Friday, March 07, 2008

Buffalo Tempeh "Wings"

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"

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

Wing Sauce
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.


Anonymous said...

Whoa!!! This is just awesome!! Wish we found this post earlier so that we could add it to our most current tofu video! Dam! We'll have to mention it on another one then.

Sat Garcia said...

These look fantastic. I think i might give them a try soon. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

since when is butter vegan?

Anonymous said...

It doesn't say anywhere that the recipe's vegan, anonymous.

Fiber said...

White on Rice - Wow, thanks! You have a fantastic blog, btw.

Sat Garcia - Please let me know how you enjoy them. I think they're delicious!

Anon - They can easily be made vegan by substituting vegan margarine for butter, however.

Jess - Thanks for the reply! =)

kelly.dee said...

These look really tasty!

Miss M said...

Funny you mention Veganomicon. I went vegan for the whole month of February and that was the cookbook I bought. EXCELLENT! I really made some amazing things from the book, altering here and there like any good cook would! Try the rose water and almond/pistachio cookies, I can't keep them on the shelf :)

I'm going to try the buffalo wings tonight...

kw said...

i just made these and i'm eating them right now...they are quite fab!

Anonymous said...

16 years old and cooking? Congratulate your mom for me as my daughter is 17 and she won't even wash dishes!

Fiber said...

Kelly - they are! I've made them twice since and still love them.

Jeena - thanks for the kind words!

Miss M - Although I'm not sure I could go completely vegan, the cookbook definitely has a bunch of excellent recipes. Those cookies are definitely on my list of things to try!

C&K - thanks! I think they definitely fill that craving!

Lalaine - I do thank her every day. The first tv show I ever watched was Yan Can Cook. I would get up early for kindergarten and watch it before the bus came. Since then, I've been hooked on cooking!

Anonymous said...

WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought they were lost from my life forever, and yet here they are in all their glory! Who needs Hooters? Not this vegan!! Thanks Fiber!

Sat Garcia said...

I finallly got around to fixing these tonight. I couldn't find any italian seasoned panko bread crumbs that were vegan. Which brand did you use? Also, I picked up "Louisiana" brand hot sauce but I don't think that's what you used because the recipe on the bottle called for 5 Tbs of the sauce to 1/2 cup of butter. If I would have followed your recipe I'm afraid my mouth would have exploded :-p Is there a specific brand of hot sauce you used?

In any case, they turned out quite nicely. I'll post a pic in a post on my blog ( soon and give you credit for the recipe.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Sat Garcia - I use Ian's Panko breadcrumbs and got mine at Whole Foods.

Sat Garcia said...

Yeah, I looked at Ian's but they weren't vegan so I went with the japanese-style panko by Kikkoman at Whole Foods.

Jasmine said...

These look amazing! Ive definitely had a craving for vegatarian or vegan buffalo wings so Ill let you know how it goes when I make them. Quick question though, can I substitute soy milk with almond milk?

She'sgotquiteatempeh! said...

I make this recipe once a week, thank you SO much for sharing it :)

Anonymous said...

There is vegan butter. It's called earth balance.

Unknown said...

These were absolutely delicious!!! Very simple to make and had great texture & taste. Everyone please try this recipe!!

Anonymous said...

I just made these as part of a tex mex salad bowl with avocado ranch dressing (not vegan) and these were great, wonderful flavor. This was my first time trying tempeh and I really like it, thank you!

Nikole said...

Wow! This recipe is awesome! Would you mind if i featured it on my blog?