My sister emailed me recently asking if I know of a restaurant that makes good amazing vegan cauliflower “wings” since she has a friend in the foodservice industry who’s looking for a supplier. I had never tried them myself but her question left me wondering how would one make plant-based pub-style wings that rival the real thing? Here are two key nuggest of wisdom I learned in developing this recipe:
*For the batter mixture use chickpea flour (vs. all-purpose flour) and almond milk (vs. soy milk) for best results.
*For the breading mixture there is no substitute for Panko breadcrumbs. What’s most important is that your breading mixture stays dry, which is why I recommend dividing the Panko, smoked paprika and salt mixture into three separate bowls. As you use up the coating mixture in each bowl you can move onto the next bowl without having to settle for soggy breadcrumbs 😉.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- Olive oil
- Olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup water, room temperature
- 2 Tbsp chickpea flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1.5 tsp smoked paprika (Note: For added kick, add 1 tsp chili flakes)
- 1.5 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Sweet Heat Wing Sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2/3 cup tomato sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 1/4 tsp guar gum
1/Prepare coated florets:
-Add a glug of olive oil to a skillet on medium-low heat. Toss in minced garlic, chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant.
-Add almond milk, water and chickpea flour to the skillet. Whisk vigorously until well combined. Remove from heat.
-Coat cauliflower florets in batter (shaking off any excess). Dip coated florets into the breadcrumb mixture (ideally one at a time). Transfer to a parchment-paper lined
-Preheat oven to 450F.
2/Prep “wing” sauce:
-Add butter to a pot over medium-low heat. One melted, add minced garlic. Sauté until fragrant.
-Increase temperature to medium-high heat. Add Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Stir occasionally and bring to a gentle boil.
-Reduce heat to low. Add tomato sauce, sriracha sauce and guar gum. Whisk vigorously until sauce reaches desired consistency.
1/Drizzle breaded florets with a scant amount of olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
2/Drizzle wing sauce over baked florets (no need to reserve any). Return to oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes until blackened (the darker the better!)
Pair with a soup and baguette for a hearty meal!