You can’t have a Super Bowl party without hot wings. And you don’t have to give up hot wings if you’re trying to eat healthy. This vegan version of hot wings creates spicy, meaty snack bites. Serve them with my vegan ranch dressing and crunchy celery sticks to cool the heat. Husband tested and approved!
If possible, start the tofu two days prior to serving. Press it for one day and marinate it for one day for the richest, spiciest flavor. If you have vegans or vegetarians coming over for the Super Bowl, give this a try and let me know how it goes!
Vegan Hot Wings
Makes 12 wing-like snacks
16 oz. (450 g) super-firm tofu
1/2 C. (125 ml) hot sauce
1 T. (15 ml) canola, safflower, or grapeseed oil
1 t. (5 ml) liquid smoke
1/4 C. (30 g) garbanzo bean flour or almond meal
1 T. (5 g) nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 t. (1 g) smoked salt
1/4 t. (0.5 g) black pepper
1/2 t. (1 g) garlic powder
1/2 t. (1 g) onion powder
Press the tofu overnight using weights or a TofuXpress. If using weights, wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel and place between two cutting boards. Put a heavy frying pan or pile of cookbooks on top.
Cut the tofu into 12 pieces, using the short side as your length, and making the pieces as even as possible. If you want the shapes to be more organic and less stick-like, use a vegetable peeler to shave off the corners of the long edges, and the corners of the top and bottom of each piece. (Reserve the tofu scraps for a stir fry.)
Prick the pieces all over with a fork to help the tofu absorb the marinade.
Whisk the hot sauce, oil, and liquid smoke together. Set 2/3 of it aside in the refrigerator until serving. Brush the tofu with the remaining marinade, covering each side evenly, and then pour the rest over it. Cover and marinate, overnight if possible, in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 350F/160C/gas mark 4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the remaining ingredients together in a shallow bowl, stirring with a fork. Roll each piece of tofu in the breading, making sure it sticks to each side evenly. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray, and flip over, making sure all the breading is thoroughly coated with spray.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip all the pieces over. Bake another 20 minutes, until the sticks are crispy. Gently toss the hot “wings” in the remaining sauce (you’ll need to whisk it together again). Place each piece on a skewer.
1/2 C. (125 ml) canola, safflower, or grapeseed oil
1/4-1/2 C. (75-125 ml) soy milk*
2 t. (10 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 t. (2 g) garlic powder
1 t. (2 g) sea salt
1 t. (2 g) onion powder
1/2 t. (1 g) black pepper
1 t. (2 g) dried dill, or 1 T./5 g fresh
1 t. (2 g) dried parsley, or 1 T./5 g fresh
1/2 t. (1 g) dried chives
Put the soymilk and the vinegar in the blender and let stand 5-10 minutes to curdle. Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more soy milk as needed if you want a pourable dressing. As written, it makes a pretty firm dip (like sour cream consistency).
Notes: Buy the firmest tofu you can get. I use Trader Joe’s super-firm high-protein (organic, non-GMO) tofu. Minimum pressing time is one hour; minimum marinating time is four hours.
Traditional buffalo wings (from Buffalo, New York) use Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce, but you can use TABASCO, Tapatio, or any other thin hot pepper sauce. I used Tapatio. Since this provides the heat in this dish, choose your sauce wisely. Overseas readers, you are looking for a thin salsa or sauce made from cayenne peppers, vinegar, and spices. If you want a thick dip, use the smaller amount of soy milk. If you want more of a pourable dressing, use the larger amount.
Thanks to Jessica from Clean, Green, Simple blog for inspiring me to try her vegan ranch dressing.
I had to share this photo from reader Shelia M, who said, “Thank you again! Everything was perfect – from the hot wings to the ranch dressing. Steve and I are stuffed and happy.”Here’s the original hot sauce used in Buffalo: