Right before Super Bowl Sunday we have a new tasty recipe for all fans of finger food and American fast food: vegan cauliflower hot wings. The cauliflower wings are aromatic, crunchy and pleasantly hot – or just „finger lickin’ good“. Kentucky Fried Chicken’s hot wings served as a role model for this recipe. They are something like my youthful folly or my guilty pleasure. Because not only on Super Bowl nights I stuffed myself with these chicken wings.
Consequently the selection of spices for our vegan cauliflower wings is kept close to the original KFC recipe, which has supposedly been leaked by the Chicago Tribune. Crucial besides seasoning is of course the preparation. The wings have to be crispy instead of sticky. Therefore they are not just brushed with marinade and baked in the oven, but they are two-times coated with a flour mixture and then subsequently deep-fried until crispy.
Because the hot marinade in combination with the wonderfully crispy coating is responsible for the authentic taste, we can easily go without meat subsitutes made from seitan and soya. Cauliflower, instead of chicken, is allowed to take a bath in the spicy marinade and coating. Because of the deep-frying our vegan version is indeed still not healthy, but at least it’s a little bit healthier than the original of KFC. And it’s a lot cheaper anyway.
Vegan Cauliflower Hot Wings (KFC Style)
- 275 ml soya milk
- 7 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple vinegar
- 2 tbsp egg-replacer powder, or cornstarch
- 200 g wheat flour
- 2 tbsp paprika powder
- 1,5 tbsp herbal seasoning salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp thymes
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 small- to medium-sized cauliflower
- enough highly heatable vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Cut the cauliflower into (not too small) florets and bake them in the oven at 180 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. The cauliflower should then still be crisp-tender. Meanwhile mix the ingredients for the marinade in one bowl. Mix the ingredients for the coating in another bowl.
- Heat the oil in a deep pot or a deep fryer to about 175 degrees. Now dip the cooled down cauliflower florets first in the marinade, then dredge in the coating mixture. Subsequently dip again in the marinade and dredge in the flour mix. When doing so, keep one hand dry while doing the „dirty work“ with the other one. If necessary, place the cauliflower wings on some tinfoil or any other non-sticking surface until deep-frying.
- Put the double coated cauliflower florets in the hot oil and deep-fry for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil before serving.
Silly question: any chance these can be done in an air fryer, or would they fall apart?
I’ve unfortunately never worked with an air fryer. I guess the cauliflower wings would not fall apart in it but they would not become 100 % crunchy either. Same with using an oven instead of the deep-frying.
If you have a try with the air fryer, please let us know how they turned out.
what is the “herbal seasoning salt”? Do you have a brand name or suggested alternatives?
In Germany those seasoning mixtures made of salt and herbs are very common and almost every spice brand has its own “herbal seasoning salt”. So you can buy them in every supermarket. Usually besides salt they contain leek, celery, parsley, thyme, love parsley, basil and some other herbs.
Where are you located? My google search for example listed “Herbamare organic herb seasoning salt” as a similar product for the Northern American market.
If you can’t find it, just use regular salt instead. You can also add some dried herbs yourself.
Hi! When you say starch, would cornstarch work? Btw this looks delicious, can’t wait to try it out!
Hi Parul. Yes, cornstarch will do the job. I added the info to the recipe. Have fun trying it out! Cheers. Andi
Dorie A Larue
Spray a bit of avocado oil on them before you put them in the fryer and it helps make them crispy.
Wow, these look fabulous. I’ve been wanting to try something to satisfy that “fast food” craving, but I’m wondering if you think gluten-free flour would work. I know the gluten makes a difference in some baking, but I’m not sure about deep frying since I’ve never done that. Many thanks, Kimberly
I’ve never tried with gluten-free flour but I think it should work.
Chickpea flour, rice flour or corn flour for example all could be fine.
Please let us know when you tried out.
I was wondering how many calories this is.
I think this is not a dish for counting calories. 😉
The ingredients for 1 serving add up to about 600 calories. But then the deep-frying begins, which probably adds some more hundred calories. So roughly estimated, you might end with 900-1000 calories per serving. But that totally depends on the frying process.
The spice blend was deicious. However, I submerged the caiflower in oil to deep fry it, and it came out quite soggy. Any tips to make it crispy? Thank you!
Sounds like the oil was not hot enough, when you put the cauliflower in. For the deep-frying you should also keep in mind that if you put a lot of cauliflower at the same time into hot oil the temperature will drop quickly.
If the oil is too cool, the food will get soggy and greasy. And it is always a good idea to put your deep-fried food straight onto a kitchen towel or paper towl. This will soak up the excess oil and your crispy food stays crispy.
Hope that helps.