One of my favorite shows on The Food Network is Heat Seekers, which features two chefs—Aarón Sanchez and Roger Mooking—sampling the most notoriously spicy dishes throughout the US. Virtually none of the dishes they feature are vegan, but it’s interesting to see the array of foods that are doused in hot sauce, how its prepared and hear about the experience from the people who consume them. I was inspired to make a fiery buffalo wing dish (which I’ve made before with tofu) after watching an episode last week, using my new favorite ingredient—soy curls. These wings are deep fried, then doused in a ratio 1:3 ratio of Earth Balance and sriracha sauce, with a side of cooling ranch dip, made from a mixture of fresh parsley and Vegenaise. The sauce still wasn’t hot enough for me, so I added in a generous tablespoon of dried habanero powder, which made these ridiculously hot and amazingly good.
for the wings:
1 cup Butler Soy Curls
1 1/2 cup Imagine Brand No-Chicken broth
4-5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tsp salt
1 cup cornstarch, placed into a large and shallow bowl
1/2 tsp Ener-G, whisked with 5 TB cold water, placed into a large and shallow bowl
plenty of vegetable oil, for frying
for the cooling sauce:
1/3 cup Vegenaise
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
for the hot sauce glaze:
1/2 cup Earth Balance, melted
1 1/2 cup sriracha
optional: chopped fresh habanero, habanero powder, sambal
Place the soy curls, broth, smashed garlic and salt into a small saucepan. Bring to a small boil over medium heat, then turn the heat off. Allow the soy curls to sit in the hot liquid for about 10 minutes.
Drain the soy curls using a fine mesh strainer. Place the soy curls into a towel and cover it with another towel. Put a heavy pan or pot on top to get some of the moisture out for about 10 minutes.
Place plenty of vegetable oil (at least 5 inches high) into another small saucepan over medium-high heat. While it is heating (it will take about 7 minutes), prepare your cooling sauce by combining the Vegenaise, parsley and garlic powder together. Set aside.
Now you should be ready to fry the soy curls. Place a wooden spoon into the oil, touching the bottom of the pan. If bubbles form immediately around it, you are ready to fry. Place the soy curls into the water/Ener-G mixture, then toss them into the cornstarch, coating well and tapping off any excess. Working in small batches, gently drop them into the oil, piece by piece, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Allow to fry for 3-4 minutes, then remove them from the oil using a skimmer. Place them onto paper towels to drain. Repeat the process until all of the soy curls are fried.
In another large skillet, melt the Earth Balance over medium-low heat. Add in the sriracha and stir. Now, throw in the soy curls, and stir until well coated. Add a bit more vegan butter and hot sauce as needed to cover all of the pieces. Taste, then add more heat to taste as needed. As soon as the pieces are warmed through and thoroughly coated in the hot sauce, serve immediately with the cooling sauce on the side.