It’s a lot easier to fry some nuggets of seitan than chicken wings, and drenching them afterward in a classic Buffalo sauce transforms them into flavor bombs. Unlike with wings, you can decide what shape they are, so I made these small enough to get golden-brown on both sides in just a shallow pool of oil. And, of course, no bones.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour with 1 1/2 cups of the water and mix until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the water to absorb. Turn the ball onto a surface dusted with more whole wheat flour and knead for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture is smooth, flouring the surface as needed. Let the dough sit for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to develop.
- Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with water. Squeeze and rinse the dough under running water to remove the starches. Once the water runs clear and the dough no longer emits white starches when you squeeze it underwater (about 10 minutes), rinse thoroughly. This is now seitan.
- Roll the seitan into an oblong shape and pat down with towels to dry. Slice into roughly 1/2” rounds, about the size of small chicken nuggets.
- Heat the oil in a pan or wok over high heat. Once the oil is very hot (when a droplet of water sizzles in it), add a batch of seitan slivers so that each one has full contact with the oil in the pan. Do not overcrowd. Let brown for about 2 minutes on one side, then flip with tongs to brown the opposite sides, another 2 minutes. Remove with tongs and set aside, sprinkling with salt to finish. Continue with the remaining batches of the seitan slices, heating up more oil if necessary.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and remove from heat. Toss the sauce with the fried seitan pieces in a large bowl and coat thoroughly. Serve immediately with the optional blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks.
Cathy Erway is the author of the cookbooks The Food of Taiwan and Sheet Pan Chicken, and the memoir The Art of Eating In. She co-wrote Win Son Presents: A Taiwanese American Cookbook. She hosts the podcast Self Evident, exploring Asian American stories. She has won a James Beard Award and IACP award for her writing at TASTE.