This Crispy Vegan Buffalo Tofu is so full of flavor and spice, and it comes together so easily. It’s a perfect game day dish or for any day where a buffalo craving strikes!
I don’t know about you, but I crave spicy buffalo food every now and again. And when you follow a plant-based diet, you can easily get a little creative with what you can slather buffalo sauce on!
And, you can ABSOLUTELY make a super flavorful and decadent vegan buffalo sauce. Thanks to plant-based alternatives to butter and sour cream, it’s simple to make as well. I add the vegan sour cream to bring a creaminess to the buffalo sauce, and it also helps to tame the spicy heat a bit too.
The tofu slices are thinly coated with corn starch and pan fried in a bit of avocado oil. I find that avocado oil has a neutral flavor and works well for this. Then, simply coat the crispy tofu in the vegan buffalo sauce!
You can serve the Crispy Vegan Buffalo Tofu in so many ways. I like to serve it over greens and other veggies as a salad, and it would be amazing with my Herb Ranch Dressing recipe found in my other post here. Another amazing way to serve this tofu is along with fries or roasted veggies, like those found in this recipe post here.
How this Crispy Vegan Buffalo Tofu Comes Together
This recipe has two components – 1) the tofu and 2) the buffalo sauce.
Start by opening your tofu and draining the water out. I use organic super firm tofu, which I think makes the best texture for this dish. Then use a tofu press to remove the excess water (I like this one) or place your tofu block on a plate and wrap paper towel or kitchen towel around it. Then place a skillet or small/medium saucepan on top of it. It’s a bit of a balancing act, but the weight of the pan will help remove the excess water. If your pan is super light, you can place a can inside the pan. After 15 minutes, it’s ready to slice and use.
While your tofu is “pressing”, start the sauce! Simply combine your favorite hot sauce and vegan butter, along with garlic powder and agave and heat it in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds to melt the butter. Place the vegan sour cream in a separate bowl and slowly whisk in the hot sauce mixture (do this slowly, to slowly bring up the temperature of your sour cream).
By this time, your tofu will probably be done pressing. Slice it and lightly coat the pieces in cornstarch/garlic powder and pan fry in batches, several slices at a time, on both sides until crispy. The cooked tofu can hang out on a plate lined with paper towel or parchment paper while you fry subsequent batches.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with around a tablespoon of the buffalo sauce mixture and whisk up until smooth. Transfer this into the main bowl of buffalo sauce mixture and then transfer it all into a small saucepan. Gently simmer the sauce just until the sauce thickens a bit (don’t rapidly boil it or the sour cream inside the sauce may get all wonky!).
Then coat the cooked tofu pieces in the buffalo sauce, and serve! I served with chives, baby kale and chopped celery. So good and it brings the heat!
Tips for making this recipe
To coat the tofu in cornstarch, I simply sprinkle the cornstarch onto a large plate and sprinkle in the garlic powder. Stir it up with a spoon and spread it out again on the plate. I used two large spoons instead of my hands to work with to coat the tofu, but it’s personal preference. The sliced tofu has natural moisture on it, which helps the cornstarch to stick to the tofu slices.
You don’t need a lot of oil to pan fry the tofu. I used around a tablespoon for each batch (I cooked 3 slices of tofu at a time). Alternatively, you can bake or air fry the tofu. Just make sure that the cornstarch is a thin layer. It will take longer to cook than the pan fry method.
This tofu is quite spicy, probably a “medium” if you were to order spicy or buffalo style food from a restaurant. To tame down the heat further, you can increase the amount of the vegan sour cream. I used 1/4 cup of vegan sour cream, but you can increase it another couple tablespoons if desired! If using more vegan sour cream and therefore it’s a thicker sauce already, you can skip the cornstarch thickening step mentioned in the recipe instructions card further below.
Items to help with this recipe
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Crispy Vegan Buffalo Tofu
- 2/3 block of organic extra firm tofu
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Vegan Buffalo Sauce
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 2 tbsp. agave
- 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. vegan butter
- 1/4 cup vegan sour cream plus more as desired
- 1 tsp. cornstarch + 1 tbsp. sauce mixture* see notes*
- Greens chives, and chopped celery
- Drain and press the tofu to remove excess water. Slice the tofu (approx 2/3 cm thick).
- Spread the 1/3 cup cornstarch and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder on a large plate and mix with a spoon, then spread it out again on the plate.
- Dip the tofu slices on both sides into the cornstarch mixture (the tofu has natural moisture on the slices that will help the cornstarch stick). Avoid having a very thick coating.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, add the hot sauce, garlic powder, and vegan butter. Microwave (or heat on stove) until the butter is melted, about 30 to 60 seconds in the microwave.
- In a separate bowl, add the vegan sour cream and slowly whisk in the hot sauce mixture until fully combined.
- Meanwhile, pan fry the cornstarch-coated tofu on medium heat in batches (do not crowd the pan), with around 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan for each batch. You will add the tofu to the pan once the oil has heated.
- Cook the tofu approx 3 to 4 minutes on each side until it’s golden brown, also turning the tofu on its side to brown on the sides a bit.
- Separately whisk together the 1 tsp. cornstarch with 1 tbsp. of the sauce mixture to make a “slurry” then add it back to the main sauce mixture. Heat it on the stove until gently bubbling (do not boil rapidly) and thickening.
- Coat the cooked tofu with the sauce and serve with greens and chopped celery if desired.