Soy-based meat products, including chicken, provide an alternative to protein obtained from animal sources. Developed to look, taste and behave like regular chicken in cooking, soy chicken is among the many products used by individuals who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Soy chicken is available ground, and as fillets, tenders, strips, seasoned burgers, nuggets, wings and deli slices.
Soy chicken is made by extracting the protein from soy flour. Processors add water to the protein, heat the mixture and pass it through an extrusion cylinder. According to the University of Missouri website, the high moisture content -- up to 75 percent -- is what gives the soy protein mixture a texture and appearance that are very similar to chicken. Researchers devised a way to add more fiber to the mixture so that it can be torn into pieces like regular cooked chicken.
Cooking With Soy Chicken
Soy chicken strips can be used in most recipes for regular chicken. Use it as a substitute for other meats in lasagna, tossed with pasta or in a "chicken" salad. Add shredded or diced soy chicken to soups, stews or stir-fries. Soy chicken products, such as buffalo "wings" and sweet and sour "cutlets," are also available as ready-to-eat entrees.
Rachel Lovejoy has been writing professionally since 1990 and currently writes a weekly column entitled "From the Urban Wilderness" for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine, as well as short novellas for Amazon Kindle. Lovejoy graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.