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Vegan buffalo hot tofu “wings” recipe

December 8, 2010

I am a passionate Indianapolis Colts fan. One of my favorite memories ever is the 2006 AFC Championship game in Indianapolis, the last year in the Dome, when we finally beat the nefarious New England Patriots to FINALLY get over the hump and into the Super Bowl. The bliss in that stadium was unreal.

Anyway, this year has not been quite as enjoyable for us Colts fans (although I always maintain hope), but one way to keep positive is to have some awesome tailgating food. One of my favorites is buffalo tofu wings. These are easy and really good. You can also do this with seitan, but honestly, the key to good hot wings is crispiness and the sauce, so the tofu works great for me. It’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and is awesome smothered in sauce.

Since football season means cold weather, I’d recommend serving these on a heated plate to keep them warm.

Buffalo hot tofu wings

Vegan buffalo hot “wings” recipe (serves 2-4 as appetizer)

12 oz. package of extra-firm tofu (frozen, then thawed)
1/3 – 1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 cup of Frank’s Louisiana Hot sauce (the original doesn’t have a bunch of nasty ingredients in it)
1/4 cup of vegan margarine, melted
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
oil for frying


  1. Press the tofu to drain the water from it (freezing the tofu beforehand gives it a chewier texture, really makes a difference). To press the tofu, place it between two absorbent towels on a cutting board. Put several  heavy books on top and let sit for 15 minutes to half an hour, minimum, up to two hours. The longer, the better! The key is to push out the water without breaking the tofu. If you’re in a hurry, you can get away with squeezing the water out with your hands (only if you’ve frozen it beforehand), just be careful not to break it.
  2. Slice the tofu into snackable sizes. I usually slice them into 1″ x 3″ sticks, or into 1″ by 1″ cubes.
  3. Put the tofu in a bag, add the corn starch (and the cayenne pepper if using) and shake to coat. Add more corn starch if needed.
  4. Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat and fry tofu in batches until crisp and slightly brown, turning to cook both sides. I usually can get away with a couple of Tbs of oil to do the frying, so you don’t need to deep fry.
  5. Melt the vegan margarine (we use Earth Balance) and add the hot sauce and heat until warm (not hot, it will make the tofu soggier if it’s too hot).
  6. Toss the tofu in the sauce and serve on a hot plate with celery stalks and vegan ranch dressing if desired.

* (NOTE: if you’re looking for a lower fat version of these, skip the corn starch, lightly spray the tofu with canola oil and bake the tofu in an oven preheated to 450 F for around 20 minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t burn. It won’t be quite as crispy, but you cut out the fat from the oil. You can cut the fat further by reducing the amount of margarine, but it won’t be as rich).

Yum! Perhaps the heat of these can help burn away my memories of the last 3 weeks of football before tomorrow’s game…. Here’s hoping!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2011 4:27 pm

    What am I supposed to do with the margarine?

  2. Bill permalink*
    February 6, 2011 6:13 pm

    Melt the margarine and add the hot sauce to it, mixing well so that they are blended. Enjoy!

  3. Martha permalink
    August 14, 2011 3:42 pm

    These were excellent, thank you for sharing! I’m an omnivore, but these satisfied both my omnivorous flavor needs and made my vegan boyfriend very happy!! And the vegan ranch dressing recipe was a great pointer too!

    • Bill permalink*
      August 15, 2011 9:17 am

      Hi, Martha. Thanks for visiting us. I’m so glad you enjoyed these. Some omni’s aren’t that in to tofu, so kudos for being adventurous and giving them a chance. And thanks for letting us know you liked them! You might check out our bulgolgi recipes for some ideas on other bbq-friendly dishes.

  4. March 9, 2012 2:47 am

    Amazing!!!!! I’ve always been afraid to fry tofu (I deep fried it) but it turned out fantastic and my fear of tofu is gone.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      March 9, 2012 7:36 am

      That is great, Al! We’re glad to hear that it turned out well. We like to experiment with all sorts of different sauces too.. hope you enjoy doing that in the future as well! 😉

  5. sweetyface permalink
    August 12, 2012 2:22 pm

    yum my tummy is happy now great recipe 🙂

    • Bill permalink*
      August 12, 2012 6:03 pm

      Awesome, so glad you like it! Thanks for letting us know!

  6. Marcus permalink
    June 4, 2013 5:34 pm

    Are these supposed to smell bad while you fry them? Mine had a bad smell (and the tofu was not even expired) also is the tofu inside supposed to have flavour because mine did not… Maybe I cooked them wrong or maybe that’s the way they are. Just was wondering. Thanks

    • Bill permalink*
      June 4, 2013 7:33 pm

      Hi, Marcus. No, none of mine ever smelled bad…that’s really odd. The tofu inside is not flavored; it is only sauced on the outside. If you make the smaller bites, the sauce flavor will go a bit further. Hope you enjoy!

  7. Dayday permalink
    July 14, 2014 9:10 pm

    Just made the Gen Tso tofu. OMG fantasic, I will be making these next week 🙂

    • Bill permalink*
      July 14, 2014 9:19 pm

      Awesome, glad you liked it! I do love this one too…mmmmmmm. 🙂

  8. July 8, 2018 12:55 pm

    Do you freeze the tofu and THEN squeeze out the water after thawing? Or squeeze all the excess moisture out THEN freeze?

    • Bill permalink*
      July 8, 2018 1:00 pm

      Freeze, thaw, then squeeze!


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