This hearty and flavor-packed buffalo Soy Curls recipe is made in the air fryer in minutes. Drizzle the sandwich with vegan blue cheese dressing, and serve with salad or fries.
My love of buffalo sauce goes all the way back to my university days. In my Stars Hollow-variety college town, there was a place that would deliver buffalo wings to the dorms. Once the wings would arrive, I’d pull out napkins aplenty and dive in.
Obviously, this was before I went vegan (by over a decade). I remember that I really liked the spicy buffalo sauce and cool ranch or blue cheese to temper the heat. However, what I didn’t like was the skin on the chickens’ wings and the caveman-feeling of eating right off the bone.
It’s kind of interesting that it didn’t occur to me that I could just put buffalo sauce on other things that didn’t have bones and skin – like you know, vegetables, Soy Curls, seitan, or tofu. Even grilled corn on the cob is a bit more delicious with the buffalo treatment.
That happens for so many of us before we go vegan. There are certain aspects of eating animals that feel strange, uncomfortable, or off putting. But you don’t realize how easy it is to find an alternative, that the alternative can be very delicious in its own right, and without any of the things you didn’t enjoy in the original.
Best of all, the alternative comes without hurting anyone along the way.
This buffalo sandwich is a compassionate alternative to my old college dorm room order. It has all of the flavor and bite of the original without any of those aspects I didn’t like.
Plus, it includes a healthy dose of vegan blue cheese dressing to balance the heat.
(Can’t find Soy Curls in your area? You can make a buffalo chickpea sandwich instead!)
How to prepare Soy Curls
Soy Curls are a dried product made with just one ingredient – whole soybeans. So the first step in this recipe is hydrating them in broth for about 10 minutes.
Then squeeze out the liquid until they’re dry to the touch, and brown them in the air fryer.
For today’s Soy Curls recipe, I’m using the air fryer.
I like how crisp it gets the Curls around the edges. And it cooks in just a few minutes’ time. It also doesn’t require any oil, except for the vegan butter in the buffalo sauce.
Let me be frank with you
In my book, it’s not buffalo sauce unless you use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. (By the way, the Frank’s buffalo sauce is also vegan if you want to skip a step. I have never used it, but I know lots of people like it.)
I simply melt some vegan butter in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, stir in Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, and then toss it with Soy Curls that are fresh out of the air fryer.
Toast a couple of buns in a dry skillet, and then top the sandwiches with Buffalo Soy Curls and vegan blue cheese dressing. (Or you could toast the buns in the air fryer by air frying them for a couple of minutes if you prefer.)
Vegan blue cheese dressing
This vegan blue cheese dressing straddles the line between ranch & blue cheese. The seasonings are more reminiscent of ranch, but crumbled tofu gives it extra texture like blue cheese.
(If you have extra vegan blue cheese left over, it’s also a terrific dipping sauce for fried olives.)
Unlike revenge, this dish is best served hot
This sandwich is best hot, but it also works well cold or at room temperature. I packed a leftover sandwich for our road trip to Minneapolis, and it was great right out of the cooler.
The only thing I would say in that case is to make sure you don’t overload it with dressing, because no one likes a soggy sandwich.
Buffalo Soy Curls sandwich with vegan blue cheese dressing
For vegan blue cheese dressing
- 1/4 cup crumbled tofu about 2.5 ounces super firm tofu*
- 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise I use Vegenaise
- 1 teaspoon non-dairy milk I use cashew milk
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch salt
To make vegan blue cheese dressing
- In a bowl, combine the crumbled tofu, vegan mayonnaise, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic powder, and pinch of salt. Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary. Move dressing to refrigerator until ready to use.
To make Buffalo Soy Curls sandwiches
- Stir Better Than Bouillon into bowl of warm water until it has fully dissolved. Put Soy Curls into bowl and combine to evenly cover. Let them sit for 10 minutes to fully re-hydrate. Stir occasionally, so that all of the Curls re-hydrate evenly.
- Once ten minutes have passed, pour the Soy Curls through a fine mesh sieve. Give them a good squeeze with your hands to try and get as much liquid out as possible.
- Put the Soy Curls into the air fryer. Air fry at 400 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes, stopping once or twice to shake the basket, until they are dry and little crispy around some of the edges.
- While the Curls are air frying, put the hamburger buns slice side down in a dry skillet over a medium heat, allow them to get toasted and nutty brown. Remove from heat once they've reached their desired color.
- Combine the melted non-dairy butter and Frank's red hot sauce in a bowl. When the Soy Curls have finished cooking, move them to the bowl, and stir to evenly coat them in the hot sauce mixture.
- Spoon the buffalo Soy Curls onto two toasted bun halves, top with a couple spoonfuls of vegan blue cheese dressing, and finish the sandwiches with each remaining bun half.