So I've got this fear of faux meats and all things tofu, tempeh, and seitan. I think it all stems from the first time I ever tried tofu. I was 16 and found a recipe for a seasoned tofu burger in a Cooking Light magazine. For some reason, I can remember the recipe taking me forever to make. I think there was pressing, marinating, cooking, frying, and probably a zillion other steps. (Actually, probably not, but you know how years have a tendency to exaggerate things) Anyway, I finally finished the recipe, sat down at the table, took a huge bite, and promptly spit it out. I absolutely hated it. The texture was completely different than I expected. And since I'm such a huge texture person, I was done. I swore off tofu for years.
Since I became a vegetarian, I still haven't really ever forgiven tofu. Sure, I have a few recipes
that have tofu in them, but it's usually so well disguised that it's not discernable. I avoid the faux meats case in the grocery store, although my little vegetarian heart feels guilty for not giving it a try.
So today I did it. I recently purchased a great cookbook, Veganomicon
, and have been reading all of the tempeh and seitan recipes. It got me thinking that maybe I was being just a bit harsh writing it all off over 1 bad experience. After a few days, I finally decided it was time to stop being a baby and give it the old college try. I found this recipe
on the internet, made a few modifications, threw it in the oven, and crossed my fingers.
Let me tell you - delicious. No, seriously. They're delicious
. Now I'm not getting crazy and saying meat eaters are going to eat this and instantly convert, but it's seriously tasty. The texture is different, but good different. The panko crumbs on the outside really give it a crunchy texture, and there's nothing a little wing sauce can't make tasty. Although the directions look lengthy, it really doesn't take more than 35-40 minutes to have these on the table. If you haven't tried tempeh, let this be your first recipe. And if you have, then you'd be crazy for not trying this recipe. Now it's your turn to give it the old college try.
*This recipe is dedicated to a longtime reader of 28 Cooks, LJ, who recently became a vegan. Enjoy, LJ!*
Buffalo Tempeh "Wings"
1 (8 oz) pkg tempeh
1/3 c soy milk
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup Italian seasoninged panko crumbs
1/2 c Louisiana-style hot sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ketchup
Bring 4 cups of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, remove tempeh from package. Slice into 8 strips. (If you are a first time tempheh eater and have texture issues, I recommend slicing into 10-12 strips) Once water is boiling, lower heat to medium high, add tempeh, and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Set out 3 bowls. In one, pour in soy milk. In the second, combine flour and seasonings. In third bowl, add panko crumbs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place each strip in milk. Coat in flour mixture, then briefly re-dip into milk. Toss with panko crumbs, coating well. Set on slightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tempeh strips. Once all are coated and on baking sheet, lightly spray all "wings" with cooking spray. Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip "wings" over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
While they are baking, place wing sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cover with Saran wrap and heat in microwave on medium high setting for a minute and a half. Remove from heat and whisk ingredients together.
When wings are finished baking, toss with sauce. Serve immediately.