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vegan chick(pea) zinger
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Step 1

Fill a large saucepan with water and place it over a high heat. Drain 1 400g tin of chickpeas through a sieve set over a mixing bowl (we will need the liquid they were stored in later). Dump the chickpeas into a food processor and pulse them 5-8 times to a semi-fine crumb, but not a paste.

Step 2

Throw the nutritional yeast, white miso paste, garlic powder, black pepper and wheat gluten in with the chickpea crumb and pulse the mix again a further 5-6 times until it starts to form a cohesive ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and continue to knead it until it becomes very stiff.

Step 3

Cut the seitan dough into 4 and roll each quarter into a ball. Flatten the balls using a rolling pin to create 4 1-1.5cm flat discs with the diameter of your buns. Once the water comes to a boil, carefully lower in the seitan discs. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer the dough in the water for 7-10 minutes, until they have firmed up slightly and lightened in colour. Hook them out of the water and leave them on a plate to cool while you make your sauce.

Step 4

Chuck 70g of your bean liquid from earlier into a tall jug with the mustard, Sriracha, a peeled clove of garlic, vinegar, sugar and a generous pinch of salt. Blitz everything together using a hand blender until smooth and pale in colour - this should take 2-3 minutes. Push the hand blender to the bottom of the jug, then pour over the oil. Pull the hand blender upwards through the mixture, very slowly blending all the while to emulsify the oil. The mix should resemble a light orange, stiff mayonnaise.

Step 5

Slice the jalapeños into thin rounds - there is no need to deseed them. Chuck them into a small saucepan with the maple syrup and place the pan over a high heat. Allow the mix to boil, then reduce by 1/3 for 2-3 minutes.

Step 6

Pour the almond milk into a large mixing bowl followed by the coconut yoghurt, the juice of the lemon, the Sriracha and a generous pinch of salt, then beat everything together with a whisk. Tip the flour, smoked paprika, onion powder, nutritional yeast, cumin, Aleppo pepper and another generous pinch of salt into separate large mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together to disperse the spices evenly throughout the flour.

Step 7

Preheat the broiler/grill to its hottest setting and pour the vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pan (it should come 2/3 of the way up the sides). Place the pan over a high heat to allow the oil to come up to around 180°C (350°F) - when a pinch of flour is dropped into the oil at this temperature it should sizzle immediately. You can use a deep fat fryer instead if you have one.

Step 8

Dunk the cooked and cooled seitan discs one at a time first into the seasoned flour and then into the almond milk mix, coating each one fully and then chucking it back into the spiced flour to coat it once more. Once all the seitan discs have had a double coating of the flour mix, carefully lower them into the hot oil.

Step 9

Allow the seitan discs to fry for 5-6 minutes, carefully flipping occasionally, until they turn a deep golden brown on all sides. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the seitan from the oil to a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up any excess grease. You might have to fry the seitan in batches depending on the size of your pan.

Step 10

While you wait, cut the woody white root from the iceberg lettuce and finely shred its leaves into thin strips. Cut the buns in half, then toast them cut side up under the preheated grill for 2-3 minutes until golden.

Step 11

Liberally spread your sauce onto both the bottom and top halves of the burger buns. Place a small handful of shredded lettuce onto the bottom of each bun and follow it with a piece of fried seitan and a liberal drizzling of the jalapeño syrup. Top each burger off with its lid and tuck in!

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