Going veg wasn't really super hard for me, except for the haunting smell of wings. In the first few months after I stopped eating meat, I would get this crazy intense craving for wings. It was the one dish that almost made me revert back to the meaty side. It only took me a short time to realize, that I could indeed have my wingz and eat them too.
This version can be made with either tempeh or seitan. Honestly, I prefer seitan, but if I don't have any made up, it is super easy to pick up a package of tempeh at the store when I just can't wait to have me some spicy goodness. It may look like a lot of ingredients, but most of the ingredients are spices. These are really pretty simple to throw together. The bulk of the time is inactive marinating the "wings". These are gluten free if you use tempeh.
Wingz of Fire
Makes 8 Wingz
1 - 8 oz package tempeh, torn into 8 rectangular pieces
(can also substitute 8 oz seitan)
1 recipe marinade (see below)
1/4 cup tapioca or corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoon Earth Balance vegan butter (from the sticks), melted
2 tablespoons Louisiana Hot Sauce (or your favorite)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for those who like 'em suicide hot)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Vegetable oil for frying
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 Tablespoons Louisiana Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
3 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Place tempeh pieces in steamer and steam for 10 minutes. While they are steaming, mix together marinade ingredients in an 8 x 8 or smaller non-reactive pan, large enough to fit tempeh or seitan in a single layer. This doesn't make a lot of marinade, just enough to get soaked up by the protein. Add tempeh while it is still hot or seitan and turn to coat both sides. Marinate for a minimum of 2 hours*.
In a shallow bowl, combine the tapioca starch, salt and smoked paprika.
In a small saute pan, melt vegan butter and stir in hot sauce. Keep warm.
Heat enough oil to come 1/2 inch up the side of a 10-inch iron skillet (or other skillet but make sure it is not a non-stick type) to 350 degrees. Dredge marinated tempeh or seitan in tapioca starch mixture. Carefully slide into hot oil. Cook for about 3 minutes per side until golden. Drain on paper towel.
In a bowl big enough to toss all of the wings, combine the melted vegan butter, hot sauce and peppers (if using). Toss fried wingz in sauce and serve immediately with vegan blue cheese or ranch dressing (recipe below), carrots and celery.
*If you are pressed for time, you can shorten the marinating time, but they are much more flavorful if they get some time to soak up all of that flavor.
Makes about 1 cup
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan mayonaise (I like Veganaise brand)
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients with a fork or wire whisk until completely combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.