09 am #

    What is the best way to shred this hand or fork method? do you season with anything before or after?

    • avocadosandales March 25, 2018 at 5:02 am #

      It definitely shreds best by hand. It’s meant to be a blank slate flavor, I always season after it’s shredded and cooled before adding to other dishes.

  2. Lili March 31, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

    I think 🤔 the question I should ask is
    Is Oil Absolutely necessary in any of your recipes?

    • avocadosandales March 31, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

      Please see previous responses. Tahini is a good swap for most of the seitan recipes

    • thecleanvegans March 31, 2018 at 4:02 pm #

      I have made this recipe without the oil (I always omit oil called for in recipes — it is so unnecessary) and it was delish. See my results at TheCleanVegan on Facebook.

  3. Lili March 31, 2018 at 2:52 pm #

    What happens with this recipe if I leave the oil out?

    • avocadosandales March 31, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

      Substitute with tahini.

    • thecleanvegans March 31, 2018 at 4:03 pm #

      I have made this recipe without the oil (I always omit oil called for in recipes — it is so unnecessary) and it was delish. See my results at TheCleanVegan on Facebook.

  4. M April 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

    Would it work in a normal pressure cooking, just placing it on top of the water during high pressure cooking?

    • avocadosandales April 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm #

      Yes, it should work well

      • M April 2, 2018 at 4:22 am #

        Thanks, looking forward to trying the recipe!

  5. The Clean Veganista April 12, 2018 at 8:59 pm #

    I made this again, only this time I modified the recipe, adding various flavoring ingredients and OMG it was delish!!

    • Trixie Brouilette June 25, 2018 at 10:36 pm #

      Do tell what flavoring ingredients you added 🙂

  6. Tèresa April 23, 2018 at 12:24 am #

    How is it in a vegan chicken salad? I’m looking to replicate the taste of a traditional chicken salad as closely as possible for my omni husband.

    • The Clean Veganista April 23, 2018 at 8:21 am #

      I’ve found that it’s the add-ins make or break a good copycat recipe. My now vegan husband missed his beloved chicken salad & I was able to make a can’t-tell-the-difference version using by using the same or vegan version of/for flavor palate ingredients, namely onion, tarragon & [oil-free cashew based] sour cream. ChickWheat shreds and chickpeas work equally well as a base chicken substitute.

      • Teresa April 23, 2018 at 10:18 am #

        Thanks! I am relatively new to making seitan and vegan cheeses (former junk/processed food vegan lol) and have several different recipes for chicken meat analogues. I am specifically looking for a very bland veg chicken with the proper texture, so this will probably work really well. I’m going to shred it and then chop it for the salad. I’ve heard so many rave reviews for chickwheat (and this recipe in particular), especially on a FB Seitan group I belong to. Thanks again for your help!

  7. Chloe May 5, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

    What setting (number, speed..) should be used if using a Kitchen Aid mixer). Thanks

    • avocadosandales May 5, 2018 at 2:50 pm #

      I have heard people say speed 5 is what they recommend, but I don’t own a kitchen aid mixer so I can’t say for certain
      Hopefully another commentor will chime in here.

    • Teresa May 5, 2018 at 9:33 pm #

      I have made this recipe twice using my Kitchen Aid. Mine is an older model – the Classic Plus – which has the following speeds: Stir,2,4,6,8,10. I knead the whole batch at once at both 4 and 6 for 15-20 minutes, stopping the machine every few minutes as needed to squish the dough down and test it for elasticity. Sometimes I also take it out and knead a bit by hand. Both times the texture has been great.

  8. Paula Lester-Garcia May 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm #

    Hi! I’ve been trying to find miso paste where I live and have not been successful. is ther anything i can substitute with? Thanks!

    • Jessica May 28, 2018 at 10:45 am #

      I can’t speak specifically for this recipe, but I have used other vegan soup bases where a recipe calls for miso paste. You can find it by the bullion cubes.

  9. JulieAnn June 4, 2018 at 3:31 am #

    Thank you, I was about to give up making seitan, I had not found a recipe I liked, the texture was wrong for me. Mine turned out like a dense bread. I was told of your recipe on a Facebook group. It really is delicious and the texture is just what I was looking for.

  10. Amanda Vargas July 29, 2018 at 8:19 am #

    I’m attempting now this recipe and the dough got sticky and started to really stick to the food processor’s blade and dough hook (I tried both). My machine almost broke, the drive shaft to be more precise (magi mix 4200xl, 950 w induction motor).
    Why isn’t the dough getting firmer? It seems that I got softer and sticky… Please advise me 😦

  11. Rhonna September 10, 2018 at 1:33 pm #

    Suggestions for storage if it’s too much? Can I freeze?

  12. Stacie September 24, 2018 at 5:56 am #

    I made this last night and I am amazed at the magic that happened when I put the seitan in the food processor! The final texture is amazing and I’m pretty sure this is how Asian restaurants make that fancy looking seitan. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  13. Ken Jones October 5, 2018 at 11:34 am #

    I made a batch of this over the weekend. I have made two Asian dishes with the shreds and was VERY impressed! This recipe is a keeper.


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