A meat-free appetizer that is sure to please a crowd. These Vegan Air Fryer Finger Steaks are made with seitan for a healthy alternative to a guilty pleasure.
Recreating a Classic Montana Recipe
I will never forget ordering an appetizer sampler on a Friday night with my family at Airport Inn in Miles City Montana. Soon, a huge platter arrived filled with french fries, onion rings, and finger steaks. All-in-all, the perfect combination of fried finger foods especially for a young kid.
Fast forward 30 years or so (who’s counting!) and my tastes may have changed slightly but my heart has always held a soft spot for unhealthy fried food from time to time. Although french fries are often a FRYday 🙂 splurge already, we thought it was about time to try our hand at recreating a bite sized vegan “steak” recipe.
A Terrific Steak Replacement
This healthier plant-based version is made with seitan, a meat replacement made from vital wheat gluten. Although you can find seitan in many grocery stores today, we highly recommend making your own. It’s relatively easy to make and it is much more economical. Plus, you can form the seitan in the ideal shape you need for whatever “meat” you are replicating.
Next, the seitan is lightly breaded with a savory flour and flax egg coating similar to the breading on a chicken fried steak. In other words, it’s crispy on the outside and moist and “meaty” on the inside.
The Perfect Finger Food
However, the best part about this fun “steak” recipe is that you can pick it up and dip it into your own favorite condiments. We love to use a mixture of sriracha and ketchup or you can go the original route and use a cocktail sauce for dipping.
No matter what dipper you choose, these little seitan finger steaks are bound to become a family favorite. You may even want to create your own sampler platter because you only live once, right???… so go ahead and get your air fry on!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Seitan – Protein packed with amazing texture, seitan is a wonderful plant-based alternative to beef.
- Finger Steak Breading – This peppery mix crisps up beautifully in the air fryer.
- Oil – Although much less than deep frying, a little oil is necessary for perfectly crispy air-fried finger steaks.
FAQ & Vegan Air Fryer Finger Steak Tips:
Are these finger steaks gluten-free?
- No. Seitan is made from vital wheat gluten. Therefore, if you need them to be gluten-free we suggest using tempeh or tofu instead and use gluten-free flour for the coating.
Can you bake these finger steaks instead?
- Yes, absolutely. Bake the coated finger steaks at 400℉ for approximately 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. However, be aware that they will not be quite as crispy when prepared this way.
Tip: Make Your Own Seitan
- For the ideally sized finger steaks, we highly recommend making your own seitan. Simply make your seitan a day or two in advance and then you can cut your steak strips to resemble the size of a chicken strip. Try our recipe for Homemade Seitan and you will never purchase it again!
- If you use store bought, just be aware that your pieces will be more bite-sized and will cook much faster in the air fryer so keep a close watch.
Serve these finger steaks with a salty/sweet condiment for dipping. Here are a few of our personal favorites:
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce
Cocktail Sauce (We love this recipe by A Spicy Perspective – Best Homemade Cocktail Sauce (Seafood Sauce)
A Guaranteed Crowd Pleaser
Don’t think for a second that you can’t enjoy your old favorite meat-based recipes while following a plant-based diet. Sometimes, it just takes a little creativity and wah-lah you have finger steaks. 😆 And trust us, everyone is going to be craving these on a Friday night! Enjoy!
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We’d love to know what you thought of these finger steaks. Don’t forget to leave a comment and star rating ⭐️ below! Thank you in advance for your feedback!
Step-by-Step Instructional Photos:
A meat-free finger food that is sure to please a crowd. These Vegan Air Fryer Finger Steaks are crispy on the outside with a meaty seitan interior.
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/2 tsp Ground Fennel
- 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Ground Flax
- 8 Tbsp Warm Water
- 8 oz. Seitan (Check out this recipe for Homemade Seitan to make your own!)
- 1 tsp Spray Vegetable Oil
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, fennel, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the ground flax and warm water. Stir until incorporated completely and allow it to sit for 5 minutes or until it has an egg-like consistency.
- Slice the seitan into finger length pieces.
- One by one, dip each piece into the flax egg bowl, making sure it is coated completely. Then transfer it to the flour mixture and coat completely. Place each piece on a plate and repeat until all of the strips are coated.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400° F. Once the air fryer is ready, carefully add the coated finger steaks. Before closing the air fryer lightly spray the top of the finger steaks with cooking spray.
- Allow the finger steaks to cook for 20 minutes. Checking every 5 minutes and flipping halfway through. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat them in the air-fryer for 1-2 minutes until they are crispy again and warmed throughout. Alternatively, they can also be reheated in a microwave but they will not be as crispy.
- The equipment listed above contains affiliate links to products that we personally use, love, and recommend!
Keywords: vegan finger steaks, seitan steak, air-fryer seitan recipe, vegan finger food recipe