A friend of mine turned me on to this idea - making vegan buffalo wings out of oven-roasted cauliflower - and, knowing what a huge fan I am of tofu hot wings (which I actually prefer to seitan hot wings), I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of using vegetables to make buffalo wings before!
Cauliflower is the perfect vegetable to make buffalo wings from, as it has a subtle and neutral flavor which combines perfectly with the spicy sauce.
My friend who makes keeps a gluten-free diet, so she uses gluten-free flour, and I personally can't taste or notice the difference either way, so use regular flour or gluten-free flour. Whatever you have on hand. She also prefers the cauliflower chopped into very, very small pieces, smaller than about a 1/2 inch, to maximize the sauce surface area. I prefer the cauliflower florets a little bit larger though, personally, in about 1-inch chunks. And of course, as long as you use vegan margarine and not butter, this recipe is completely vegan as well.
I've tried this recipe using a couple different kinds of hot sauce, including sriracha sauce, and I really do think that getting a classic buffalo wing sauce, such as Frank's brand, is the way to go.
- 1 cup unsweetened soy milk (almond milk, or any other non-dairy milk substitute will work, or even water if you're in a pinch)
- 1 cup flour (my friend uses gluten-free flour and it works just fine)
- 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt (sea salt or kosher salt is always best)
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
- about 1/3 cup cup buffalo wing sauce or another hot sauce
- 1-2 tbsp. vegan margarine, melted (olive oil will also work, but vegan margarine is best
- First, preheat your oven to 450.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the soy milk, flour, garlic powder and salt, whisking together until well combined.
- Coat each individual piece of cauliflower in the flour and soy milk mixture until well covered, then place in a casserole dish or baking sheet.
- Bake the cauliflower in the oven for 18 minutes.
- Next, prepare your buffalo sauce by whisking together your wing sauce or hot sauce and melted vegan margarine in a small bowl, or stovetop over low heat.
- When the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven, and carefully coat the cauliflower with your wing sauce mixture of hot sauce and margarine. You can either brush it on or toss the cauliflower florets lightly in the sauce.
- Return the cauliflower to the oven for an additional 5 -7 minutes.
Buffalo wings are traditionally served with a blue cheese dressing for dripping and celery sticks for cooling off. I've never liked blue cheese, so I suggest serving them with a vegan ranch dressing instead.
I'll occasionally make a full meal of these cauliflower hot wings, with or without a simple side green salad, and my friend and I have been known to make these for dinner more than one night in a row. That's just how much we love them. They are completely addicting. You have been warned.
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