Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Garlic-Sriracha Vegan Buffalo Wings

Although I've never had a "real" buffalo wing, I get the concept: combine hot sauce and butter and toss piping hot "wings" into it. Shake. Serve with a cooling ranch dressing and crisp celery. Armed with this knowledge, I got to work veganizing the buffalo wing this weekend, using garlic, sriracha, unpressed tofu and my jumbo-sized, stainless-steel prep bowl. Smothering every inch of these deep-fried tofu triangles with a rich, sriracha-laced sauce created a delightfully spicy, crunchy, glazey and altogether addictive vegan buffalo wing.

INGREDIENTS
for the dressing
1/2 cup Vegenaise
2-3 TB fresh parsley, chopped
1 TB onion powder
a few dashes of pepper

for the sauce
3 TB Earth Balance
5-6 cloves of garlic, halved and smashed
1 small shallot, sliced
3 TB sriracha
1 tsp raw agave
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp salt
dash of liquid smoke (optional)

for the wings
1 block of tofu, unpressed, cut into triangles
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G, whisked with 5 TB water
1-2 cups cornstarch
vegetable oil for frying

METHOD
To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.

To make the sauce, add one tablespoon of the vegan butter into a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the smashed garlic and shallots and saute until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and then add in the remaining two tablespoons of vegan butter, sriracha, agave, vinegar, salt and liquid smoke. Let simmer while making the wings, giving it a little stir every now and then.

To make the wings, set up two wide and shallow bowls. Place the Ener-G/water mixture in one and the cornstarch in the other. Heat plenty of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. You can tell that the oil is ready by dropping a pinch of the cornstarch into it: if it sizzles immediately, you are ready to fry. Dunk one of the triangles into the Ener-G mixture, then coat it with a thin layer of cornstarch, tapping off any excess. Drop into the oil (only fry two pieces at a time) and fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oil with silicone tongs and place on paper towels to drain.

Place the buffalo wings sauce into a large prep bowl, then throw in the tofu triangles. Gently toss them until well coated. Plate the wings, drizzling any excess buffalo wing sauce and soft chunks of garlic and shallots over the top. Serve with the ranch dressing, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and crisp slices of fresh celery.

16 comments:

  1. This is lovely! I adore tofu, buffalo wings are eh, but the flavor is great. I wonder if baking would be ok?

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  2. Thanks! I think if you swapped out the cornstarch with some fine breadcrumbs, it may work. Might be a little dry, but the sauce would fix that. ; )

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  3. during my pre-veg days, i LOVED buffalo wings..but i haven't had one in over ten years now! this dish looks so delicious and so much healthier than the original! and tell your hubby beautiful photo, as always ;)

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  4. What an amazing recipe! I never had "real" buffalo wings either - but your version sounds so much better anyway!

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  5. I always enjoy your blog but rarely say so. These incredible looking wings brought me out of lurkdom. They look super amazing!

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  6. also! i used to always eat the celery sticks and buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing, not ranch. my dad was obsessed with the dressing, and i loved it too. man, i always forget how unhealthy i used to eat!

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  7. Brilliant. My hubby loves chicken wings so I'd be interested to see how he took to this dish. It sounds delicious and I love the presentation. Thankfully for me he is starting to open up to eating vegan dishes I prepare (especially since I simply stopped preparing a meat option for him.)

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  8. This dish is really special. Can't wait to try...

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  9. Awesome! I just made something similar to this with tempeh! Didn't have a dressing though, I made vegan coleslaw with it. I'll have to try it with tofu next :)

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  10. The only buffalo "wings" I've ever had were made using the recipe from AFR. These look like they would set your mouth on fire! I love it. It's funny how much I've grown to adore sriracha.

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  11. These I must try!!! I have one question though... can I ask why you don't press the liquids out of the tofu? I have texture issues and love crispy fried tofu so wondered how the texture will turn out?

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  12. Jamie: I only press tofu if I am going to marinate it. It needs to have some kind of moisture in it -- otherwise, its just kind of flat and rubbery. So you can certainly press the tofu for this, but I would marinate in some kind of veg broth before frying.

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  13. I made these tonight and they are so good. I'm not even vegan, but you have about convinced me that I should become one! Thanks so much for the recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Best. comment. ever. So happy you enjoyed Toni! : )

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