I think the true spice of life might be Frank’s Red Hot sauce. Not sponsored! I discovered buffalo sauce late in life and have been making up for it ever since. Maitake mushrooms are aptly called “hen of the woods” – more than the frilly shape, they make remarkable vegan substitutes for chicken. Make use of this by pairing the two in this taco recipe, of course topping with a vegan ranch and some greens (or purples!).
2 maitake mushrooms (OR sub 2 small/1 large block tofu)
1 cup arrowroot starch
¾ cup aquafaba (water from cooked or canned chickpeas)
Vegetable oil, for cooking
¾ cup Franks Red Hot original sauce
½ cup vegan butter (I use homemade or can use Earth Balance )
1 tsp cayenne pepper .
½ cup vegan mayonnaise (I prefer Sir Kensingtons Fabanaise)
¾ cup hulled hemp seeds
¼ cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp dried dill
Soft corn tortillas, and lettuce, for serving
Brine the mushrooms; let them sit in water with 1+ tbsp salt dissolved in, changing the water once. Then press them; put on a cutting board with a plate on top and weight to press out water. Slice them into strips – if you preserve some of the base with each strip it will be easier to hold them together. Dust the maitake strips with some of the arrowroot starch, then dip each into aquafaba and arrowroot. I press them together somewhat to form “chicken wings.” Fry the maitake strips, turning to cook all sides, and lightly salt after frying.
Mix together Franks red hot sauce, vegan butter, and cayenne pepper; heat to melt and combine well.
Combine vegan mayo, hemp seeds, rice vinegar, and dill and blend well. Taste and adjust flavors as needed based on potency of ingredients.
Right before serving, warm corn tortillas; dip maitake strips into spicy buffalo sauce and add to tortilla; drizzle hemp “ranch” sauce and add shredded lettuce. Enjoy