This spicy Buffalo tofu salad is made with crispy pan-fried tofu cubes in spicy cayenne pepper sauce. Serve it atop some greens, piled on sandwich bread, or in a warm tortilla!
I'm not sure if Buffalo sauce is a summer thing, a very recent explosion in the vegetarian food world, or just something I've become hyperconscious of lately (due to the fact that it's so darn tasty), but I'm suddenly finding vegetarian recipes including Buffalo sauce all over the place. I figured it would be best to start by getting that out of the way, and perhaps to link you up to with some of those recipes. I have yet to do a "collection" type post where I link you guys up with a bunch of recipes having a common them from my favorite bloggers (and perhaps myself), so I thought it might make sense to get started here, with this brief, albeit appetizing list of my favorite vegetarian uses for Buffalo sauce:
Naturally Ella - Buffalo Crumble Salad
Vegan Richa - Grilled Sandwich with Buffalo Millet, Red Pepper, Creamy Ranch
Thug Kitchen - Buffalo Falafel
Olives for Dinner- Garlic-Sriracha Vegan Buffalo Wings
Guy Gone Vegan - Vegan Buffalo Tempeh Wings with Ranch Dressing
Fork and Beans - Baked Buffalo Tempeh Tenders
PETA - Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Now for my own recipe, which seems so simple now in contrast with all of the above creative deliciousness. Buffalo tofu. It is simple, but I promise, so yummy. This is actually another item that I favored out of the Whole Foods salad bar, back when I had one within a mile of my home a frequented the place for quick, healthy take out dinners (also known as the time when I worked for a law firm and had no time to cook). I'd never really had Buffalo sauce before that, figuring it was exclusively for chicken wings. Funny how so many delicious dishes and accompaniments get filed under "meat stuff" in my head, and ignored until Whole Foods or some crafty food blogger enlightens me otherwise. I was thrilled to discover that Buffalo sauce is fantastic! I told myself ever since that first taste that I'd have to make my own Buffalo tofu. It turned out to be brilliantly simple.
I'm happy to say that now I have way more time for kitchen projects. So, I finally got around to replicating that delicious Buffalo tofu. I had to. I don't live near Whole Foods anymore and I was really missing the stuff. I'm happy to say that my version turned out even better than the original (sorry Whole Foods). The only thing I did different, so far as I can tell, was to add scallions. You can eat this as one of an array of random vegetarian side dishes, as I did back in the day (taboulleh, citrus beet salad, edamame salad...), throw it over some greens, make it into a sandwich, or, my personal favorite, a wrap. I used some Vegenaise on my wrap this time around, by my silken tofu ranch would be another delicious choice.
Buffalo Tofu Salad
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 2 celery stalks finely diced
- 2 scallions chopped
- ½ cup cayanne pepper hot sauce preferably Frank's
- ½ cup vegan margarine melted
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- additional cayanne pepper to taste optional
Drain and press tofu for about 10 minutes.
While this is happening, mix up your Buffalo sauce by whisking together hot sauce, margarine, syrup and additional cayanne pepper, if using.
Cut tofu into cubes of ½ to 1 inch.
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add tofu and pan fry on each side until nicely browned - maybe five minutes or so per side. You could skip the frying step if you want to cut down on fat content and/or save time, but it will give you a nice crispy tofu.
Once tofu is done cooking, add it to your sauce, then mix in celery, carrots and scallions.
Serve hot or cold (if you refrigerate, the sauce will firm up a bit due to the margarine).