Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. Everyone knows that schnitzel is the most famous dish of Austria, but how do you make a vegan schnitzel? Let us show our simple secret…
What you need to make vegan schnitzel:
- Gram flour (aka chickpea flour/besan)
- Soy sauce
- Salt and pepper
- Sunflower oil for frying
- And the secret ingredient is… CELERIAC!
The gram flour, water and soy sauce make a mixture to replace the egg which is traditionally used in the process. If you don’t have any gram flour, you can also easily replace it with plain flour.
The best breadcrumbs for schnitzel making are dry, fine and even.
You can make your own breadcrumbs from stale, dry white bread. Just cut into cubes, and pulse in a food processor until they are fine. Make them whenever you’ve got excess bread, pop them in a jar, and store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them!
Store bought dried breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs will also work. In Austria and Germany you can buy them from bakeries or supermarkets where they are known as Semmelbroesel or Paniermehl.
The secret ingredient
Celeriac – that knobbly round root veg that’s often overlooked, might seem like an unlikely choice for making vegan schnitzel, but let us tell you why it’s so great!
- It’s a natural, unprocessed ingredient unlike the textured soy protein or seitan that other vegan schnitzel recipes use.
- You don’t need to precook it, just peel, slice and batter!
- It has a soft tender texture, with a great bite to it.
- It might look like chicken, but it has a subtle flavour that adds an extra dimension to the schnitzel.
How to make schnitzel
The basic process of making vegan schnitzel is simple.
Prepare whatever it is that you want to make schnitzel out of (in this case our celeriac slices). Then coat them in flour, dip them in an ‘egg’ mixture, and then coat in breadcrumbs. To cook the schnitzel, heat up a frying pan with plenty of sunflower or other frying oil, and then fry on each side until crisp and golden brown.
What to serve your vegan schnitzel with
Schnitzel is best served fresh after frying. Traditionally it’s served with potato salad (we love our Easy Potato Salad for this) and a green salad. Most importantly a slice of lemon too.
We hope you like our vegan schnitzel recipe, sent to you from Austria with love! Try our other iconic Austrian recipes:
- 1/2 celeriac
- 2 cups (480 ml) sunflower oil for frying
Breading for about 4 schnitzel:
- 2 slices of lemon
- easy potato salad
- green salad
- Peel celeriac and cut into slices about 5mm thick
- Combine the gram flour, water, soy sauce and pepper into a smooth batter.
- On one plate prepare plain flour, on another the breadcrumbs combined with salt.
- Dip a celeriac slice in the flour to finely coat it
- Next dip the slice in the gram flour mixture. Let the excess batter drip off.
- And finally, coat the slice in the breadcrumbs.
- Set aside ready for frying and repeat until all slices are breaded.
- Heat up a frying pan filled at least 1cm with frying oil. For an evenly browned crust, the schnitzel should be literally swimming in oil, not lie on the bottom of the pan.
- To test if the oil is hot and ready for frying, drop in a few breadcrumbs. If you can immediately see and hear them bubble and sizzle up, it’s ready.
- Carefully place a schnitzel in the hot oil. Fry for 2 minutes on each side, until deep golden brown. Use tongs to turn over the schnitzel to avoid splashes of hot oil.
- Serve with salad and a slice of lemon to drizzle over.