Monday, February 11, 2013

Buffalo-style tofu

Buffalo Tofu!

My boyfriend loves spicy food. When asked what he misses the most from his meat-eating days, his two answers are steak and buffalo wings. I can't do much about the steak at this point (although I do make a mean seitan), but I've made it my mission to find a good buffalo sauce.

Chefs beware! This recipe is not for the weak-of-heart. It's a true spicy Buffalo sauce (although if you want to calm things down a bit, see my Tips and Tricks).

Buffalo-style tofu
What You'll Need:
One package extra-firm tofu, chopped into 1/2" cubes

1 cup beer (I used an amber ale)
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp chili powder
3 cloves garlic, crushed
a few dashes salt and pepper

Breading mix for frying:
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Buffalo Sauce:
1/3 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
1/4 c. melted margarine (I recommend Earth Balance)
2 tbsp vinegar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder

What You'll Need to Do:
Press your tofu, then slice into 1/2" cubes and marinate (see below). Once the tofu has marinated (for at least one hour), drain it, and combine it in a small bowl with the breading mix to coat the tofu before frying.

In a large skillet, heat about 2 tbsp of oil (olive or vegetable) over medium heat. Cook the tofu for 4 to 6 minutes, turning until golden brown and lightly crispy on all sides. Meanwhile, prepare the buffalo sauce.

Combine buffalo sauce ingredients in a pot and stir well. Raise the heat to medium and stir occasionally until heated through. Add the fried tofu to the sauce when ready, stir, heat, and eat!

Tips and Tricks:
If you'd like to decrease the spice a bit, you can try increasing the butter, to 1/3 cup.

I would definitely recommend serving this with a vegan ranch or blue cheese dressing (I'll post a recipe soon!).

This sauce goes great with any veggie chicken. Sometimes my boyfriend will buy pre-prepared vegetarian buffalo wings, and dip into this stuff for a little extra oomph.

A note on marinating tofu:

Marinating tofu is much like marinating meat, with one important difference: tofu has no flavor before you marinate it! So if you like fried tofu in general, and don't feel like marinating it for this recipe, you can do that, and you'll still have a nice, spicy buffalo exterior. Marinating the tofu, however, will give you a really delicious bite, that's filled with flavor through and through. It's super easy, too!

The first thing you'll need to do is press your tofu. This is important so that the tofu can absorb the marinade completely and thoroughly. I'd recommend 30 minutes on each side, but you can cut it down if you don't have that much time.

Then just pour in your pre-mixed marinade ingredients, cover, and throw it in the fridge until you're ready! I like to use a tupperware, so that I can shake things up every so often and make sure it's well distributed. The longer you can marinate, the better; I marinated this tofu for about three hours, but the longer the better! You probably want to give it at least one hour, though.

Tofu ready to be marinated!

Marinating tofu

The marinade listed above is really, really simple. If you're planning on showcasing the tofu on it's own as a marinated protein, you can add in some specific spices and herbs, for example to make Asian or Italian-style tofu (pictured below). I'll try to post one of these recipes soon!
marinated "Italian" tofu

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