Crispy Firecracker Tofu Wings
These Firecracker Tofu Wings are a delicious dish packed with a ton of flavor that everyone will love. The traditional firecracker wings are made from chicken wings that are cooked and drenched in a red hot sauce. So, for all those vegan people out there who love to try every flavor there is, then this vegan version of the traditional firecracker wings is for you.
The protein for this vegan recipe is, of course, the tofu. Tofu is known for its high protein value and texture. It is a very versatile ingredient that is perfect for this firecracker wings recipe.
The crispy tofu pieces tossed in the red hot sauce will turn into everyone's favorite. It is a perfect snack for game day, movie night or any party. You can serve it as a main course as well, with noodles or rice.
Main components of Firecracker Tofu
There are four main components of the firecracker tofu wings recipe. They are:
- Cornstarch: You will need cornstarch for tossing the tofu to crisp it up.
- Plant Milk: The next thing you will have in your assembly line is plant-based milk. You can choose to dip the ingredients separately or create a slurry of cornstarch and milk — Whatever is convenient for you.
- Breadcrumb mixture: The breadcrumb mixture gives the tofu wings a nice crunch. It also gives the tofu a little extra flavor.
- Firecracker mixture: The main hero of this dish is the firecracker sauce. It is hot, spicy and delicious. You can toss the fried tofu in this mixture or serve it separately to dip the tofu wings in.
Here is everything you need for this tasteful recipe:
- Tofu: To make vegan wings, the first ingredient that you will need is tofu. Firm or extra firm is the perfect choice for these wings. However, you can use firm tofu and press it under heavy weight for about 20 minutes to make it extra firm. This will help you eliminate excess water, and as a result, you will get perfectly firmed up tofu.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps in getting a beautiful golden-brown color on the tofu. You can use arrowroot or tapioca starch as well.
- Plant milk: Since it is a vegan dish, you will have to use plant-based milk. You can use coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk for this recipe. Adding milk and cornstarch will create a batter for the tofu.
- Panko bread crumbs: Everyone loves Panko breadcrumbs. They are super easy to find and are readily available from any grocery store. You can either use plain or flavored breadcrumbs. Furthermore, you can make breadcrumbs at home as well and use them for this recipe. It is a good way to ensure you are not wasting any leftover slices of bread.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is known for its numerous health benefits. It is jam-packed with good fats that are beneficial for your body. If you don’t have olive oil available, you can use any vegetable oil as well. If you're avoiding oil just skip this step.
- Ginger: Ginger has a distinct peppery flavor that brings a unique taste to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Salt: Salt adds flavor and balances the dish out. You can use plain table salt, kosher salt or sea salt.
- Black pepper: Adding ground black pepper gives the mixture flavor.
- Sriracha: Sriracha sauce is a sauce made from red chilies, vinegar, garlic, salt and sugar. It has a slightly sweet and sour flavor with a prominent garlicky flavor.
- Coconut sugar: Coconut sugar is made from coconuts that are lightly sweet. You can use organic cane sugar as well. However, make sure you adjust the quantities because of the difference in the sweetness of each ingredient.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder has a savory flavor that adds a depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Salt: It balances out the flavors.
- Red pepper flakes: Red pepper flakes are perfect for bringing heat to the sauce.
- Soy sauce: A dash of soy sauce adds an umami flavor to the sauce.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has a unique, pleasant woody flavor with a little sweetness from the apples.
How to make Firecracker Tofu?
Making firecracker tofu is fun. It is a delicious dish that you can prepare with your kids or partner on the weekend. Because there are four main components of this dish, it requires minimal effort to make. Here is a simple guide on how to make these delicious vegan wings:
Step #1: Start by draining and pressing tofu to remove excess water from it. Make sure you press it for at least 15 minutes. Once you have the excess water removed, cut the tofu into half an inch strips and set them aside.
Step #2: in a deep bowl, add cornstarch and set aside.
Step #3: In another bowl, pour plant-based milk and set aside as well.
Step #4: In the third bowl. Add panko breadcrumbs, olive oil, ginger, garlic powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.
Step #5: Take a tofu piece, dip it in cornstarch first, then in plant-based milk and finally in the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure you roll it so that it is covered from all sides. Place it on a plate and repeat the process with all tofu pieces.
Step 6: Place a large frying pan on medium heat and pour in the oil. Once the oil is hot, place the breaded tofu pieces one by one and fry them off.
Step 7: Flip the tofu pieces once they are golden brown from one side so that they get colour on the other sides as well.
Step 8: As the tofu pieces are cooking, in a medium bowl, add sriracha, coconut sugar, garlic powder, salt, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Mix well and set aside.
Step 9: Once all the tofu wings are cooked, take them off the frying pan and place them on a kitchen towel-lined plate so that the excess oil is drained.
Step 10: Place these pieces in a large bowl and pour firecracker sauce on top. Toss well so that the sauce coats each piece.
Step 11: Serve immediately!
Tips for making Firecracker tofu wings
Although making crispy firecracker tofu wings is very easy, you have to keep a few things in mind. They are:
- Make sure you press the tofu to get rid of excess water.
- You can use arrowroot or tapioca starch instead of cornstarch.
- If you don't want to fry tofu wings in oil, you can air fry them as well. Air fried tofu wings are a healthy option since they have less fat from the oil.
- You can bake the tofu in the oven as well. Oven-baked tofu can be just as crispy as fried. Plus, it doesn't need a lot of oil. It is also a healthier option.
- When frying tofu, keep a close eye on them as they can get burnt very easily.
- You can fry the tofu in advance and store it in the refrigerator for later use. You can prepare the firecracker mixture and store it separately as well. Assemble the two just before serving.
- You can use cornflakes instead of breadcrumbs as well. You can also use crushed chips to give the tofu wings more crunch and flavor.
- You can adjust the heat level according to your liking; you can make the firecracker sauce hotter, as per your liking.
- When switching coconut sugar with white sugar, make sure you taste the sauce. Because coconut sugar is less sweet than white sugar, you may have to add in less quantity.
How to store Firecracker tofu?
Yes, you can easily store the firecracker tofu. Place the leftover tofu in the refrigerator, and it will last for up to four days. You can also freeze the cooked tofu before dipping it in the sriracha mixture.
Place the cooked tofu wings in a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze for up to four hours. Take it out of the freezer, place the pieces in a plastic zip lock bag, and it will last for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Can you reheat Firecracker tofu?
You can reheat it in the air fryer or oven, toss the pieces in firecracker mixture and enjoy. This makes it super convenient and effortless to make. Therefore, you can make it in large batches and store it for later use.
Most people think about reheating leftover tofu in the microwave. Which you definitely can, but just know that reheating it in a microwave makes the tofu wings soggy. Therefore, I recommend you reheat it either in an air fryer or in an oven for perfect results.
Crispy Firecracker Tofu Wings
- 14 oz firm or super firm tofu
- 6 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup plant milk
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sriracha
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Drain and press tofu to remove liquid. Press for about 10-15 minutes before continuing.
- Cut your tofu into 1/2 inch strips.
- Put the cornstarch (or arrowroot or tapioca starch) in one bowl, the plant milk in a second bowl, and mix together the bread crumb mixture in a third bowl.
- Dip each tofu 'wing' into the starch, followed by the milk, then roll in the breadcrumbs. Place the wing onto a plate while you finish the remaining wings.
- Use one hand for the starch and bread crumbs and your other for the milk to keep breading from clumping on your fingers. Add more of the breadcrumb mixture to the bowl as needed.
- Line a large pan with oil (enough to fry) and place on medium to high heat.
- While you wait for your pan to get hot. Whip up your Firecracker sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
- Fry each tofu wing until brown and crispy on each side (Keep an eye on them though, they cook quickly). Place on wire rack to cool or a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
- Dip each tofu wing in the Firecracker sauce to coat. Serve immediately.
- Leftover Firecracker tofu wings can be re-heated in the oven or air fryer.