Let’s be real here. Vegetarian meat substitution products that claim to taste like the real thing really suck. Companies just can’t seem to make these frozen foods any good. And buffalo chicken wings? Best thing ever! But for those vegetarians or people watching their meat consumption, those spicy, saucy, finger-lickin’ good buffalo chicken wings have to be resisted. And that is one reason why this Buffalo Cauliflower is absolutely amazing! It tastes just as scrumptious as buffalo chicken wings, but is completely meat free! They are tender yet crunchy, smooth yet spicy. They are completely addictive and a healthier option to those tempting buffalo chicken wings!
This recipe has multiple easy steps, but it does take some time to complete. To make the buffalo sauce, just melt down your butter or butter substitute and add in the hot sauce and worcestershire/fish sauce. Making buffalo sauce literally takes no time or skill to create and is thus ridiculously easy!
To make the dry rub, combine salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
Break down your head of cauliflower and place it on one layer on a wire rack set above a baking tray. Sprinkle your spice rub liberally all over the cauliflower. Don’t be shy with that spice (you will have extra though)! This short cooking time will just soften up the cauliflower the tiniest bit in order to ensure tenderness by the end of the process.
After the cauliflower is partially cooked and done spending its time in the oven, soak the cauliflower florets in a buttermilk brine (just like you would with any other buffalo chicken). Because my brother has a dairy allergy, I used low-fat coconut milk (full-fat has too strong of a coconut flavor) with some vinegar mixed in (you may also use lemon juice).
After soaking for several hours, coat the cauliflower lightly in flour and fry in a fryer or a big pot filled with vegetable oil. Fry in a couple batches so as not to overcrowd the pot and lower the oil temperature too much. Drain them on a paper towel and toss them with your homemade buffalo sauce. Yum!
Adapted from PopSugar Food
- 2 sticks of butter or vegan buttery sticks
- 1 c. hot sauce
- 1/4 oz worcestershire sauce or fish sauce
- 4 oz kosher salt
- 2 oz ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 lbs cauliflower florets
- 4 c. buttermilk or low-fat coconut milk w/ vinegar
- 1 oz smoked paprika
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- To make the buffalo sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and pour in the hot sauce and worcestershire sauce. Stir until combined.
- To make the dry rub, combine all spices in a bowl.
- Place a wire rack on top of a baking dish. Arrange the cauliflower on the wire rack in a single layer. Heavily dust the dry rub on top of the cauliflower florets.
- Roast at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until al dente.
- For the brine, combine the buttermilk and smoked paprika in a large bowl. Add in the cauliflower florets and soak for 5-24 hrs in the refrigerator.
- Toss cauliflower florets in flour until lightly coated. Fry cauliflower in vegetable oil until golden brown. Drain the cauliflower on a paper towel lined plate.
- Toss the fried cauliflower in the buffalo sauce.