Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu Wings
These lip smacking Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu Wings are a delicious vegan dish made with the perfect blend of lemon, spice, and everything nice. The extra firm tofu is fried to crispy perfection. It's topped with lemon pepper seasoning, lemon juice and a rich vegan buttery sauce.
This flavorful dish is the perfect way to celebrate a game day, dinner with friends, or summertime event. Serve it with your favorite dipping sauce to enjoy the flavours even more.
What is tofu?
Tofu is a very prominent ingredient in the vegan world because of its high protein content. Often known to be the “meat” of choice for vegans, tofu is made from condensed soy milk. It is often known as bean curd as well.
It is very easy to find. You can find tofu at your local grocery store or Asian market. It is usually in the form of white blocks. Tofu doesn't really have a flavor of its own. That's why it soaks up the flavors of its seasonings, making it a wonderful base to most dishes. There are different types of tofu available for you to choose from.
These are differentiated on the basis of water content in them. Silken tofu is said to have the highest water content and is very soft in texture. For frying, the best type of tofu is firm or extra firm. You can remove excess water from tofu by pressing it. Once the extra water is removed, it holds shape and therefore is perfect for frying, baking, or you can add it to a salad.
The best thing about these lemon pepper fried tofu wing is that all the ingredients are very easy to find and are basic. So, you don’t need to do a lot of searching for them. Here is everything you need for this delicious and simple dish:
- Extra-firm tofu: The main ingredient of this dish is tofu. Extra-firm tofu has a minimum amount of water in it. As a result, it has a firm texture and is quite hard to touch. It is a perfect type of tofu for frying. Because it has less water content, it is very easy to handle and retains its shape. You can easily find it from any grocery store. Furthermore, you can also press firm tofu to get rid of excess water in it. This way, it will become extra firm.
- Lemon pepper seasoning: Another main ingredient of this delicious dish is lemon pepper seasoning. This seasoning is also very easy to find. You can find it in the spice and seasoning section of the grocery store. Moreover, you can also prepare it at home as well. All you need is lemon zest and black peppercorns. You can grind the two ingredients together and let them dry out so that the citrusy flavour of lemon zest infuses with black pepper. The result is a lemony and peppery spice mix.
- Cornstarch: You will need cornstarch to dust the marinated tofu in it. Corn starch gives the tofu a crispy texture after frying, it is because of cornstarch that the tofu stays crunchy, and the seasonings stick to it. You can use potato starch or arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch as well.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder brings in a depth of flavor. It offers a garlicky and savoury flavor that enhances the taste of this dish.
- Onion powder: Onion powder also adds a savoury flavor to this dish.
- Non-dairy milk: Since it is in a vegan recipe, you will use non-dairy milk to coat the tofu. You can use any non-dairy milk like coconut milk, soy milk or almond milk. Non-dairy milk will add consistency to the marinade batter.
- Melted butter: A little vegan butter will add buttery texture and flavor to the Lemon pepper fried wings sauce. I used Flora Plant unsalted butter. Since this dish already has enough flavor from the lemon pepper seasoning it doesn't need any extra salt.
- Lemon juice: Adding fresh lemon juice to the cooked tofu adds freshness and citrusy flavour to the dish.
- Maple syrup: You can balance out the lemony flavour by adding a dash of maple syrup. You can also use agave syrup instead of maple syrup.
- Oil: You will need oil for frying the lemon pepper tofu. You can use any cooking oil for this purpose.
How to make Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu Wings
Making lemon pepper tofu is very easy. The process is pretty straightforward. You can easily make it in very little time. Therefore, on a busy or lazy day, this Lemon Pepper Fried Vegan Wings recipe is a perfect choice. Here is everything you have to do to get this dish done and ready in no time:
Step 1: Freeze your tofu (in the package) overnight. Freezing tofu gives it an extra “meaty” texture, once thawed. If you are using frozen tofu, you will have to thaw it completely. You can do that by placing it in the refrigerator overnight until it thaws. Once it is thawed, remove it from the pack, and press the tofu by placing a hard plate or dish on it. You can also use a tofu press. This will remove any excess water from it and will make it extra firm. Press for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2: Once the tofu is free from any excess water, pull the tofu apart with your hands into small chunks.
Step 3: In a bowl, add the tofu pieces, onion powder, garlic powder, and non-dairy milk. You can also add lemon pepper seasoning to it for more flavor. Mix well.
Step 4: In a small bowl, add cornstarch and dip the tofu pieces in it one by one. Make sure you dip the tofu so that it is coated with cornstarch from all sides. Place the coated tofu pieces on a plate.
Step 5: In a large skillet, add oil and place it on medium heat.
Step 6: Once the oil is hot, add cornstarch coated tofu pieces and cook them on all sides.
Step 7: Once they get a nice golden color, remove them from the skillet and place them on a paper towel lined plate so that the paper towel soaks up extra oil.
Step 8: Place the tofu in a large bowl, drizzle melted vegan butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and lemon pepper seasoning on top. Toss well so that the seasonings stick to the tofu.
Step 9: Serve alongside your favourite side.
Different ways of cooking Lemon Pepper Tofu Wings
There are so many ways you can cook lemon pepper tofu. Here are a few to name:
- On the stovetop: The best way to cook or fry tofu is in a skillet over the stovetop. It is the easiest and the most convenient way of cooking it. However, the only drawback is that it requires oil. You can sauté, shallow fry or deep fry tofu in oil as per your liking. The main aim is to get a golden-brown colour on your tofu.
- In an air fryer: If you are looking for an oil-free way to cook tofu, an air fryer is the key. You can easily air fry tofu. All you have to do is place the tofu pieces in an air fryer basket in a single layer and cook for about 15 minutes at 375-degree F. don't forget to flip it after 7 minutes to ensure equal colour. You can use cooking spray if you like. Lemon pepper air-fried wings are a healthy yet tasteful option.
- In an oven: Another easy way of cooking tofu is by baking it in an oven. For that, you have to place the tofu pieces on a parchment-lined baking tray and place it in a preheated oven at 400-degree F for about 15 to 20 minutes. Flip the tofu halfway into the cook and enjoy. Lemon pepper baked tofu is equally healthy, tasteful and sometimes as crispy as fried tofu.
What to serve with Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu Wings
There is so much you can serve with lemon pepper tofu. It goes well as a snack, starter or main course. Here are a few sides you can serve with this delicious vegan tofu dish:
- Pasta: You can pair lemon pepper tofu with a simple vegan pasta dish. I particularly love it with lemon and herb pasta and cashew white sauce pasta. The two dishes offer a beautiful blend of flavors that enhance the flavors of the tofu.
- Salad: Nothing can beat the freshness and flavor of crisp fresh green salad. You can add your lemon pepper tofu to magnify the freshness by many folds.
- Vegetables: Serve the tofu wings with herb and garlic roasted vegetables. You can use broccoli, carrots, green beans etc., to add more flavour and colour to the dish.
- Mashed potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes are rich and flavoursome. They go very well with the sharp flavor of lemon pepper tofu.
- Fries: You can never go wrong with wings and fries. Whip up some fries in your airfryer and pair them with your delicious lemon peppery wings.
Can you store leftovers?
Yes, you can definitely store lemon pepper tofu wings for a delicious next day treat. Place the leftover tofu in an airtight container, and it will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Furthermore, you can fry off or bake the tofu, cool it down and freeze it as well.
Frozen cooked tofu will last for up to 2 months. You can reheat and season with lemon pepper seasoning and lemon juice to enjoy the dish. Freezing cooked tofu makes this dish super quick to make and very convenient as well.
More tofu dishes
Lemon Pepper Fried Tofu Wings
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
- oil for cooking
- 1/4 cup melted vegan butter (I used Flora Plant unsalted butter)
- 2 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp maple syrup optional
- First things first, freeze your packaged tofu overnight or until completely frozen.
- Thaw tofu completely. Remove from package.
- Drain and press tofu to remove liquid. Press for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once the tofu has drained, the texture will be ready for you to break apart into chunks or pieces.
- Add tofu pieces into a bowl along with garlic powder, onion powder, and non-dairy milk. Gently toss tofu with your hands until well combined.
- Dip each tofu piece into a small bowl of cornstarch. Make sure all sides of the tofu cubes are covered.
- Line a large skillet with oil and bring up to medium-high heat.
- Once oil is heated, add the tofu to the skillet and brown on all sides. Remove and place on a cooling rack or a plate lined with paper towels.
- Add tofu to a bowl and drizzle with melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon pepper seasoning. Toss the tofu around to coat and then serve with your favorite sides. Enjoy!