A new fried chicken shop is opening in London. Only it's entirely vegan. Enter the Temple of Seitan.
If you have ever tried the fried chicken from Temple of Seitan, you’ll probably already be following their pop-up stall around the country to get more of the wheat-gluten-fuelled goodness, whether that was in Bristol or Nottingham in November or perhaps their more regular spot at the Boiler House in London’s Brick Lane.
Well, Londoners, brace yourselves. In January 2017 Temple of Seitan are bringing the very first vegan fried chicken shop to the country’s capital, more specifically to the Hackney Central area, though details are yet to be fully confirmed.
Why a vegan KFC matters
That’s right, your very own cruelty-free KFC with fried chicken buckets to indulge in until you cannot stomach another nugget. You can also enjoy it as a burger, popcorn chicken or tender strips, with sides of coleslaw or even chopped into mac ‘n’ cheese, an indulgence that would most likely even have the most avid meat eaters drooling.
If, for some reason, anyone is questioning the reasoning behind this, Rebecca McGuinness of Temple of Seitan has explained her actions. “A lot of people say they would go vegan or vegetarian but they would miss this or that, but most people say they would miss chicken.” Agreed? Agreed. “There are so many chicken shops in London so we felt that if there was a vegan alternative, it may persuade people to give it a go, and if they liked it maybe they would change their minds about what they perceive vegan food to be.”
The Temple of Seitan
So, what exactly is seitan? It is made from gluten, which is the main protein of wheat. Wheat flour dough is washed with water to remove all the starch, with just the insoluble gluten left behind which is then cooked, and is technically an alternative to meat-alternatives such as tofu (the options really are endless).
Rebecca perhaps describes it better, explaining “seitan is a meat alternative made from wheat protein powder. It can be made with gluten flour, water and seasonings that best emulate the flavours of the meat you are trying to replicate. We make all of our own seitan from scratch.”
In an interview with Sainsbury's Homemade, she claims that the best seasonings for the chicken include sage, salt and garlic, boiled in vegan chicken stock or vegetable broth. Though relatively new to the UK, it has been documented since the 6th century in China. Temple of Seitan has been harnessing its meaty powers since their debut in April 2016 and it has clearly gone down a treat given that they are upgrading to a standalone shop just 9 months later.
Where to try the vegan fried chicken first in London
If you simply cannot wait until January, get down to the Vegan Christmas Market on Saturday 17th December, 11am-6pm at Hackney Downs Studios where you can enjoy seitan, along with many other vegan treats from vendors such as Heat of Cake, GreenBay Supermarket, Peanut Butter Bakery, Club Mexicana, Arancini Brothers, Mouse’s Favourite and the debut of Battered, a London exclusive vegan fish and chip truck.
Additionally, follow Temple of Seitan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay in-the-know of the latest information about the location and opening of their new shop. Or just look at endless pictures of seitan. Warning: may result in gluttony.