I finally *FINALLY* sat my ass down and made the infamous Hot Wingz de Katie this weekend. I was starting to feel like the unpopular kid at vegan school where all the other popular kids are all peer-pressuring me--"If *YOU* do it, you'll be cool too, just like us," "You won't get addicted from just one bite," "Hot Wingz and blowjobs aren't REAL sex"--and so I caved. What can I say? When it comes to vegan food, I'm not real good at standing up in the face of pressure.
Since there was a huge winter storm a-blustering, I settled on using tofu instead of tempeh, you know, so I wouldn't DIE trying to make it to a store just for a stupid block of tempeh. I pressed the tofu for an hour or two, cut it in half width-wise, and then cut each half into triangles. Once they were cut up, I tossed it in the freezer. The next day, I took it out to thaw, and once it was pretty much unfrozen, I pressed it one more time to get out any excess water. From there, I just treated the tofu like tempeh, breading it down the assembly line.
The end result: delish. The breading is an award-winning combo: the thyme gives it a bit of that ol' school chicken-y type flavor. And the sauce is just delectable. (Next time I may add even MORE hot sauce, because mine was surprisingly unspicy, despite what I had thought was a rather large quantity of hot sauce.) Because I was in a weird pseudo-frying mood (cooking junkier food that normally one would fry but choosing NOT to fry it), I also ate these with a side of homemade vegan hushpuppies (recipe forthcoming). It was nice night of little nibbly-foods, and I found myself craving more wingz as I sat and watched a horror movie later on that evening.
BUT I REFRAINED! I REFRAINED! (And then I just cowed down on them the next day instead.)
- 1 8-oz package of tempeh (or 1 14-oz cube of extra-firm tofu, pressed, cut into triangles, frozen, thawed, and pressed again)
- 1/3 c. rice/soy milk
- 1/3 c. flour
- 1/2 t. salt
- 2 t. thyme
- 1 t. paprika
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
- 2/3 c. panko (or just regular breadcrumbs)
- 4 T. margarine, melted
- 2 1/2 T. hot sauce
- 4 T. ketchup
- 2 T. agave nectar
If you are using tempeh, in a small saucepan, boil about three cups of water. Cut the tempeh into four equal blocks, then cut those blocks into triangles, and carefully slice the triangles in half lengthwise. Put the tempeh in the boiling water and cover, for about fifteen mintes or until tempeh is softened. Pour the pan into a colander and rise with cold water. Allow the tempeh to cool enough that you can handle it.
If you are using the tofu, just make sure you press it, cut it into triangles, and freeze it at least a day prior (I think the longer you freeze it, the more dense and chewy the consistency will be--which is what you're aiming for). Remove it earlier in the day and let it thaw out completely and then press once more.
Make the sauce. In a large pot, combine all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Make your assembly line for the wingz. Put your soymilk in the first bowl, your flour and spices in the second, and your panko in the third. At the end of the line, have a greased baking sheet (or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper) waiting.
If you're using tempeh, hopefully by now it's cool enough to handle. Take a triangle of your tempeh or tofu, and dip it in the milk, then coat in flour. Then another quick dip in the milk before thoroughly coating it in the bread crumbs and placing it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the tempeh/tofu.
Spray the tops of the wings with cooking spray, and bake in the oven for ten minutes. Remove, flip over, and bake for ten more.
Just before you take the wings out of the oven, heat the sauce over a medium heat until just warm - there’s no need to boil it, we’re just trying to make sure the sauce isn’t cold.
When you take the wings out, immediately transfer them to the pot and coat in the sauce. Serve immediately.
(Original recipe from Don't Eat Off the Sidewalk)