The Edgy Veg

Grapefruit Peels as Fried Chicken

Vegan “Fried Chicken” Using Grapefruit Peels (Bistec de Toronja)

This vegan “fried chicken” using grapefruit peels hack is definitely going to shock you and whoever you serve it too! The texture and look are so close to fried chicken, that I was even shocked when making this recipe.

Feel free to share & print my recipe below to make your own Vegan Fried Chicken using grapefruit peels! Or you can watch me on YouTube show you how to make it!

Grapefruit Peels as Fried ChickenRelated Recipe: Vegan Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich

Hi, I’m Candice & welcome to The Edgy Veg! Where I try to veganize popular food for vegans, plant-based diets, eco-conscious eaters & people who are trying to eat more plants over… y’know animals or by-products of animals.

In the past, I have made TONS of chicken replacements. and was messaged by a follower to try the Grapefruit peel hack to make vegan “fried chicken” since most of the recipes online contain eggs or dairy.

Fun fact: The origin of this dish is Cuban. Due to Cuban food shortages in 1990, local poor people back-then used to replace beef meat with red grapefruits, in order to obtain a dish that was similar in aspect and taste. The white, spongy parts of the fruit, between the pulp and the peel are the main meat-less steak ingredient. Properly cooked and seasoned, this grapefruit steak apparently will shock even experienced meat-eaters.

LISTEN, I’m all for meat substitutes, but this one is weird. I WILL SAY, this recipes DOES have a slight bitter after-taste. If you’re sensitive to that at all, you may not like it. It’s strange, but HEY! I wanted to see what the hype was about. Is ti my favourite meal replacement… NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT, but… it was fun to try. I wouldn’t make it again, but a few of my friends seemed to really enjoy it.

Thank you SO MUCH to Ayana Sioux Art for these helpful suggestions. She did most of the leg work for us to try and remove the bitterness. But I tried it, and it worked! It did take up all my time though, and I never want to do it again. 

To get rid of the bitter taste, it’s a bit of a strenuous process.

You will have to bring water to a boil, then blanch the piths for about 15 minutes, then drain the water, and squeeze almost all the water out of the pith (without squishing it) and then repeat 4-5 times with COLD water, until the pith is no longer extremely bitter.

With the blanching process, you will have to be very careful not to over cook it, or else the texture will become literal mush.

Once you’re done removing the bitterness, soak the piths in a delicious marinade. At this point, the piths will be very absorbent, so make sure you squeeze out enough marinade, so that you don’t have soggy fried pieces. You want the pieces to be almost DRY, otherwise the frying experience with be horrible, and you’ll have soggy pieces.

Chicken Using Grapefruit Peels

How To Make: “Fried Chicken” Using Grapefruit Peel

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If you want to view or print the recipe card, just scroll down for the full list of ingredients & simple instructions on how to make this Vegan Fried Chicken using Grapefruit Peels recipe.

The main ingredient for this vegan recipe is the white peel of grapefruits to create a chicken replacement. The red/orange outer layer of the grapefruit is called the zest, and after taking a vegetable peeler to it, and pulling out the fruit, you are left with the “pith” which is the white, spongey layer of the peel. This is what I used today to create my fried chicken replacement.Vegan Fried Chicken Using Grapefruit Peels

Recipe for Vegan Chicken Made From Grapefruit Peels

The first thing that you want to do is peel the red/orange zest layer of the grapefruits with a vegetable peeler. Next, you want to cut the grapefruits in half horizontally, so the fruit inside appears like a flower. Cutting it this way makes it easier to remove the fruit. Then, push your fingers, or a spoon between the peel and the fruit of the grapefruit to separate them. This is tricky at first but gets easier by the second or third piece. Once all of the pulp is removed, cut each piece of the pith in half, so they resemble chicken cutlet or schnitzel-like pieces.

To remove some of the bitter, grapefruit flavour, dip the piths in apple cider vinegar and let sit for 1 minute. Next, place in a bowl and cover with vegan “chicken-style” broth and marinate for 1 hour or overnight for best results. This really adds that “chicken” flavour into the piths.

Related Recipes: Top Vegan Chicken Recipes

After marinated, remove piths and rub with minced garlic, season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine vegan egg replacer, salt, pepper, and fried parsley together. Dip the filets in the mixture, then cover both sides with breadcrumbs and rest on a cooling rack until all pieces are prepared.

Heat oil in a pan to 365F, making sure to only fill up the pan less than halfway with oil, for safety. Line a baking sheet and keep nearby to place cooked piths on after frying. When the oil is hot, carefully lower the peels into the pan, frying 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown and heated through.

Serve immediately with your favourite dipping sauce.


If you want more vegan recipes, click here for my newest recipes.Vegan "Fried Chicken" Using Grapefruit Peels (Bistec de Toronja)

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4.0 from 2 reviews
Grapefruit Peels as fried chicken (Bistec de Toronja)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This fried chicken hack is definitely going to test your skills in the kitchen and help you learn something new. And it's impossible to go wrong with breaded and fried food! Note: Save the pulp for fruit juice or fruit salad
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Cuban
Serves: 8-12 pieces
  1. Peel the grapefruit and cut it in half. Separate the pulp from the piths (the piths will be used to cook the “chicken”) with a spoon and your fingers. Try to keep the piths in one piece when cutting them off the fruit. Also, try the best you can not to get juice onto the grapefruit.
  2. Cut the piths in half, they will be roughly the size of a normal schnitzel.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the piths for about 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the piths from the water and squeeze almost all the water out of the pith (without squishing it) and then repeat 4-5 times with COLD water, until the pith is no longer extremely bitter. You will have to be very careful not to over cook it, or else the texture will become literal mush.
  5. Transfer the piths to a bowl, and cover with the double strength broth. Try to allow the piths to marinate for 1-hour or overnight for best results.
  6. Remove the piths from the broth and allow to drain. The piths are very absorbent, so make sure you squeeze out all the marinade. You want the pieces to be almost DRY, otherwise the frying experience with be horrible, and you'll have soggy pieces.
  7. Rub both sides of the piths with minced garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Mix the egg replacer, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper and dried parsley together.
  9. Dip the piths in the mixture, and then cover both sides in bread crumbs and place on a cooling rack to rest.
  10. Heat up your oil to 365F, and line a baking sheet, as the peels rest.
  11. Carefully lower the peels into the hot oil, cooking in batches.
  12. Fry until golden brown, and heated through, about 1-2 minutes on each side.
  13. Serve immediately with a dipping sauce of your choice.


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You guys must try this Grapefruit Peel Fried Chicken recipe & let me know what you think! Once you try it, come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback and star rating! If you make this, let me see on social! Tag @edgyveg on your photo & add the hashtag #theedgyveg in your caption so I don’t miss it!

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  • Maria f rodriguez says:

    Will try it

  • I found that adding a milk marinade between steps 4 and 5 works well to remove bitterness. Oat milk is great for this; if you want to use a thicker milk, dilute it (I reckon thinned coconut milk would work pretty well).

  • Ellie Little says:

    I’m a little confused about the blanching process. I always thought blanching was when you put something in boiling water for a very short amount of time and then immediately place it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. But here you say to blanch for 15 minutes and then do it again 4-5 times in very cold water. Do you boil the pith for 15 minutes, drain it, get the water out, and then put it in cold water, bring the water to a boil and boil it for 15 more minutes, all 4-5 times? This looks interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  • The recipe is way off on the prep time. It took me 3 hours to make this. The blanching alone takes about 2 hours (1.25 hrs soaking in water, 45 min squeezing the water out of each piece 5 times). It was tasty but a whole lot of work. I won’t be making this again, but it was interesting to make grapefruit into a passable fried chicken.

  • Yolanda says:

    Howdy! 💕😁
    I saw one of the grapefruit to fried chicken ones… I could have misread,but you didn’t seem to be enjoying it!😏
    Now, this one I haven’t seen done,but there’s banana peel burger and maybe even other subs for tasty meeat! I’d love to see you do that! Bananas,no waste would be a possible Edgy Veggie AWESOME find! 😁💕

  • I’m going to try this…it looks interesting and likely way better than hexane produced texturized proteins. One tip I will share with you is that I have found tahini with some plant milk added makes a great egg substitute for breading things like tofu cutlets, eggplant etc… Cheers!


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