Food/ Main Dishes/ Sides, tapa-tizers + snacks/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip {With Vegan Option}

Hello! So. If you’ve come across this recipe for Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip before, you’re probably noticing that it’s looking a little… different.

That’s because this post, and recipe, needed a bit of a makeover. (And I’m currently working on it, so bare with me).

This recipe has been my most visited recipe on the blog for over a year now, and I have mixed feelings about that. Sure, I’m glad one of my recipes has taken off to the extent that this one has, but this is far from being one of my more inspired recipes. I’d be over the moon if my salmon kebabs with chimichurri got this much attention—or my super simple vegetarian pho. But nah. It’s these saucy little nuggets of soy.

So I just roll with it.

Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip on a plate

When I first created this recipe, I feared that it would come off as a sad excuse for an alternative to glorious crave-worthy Buffalo chicken wings. But these punchy little morsels are just so. damn. good. And hey, for what it’s worth, this is coming from a chicken wing snob who grew up right outside of Buffalo, NY. I know wings.

And even I still, I gobbled up this entire block of tofu by myself. (I regret nothing.)

But I felt the need to revisit this post for two reasons:

  1. to showcase better photos
  2. to bring you a crisped up tofu hack.

After perusing people’s reviews of this recipe on Pinterest, I noticed a divide; people either loved it or were disappointed by it. The latter noted that the tofu cubes were gluey, clumpy, etc. This would be due to not shaking excess starch from the cubes before putting them into the pan or—what a few folks did—poured all of the starch into the pan along with the cubes of tofu.

So I’m here with a hack that I’ve learned after doing some homework…

Freeze your tofu.

Frozen tofu

Ridiculous, I know. BUT EFFECTIVE.

Freezing an extra firm block of tofu removes excess moisture and gives it a meatier, chewier texture. It also makes it better for marinating and it does wonders for pan-frying it to a golden crisp. All you have to do is drain your tofu by slicing a small slit into the package, drain it, and pop it into your freezer at least three hours before use.

Then boil it.

Once you’re ready to prepare your tofu, bring some water (you can cut the water in half with vegetable broth for some extra flavor), and simmer the tofu for about 15 minutes. (Note: frozen tofu is yellow, so don’t be alarmed when you take it out of the freezer and it looks like a big brick of old parmesan cheese; as it boils, it will fade back to it’s natural white shade.)

Boiled tofu

Then pan-fry.

After boiling the tofu, let it cool, lightly pat/squeeze it with paper towels, and cut the cube into 1/2-inch slices. You could marinate if after this, but a) I’m impatient and b) I don’t feel the need to do so with this particular recipe. I’ve kept the old method with the marinade in the recipe instructions, however.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a splash of olive oil or avocado oil, and once the oil is hot, plop in those tofu cubes. You’ll cook them for about five minutes; check on the browning occasionally. Once golden brown, flip the cubes over and cook until golden brown on each side. This should take about 10-15 minutes.

Fried tofu Tofu tossed in hot sauce

Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip plated

If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3

Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip | Killing Thyme
Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip | Killing Thyme
Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip | Killing Thyme
Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip | Killing Thyme
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Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip

These Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites With Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip will satisfy any non-meat eaters hankering for spicy and tangy Buffalo wings.
Author Killing Thyme

Ingredients

Crispy Buffalo Tofu.

  • 12-16 oz extra firm tofu, drained and frozen
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (optional)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Frank's Hot Sauce or any Buffalo-style sauce
  • Chopped fresh chives, parsley, or cilantro; for garnish (optional)

Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip.

  • 4 TBSP Plain Greek yogurt (use a non-dairy yogurt for vegan variation)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder (or salt)
  • 1 TBSP crumbled feta (omit for vegan option)
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast (optional if non-vegan)

Instructions

Crispy Buffalo Tofu.

  1. Freeze your tofu the night before, or a least three hours before you plan on preparing this dish.

  2. Bring water to a boil in a pot or wide and deep saucepan; basically choose a vessel that will properly fit your brick of tofu and just enough water to cover your tofu.

  3. Once the water is boiling, carefully submerge your tofu into it and let it boil for about 15 minutes. The tofu will be a questionable yellow hue when it's frozen; this is normal! It will go back to its healthy white hue as it simmers.

  4. After 15 minutes, remove the tofu and place it on a paper towel-lined plate or cutting board. With paper towels, gently press on it to squeeze out any excess water.

  5. Cut the tofu brick into 1/2-inch cubes. At this point, you can either marinate your tofu (see recipe notes for the old recipe with the marinade), or move onto frying them. With this particular recipe, I don't find it necessary to marinade the tofu (especially if you added veg broth to your water when boiling), but it's totally up to you.

  6. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tofu cubes and let them simmer for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and lightly crisped. Flip the tofu cubes and continue to do this on each side until the cubes are all golden brown and lightly crisp. This should take about 10-15 minutes, depending on your skillet and the heat being emitted.

  7. When done, transfer the tofu cubes to a bowl. Drizzle them with hot sauce, toss to coat and plate. Drizzle a little extra hot sauce on top if you want. (I always do!)

  8. Garnish with fresh herbs if you'd like, and serve with the dip.

Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip.

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well blended.

Recipe Notes

Old recipe + method (using corn starch):

Ingredients

16 oz extra firm tofu see notes, pressed + cut into 1 x 1-inch cubes.
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 TBSPS Frank's Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce + 1/2 cup set aside for later
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 TBSP corn starch
1-2 TBSP coconut oil
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish optional

Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip:
4 TBSP plain + unsweetened yogurt I used vegan yogurt made with almond milk
1/8 tsp garlic salt add more if you feel like you want more of a garlic punch
2 TBSP crumbled feta

Instructions

Preparing the tofu + marinade:
Drain and remove the tofu from it's packaging, and press (see notes). This will be 30 minutes of idle time.
Once the tofu is good to go, cut into cubes and place into a freezer bag along with veg broth, 2 TBSP Frank's, garlic, salt + pepper.
Let marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. The longer, the better.
Once the tofu has marinated, remove from freezer bag and transfer to a bowl; discard the extra marinade from the bag.
Sprinkle the corn starch over the tofu and toss to coat. Use more if needed.
Heat coconut oil in a skillet over moderate heat.
Place the tofu cubes into the skillet and fry until they are golden brown and crispy on each side — approx. 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the tofu to a bowl and drizzle the 1/2 cup of hot sauce over it. Toss to evenly coat.

Garlicky Yogurt + Feta Dip:
Mix all of the ingredients into a small bowl. Taste + adjust seasoning to your preference.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if you wish.
Serve with Crispy Buffalo Tofu Bites.

Recipe Notes
Tofu acts as a sponge and, since it's been sitting in water, it's full of water. You need to press out the water in order to let other liquids in — like your marinade. If you skip this step, you'll end up with a flavorless tofu. Pressing tofu is easy peasy, you just need to sort of plan a head — but just a bit! !Pressing the tofu: Slice the package of tofu open and drain out all of the water. Cut the block of tofu, length-wise, into 1/2 inch thick slices. You should get 6-7 of them. Place a dish towel on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, cookie sheet or tray. Set down a few paper towels on top of the towel. Place the tofu slices on top of the towels and add more paper towels on top. Set some heavy objects on top of the tofu. The best way to go about this is to set another cookie sheet on top, and then set heavy things on top of the cookie sheet — such as a heavy pot or canned goods. Let it be for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

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35 Comments

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  • Reply
    Sara
    March 25, 2018 at 10:08 am I made this today with a different buffalo sauce. It came out so well! Thanks for helping me fill that buffalo sauce craving. I was surprised how crispy the tofu got.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 25, 2018 at 10:41 am Hi Sara! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for the feedback! Isn't it amazing how crispy the tofu actually gets? I didn't think it was possible for the longest time.
  • Reply
    Anna
    February 17, 2018 at 10:12 pm This was delicious! It was my first time following a tofu recipe and I'm very happy with how it turned out. I guess I just didn't know what to do with tofu before. This is even better than the tofu at any of the restaurants at which I've eaten tofu dishes. Thanks for making the recipe so easy to follow, too!
  • Reply
    Lizzy
    February 15, 2018 at 4:25 pm Hello Dana, thank you for sharing this delicious recipe to the world. I happen to have all the ingredients at hand. I prepared the tofu in the morning, so that it would be ready to cook for lunch. Let me just say I will be making this recipe again and again. This is the best buffalo tofu I’ve ever had!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      February 15, 2018 at 6:09 pm Hi Lizzy! Thanks so much for taking the time to pop by and leave feedback. I'm so glad you loved this recipe! It's definitely one of my favorites :) You truly can't go wrong with crispy Buffalo goodness :P
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  • Reply
    Sonia
    October 2, 2017 at 1:09 pm Is the yogurt greek or regular?
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      October 2, 2017 at 2:17 pm Hi Sonia — you can use either, as long as it's plain/unsweetened.
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  • Reply
    Christen
    July 27, 2017 at 7:28 pm I just made this recipe and found it very difficult to cook the tofu pieces in 2 tbs of coconut oil. Every time I flipped the pieces, the crispy side stuck to the bottom of the pan and tore the tofu apart. Am a missing a important technique to this process?
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      July 27, 2017 at 7:59 pm Hi Christen! Sorry you're having issues with this recipe. What heat were you cooking at? And what kind of pan? I've always cooked these at a moderate heat in a cast iron skillet and haven't had any issues ever. But, if you're cooking it too high, and with a non-stick pan, that could be your issue. That's all I can think of that would cause sticking. Two TBSP of coconut oil should def be enough, but always use your best judgement. If you think you need more, go ahead and add it. Every range top is different.
      • Reply
        Christen
        July 30, 2017 at 8:33 pm I was cooking at medium heat with a ceramic pan--the pan might not be non-stick. I tried again and used vegetable oil (a little more than 2 tbs) and it worked! Regardless, I totally loved this recipe! I'm actually making it again tonight (second time this week!). I'll try it a different pan and see if I get better results. Thank you!
        • Reply
          Killing Thyme
          July 30, 2017 at 8:39 pm Hey Christen! I'm so so glad it worked out. Thanks for reporting back! I'm thrilled that the effort ended up being worth it in the end :) With cooking, sometimes the silliest little things can set a recipe off and us bloggers never really know until we hear it from the people. So your feedback is greatly appreciated! <3
  • Reply
    Nashita Karim
    April 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm Is it possible to fry them in vegetable oil? Or olive oil? I usually have these oils on hand 🙂
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      April 7, 2017 at 9:16 am Hey Nashita! Those oils would work fine, absolutely :) Good luck and keep me posted!
  • Reply
    Justine
    December 26, 2016 at 3:39 pm I'm totally picking up ingredients to make this with my chicken wing loving family over the holidays! Will report back. :) Happy holidays and safe travels, love!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      January 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm Yay! I hope you loved it! I hope you had a fantastic holiday and happy new year! I'm so excited to see what you do this year, my friend <3
      • Reply
        Justine
        January 3, 2017 at 1:56 pm So I didn't get around to making these over the holidays, but I'm going to whip them up tonight! Curious... what was the vegan yogurt you used? Honestly, I've totally given up on cheese and yogurt substitutes because they tend to disappoint -- I'd love your recommendations! :)
        • Reply
          Killing Thyme
          January 3, 2017 at 2:54 pm Exciting! The yogurt I used was from Kite Hill — it was their plain unsweetened yogurt and it worked really well with the feta + garlic. Hopefully you can come up with something equally yummy without the feta! Keep me posted :)
          • Justine
            January 3, 2017 at 6:52 pm Thanks love! Will report back. :)
  • Reply
    kristy @ she eats
    December 22, 2016 at 1:32 pm Whoa. Dana. I'm OBSESSED right now with hot sauce. Like, addicted. I don't know why I hadn't tried it before but I just discovered Franks and I ahem, put that sh!t on everything! ;) I'm SO making these for dinner tonight. Fo' realz. Also, pinned all over the place.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      December 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm Kristy! I can't believe you *just* discovered Frank's! I love love love hot sauce. Have you had Sriracha sauce? It's bomb. If you make these, please let me know how it goes! :D
  • Reply
    Mel @ The Refreshanista
    December 21, 2016 at 11:22 am This looks SO GOOD. I've actually never had buffalo wings before but I love tofu coated in saucy deliciousness :) and that feta dip?! OMG.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      December 21, 2016 at 10:43 pm Thanks, Mel! It hurts my heart that you've never had Buffalo wings :P But these def. bring the flavor!

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