Buffalo Tofu Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip

Buffalo Tofu Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip
Back in July, my husband and I went to Asheville for a weekend. Asheville is one of those cities that probably isn’t really on your radar unless you live within driving distance; I happened to have gone there for a library conference before we moved to North Carolina and when we moved here, we tried to make a point to drive there at least once a year because it’s a beautiful city in the mountains and THERE IS SO MUCH VEGETARIAN FOOD THERE. Seriously. You will never go hungry in Asheville. You will never feel like, “Oh man, what should we have for dinner? Let’s just go to Panera.” Also, they have a chocolate shop that sells brownies with macaroons baked onto the tops. Macaroons. On brownies.

Tupelo Honey Cafe is one of Asheville’s more well-known restaurants, but until this summer, we haven’t had a chance to go there. But when we saw they had Buffalo tofu wings, we knew we had to stop there for lunch. The wings were completely worth it—they weren’t really wings, just tofu cut into sticks and most likely deep-fried. As soon as we finished eating, I starting dissecting the dish in my head, figuring out how I could make it at home.

Buffalo Tofu Wings
Deep-frying was out because I have deep-fryer-phobia, but I still wanted to get that chewy, crispy exterior, so I did a few different things to achieve that.

1) I froze the tofu. Freezing tofu changes its texture and makes it chewier.

2) I coated the tofu in cornstarch and pan-fried it in a little oil. Cornstarch is a great trick for making foods crisp without deep-frying. It works on sweet potato fries too!

3) The problem with the crispy cornstarch tofu is that once the tofu wings are tossed in the Buffalo sauce, the exterior gets soggy. The solution to this is to bake the wings until they crisp up again.

Buffalo sauce is typically made with a lot of butter. The butter helps cut the heat of the sauce a little bit. The thought of butter on tofu made me feel slightly queasy; I’ve read recipes using broth instead, but I opted to use melted coconut oil. Don’t worry—the wings don’t taste like coconut oil, but it makes these wings completely vegan.

Creamy Ranch Dip
The wings as I made them are spicy without being too spicy—I favor pleasantly spicy rather than painfully. You can toss the wings in additional sauce after they’ve baked or serve them with more sauce on the side if you prefer spicier wings. I whipped up a cashew-based ranch dressing to serve with the wings, but bottled works too if you want to save some time.

Buffalo Tofu Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 2 servings as a main dish, 4 servings as an appetizer

Buffalo Tofu Wings with Creamy Ranch Dip

A meatless version of Buffalo wings made with tofu. Ranch Dip recipe adapted from Salad Samurai's Back at the Ranch Dressing.

Ingredients

    Creamy Ranch Dip
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (I like parsley and dill, but whatever you have on hand works!)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Buffalo Tofu Wings
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed, then pressed for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • For serving
  • Celery sticks

Instructions

    Make the ranch dip:
  1. Combine all ingredients through onion powder in the smallest bowl of a food processor or high speed blender. (Note that if you don't have a high speed blender, you'll want to soak the cashews for a few hours.) Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides, and add more hot water if needed, a tablespoon at a time. Stir in the herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until the wings are done.
  2. Make the wings:
  3. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Cut the tofu into 6 slices, then cut each slice in half lengthwise so you have 12 sticks. Place the tofu sticks in a shallow dish and sprinkle them with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Gently roll them to coat—they'll break easily, so be careful!
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the tofu wings in the skillet and cook them on each side until lightly browned and crispy, 3-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Transfer the tofu to the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the hot sauce and coconut oil until the oil is fully incorporated. Drizzle the sauce onto the tofu and gently toss to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time, until the tofu is crispy.
  7. Arrange the tofu wings on a plate with celery sticks. Serve with additional hot sauce, if desired, and ranch dressing.
http://ohmyveggies.com/buffalo-tofu-wings-with-creamy-ranch-dip/

Kiersten

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. Andrea Vargas M says

    OMG IM DEAD
    I was eating some of the baked BBQ tofu yesterday and I thought “I should try to make buffalo tofu, I wish OMV had a recipe”, AND HERE IT IS AH.

  2. says

    I love going to restaurants, dissecting my favourite dishes and trying to re-create them at home. It drives me husband nuts, which makes it even more fun! *hehe* I will definitely try these tofu wings out! I’m slowly starting to like tofu after YEARS of hating it. I think this would be the perfect recipe to help push me over to the pro-tofu side.

  3. says

    These look so delicious!! I love buffalo wings but with tofu!! My mouth is watering!

  4. Marianela says

    Delicious recipe ! My husband and I loved it. We added a teaspoon of agave nectar to the hot sauce and coconut oil mixture and next time we will try doubling the coating to make the tofu wings more gooey .
    Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Sarah says

    These are delicious! I made them for dinner tonight. They came out a little oily because my oil didn’t cover the pan I had and after 8 of them my oil was almost gone (I used the smallest pan I could find) and I had to keep adding it. Any suggestions on how to make them less oily? It’s my first time cooking tofu so any suggestions are welcome :)

    • Kiersten says

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! I haven’t had that problem with the oil and I cook tofu like this frequently. The oil is really just for making sure the tofu doesn’t stick and giving it a crust, so you only need enough to coat the pan lightly. If it doesn’t cover it when you swirl it, you can use a basting brush to make sure it’s evenly-coated.

  6. Erin says

    This is such a great recipe! I didn’t freeze my tofu, but the texture was still perfect. Only other change I made was adding smoked paprika to the cornstarch. I served the wings with roasted broccoli and sweet potato fries. I’ll definitely make this again.

  7. Lacy says

    I am the only one in my house who loves spicy food so this was so awesome to make buffalo for me and bbq for the rest. Thank you! Best recipe I have found thus far and so easy!

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