Experience buffalo tofu’s bold and spicy flavors combined with a crispy caramelized crust. The best way to do that is to pan-fry or grill marinated tofu on skewers. If you make this recipe, you will enjoy an easy but flavorful tofu dish.
You might think it is not easy to enjoy tofu dishes but on the contrary. We have the most flavorful tofu marinade recipes here, and this is one of them. We are positive you will also love harissa tofu, teriyaki tofu, chili miso tofu, or this tofu steak.
What to expect from this recipe?
When you taste these buffalo tofu cubes, you can expect a combination of bold, spicy, and tangy flavors, and a crispy, caramelized texture from the grilling. It will be a satisfying and delicious vegan meal.
Here is the list of ingredients we used to make this buffalo tofu recipe:
- Tofu → We recommend using a firm or extra-firm tofu.
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce → It has only hot cayenne peppers, vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder, which makes this sauce vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.
- Soy sauce → or use tamari to make it gluten-free
- Vegetable broth
- Cashew nuts → if you don’t have a strong blender, use cashew butter or other nut or seed butter.
- Maple syrup → You can use other liquid sweeteners. Honey is not vegan, but there are other honey substitutes to choose from.
- White wine vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Blend all ingredients until you have a smooth and thick sauce.
Making buffalo tofu
- After you pressed the tofu, cut them into cubes of approximately 0.5*1*1 inches (1*2*2 cm). If the cubes are too small, the skewer can split them. If the cubes are too large, they will remain too soft.
- Take a shallow bowl and layer the tofu cubes. Arrange it in one layer (if you can) since the marinade has to cover all cubes.
- Pour the buffalo sauce on them and gently mix them. If you use a bowl with a lid, you can close the lid and shake the bowl gently. Or you use a freezer bag and shake it well. Let the tofu marinate for 15 minutes. You can use any remaining marinade for dipping sauce.
- Take your skewers and pierce the tofu cubes in the middle. Leave a bit of room between them, so that they can be grilled from all sides. They should not touch. Otherwise, the sides will not get crispy enough.
- Heat the grill pan over medium heat and drizzle oil or vegan butter.
- Place the tofu skewers on it, leaving a small space between them.
- Grill both sides for approx. 2-3 minutes until they look just like in the below picture.
- It is a thick marinade – It is a thick and heavy marinade that does not sweep into the tofu but rather sticks to it. Therefore, the marinating time is short. We recommend glazing the hot tofu again with the marinade after grilling and using the leftover as a dip for the full effect.
- Don’t use high heat – The buffalo tofu marinade will burn easily if you use high heat. Even if you have a non-stick frying pan, we recommend spraying a bit of oil, so the buffalo tofu will get crispy instead of burning and sticking to the bottom.
- Without cashews → We think cashews give this marinade the right creaminess. If you don’t want them or can’t have them, you can substitute them for vegan yogurt.
- Without skewers → You can pan-fry or bake the buffalo marinated tofu cubes if you don’t want to make tofu skewers. Don’t toss and turn them quickly and frequently in a frying pan. Use tongs to turn them one by one. The crust will not be caramelized and crispy if you bake them on a baking sheet.
- Tofu cut into different shapes → We believe grilling on a skewer is the best way to cook these buffalo tofu bites. Since this tofu marinade is thick, we recommend cutting it into cubes or triangles (like we did in harissa tofu), or tearing it with your fingers (like we did in chili miso tofu). We don’t recommend making it as a tofu steak.
- Appetizer: You can serve them as a savory party snack. Use the leftover marinade as a dip. Or pair it with your favorite vegan ranch dressing, vegan aioli, vegan sour cream, even vegan cream cheese, or something creamy and mild to counteract the spicy flavors of buffalo tofu. I would absolutely try it with our vegan tzatziki sauce.
- Salad: Remove the buffalo tofu cubes from the skewer and toss them with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and maybe avocado for a fresh salad. Use your favorite dressings like vegan blue cheese dressing, or try our fresh lemon herb tahini dressing.
- Sandwich: Pull down the grilled buffalo tofu from the skewers and serve them on a bun with simply lettuce and vegan mayo for a delicious sandwich.
- Wooden skewers (or bamboo skewers) – You need to soak them in water for 10-20 minutes if you plan to use them on a gas grill. No soaking is needed for the oven or stovetop.
- Metal skewers (usually made of stainless steel) – Zero waste alternative.
- Grill pan and tongs – The raised ridges create characteristic grill marks on the tofu, giving it a more visually appealing appearance and mimicking the effect of grilling.
- Fridge: If you want to make the buffalo marinated tofu ahead of time, let it sit in the marinade overnight and grill it the next day. Once grilled, it can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: We recommend reheating it in a grill pan or a simple frying pan, not in the microwave. That way they will be crispy again.
- Freezer: We don’t recommend freezing tofu after grilling or frying as the texture will completely change. If you want to use frozen tofu to make this recipe you can expect it to have a more chewy, gummy texture. People who want the tofu to resemble meat freeze tofu before starting with any recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit (ca. 204 °C). Use a baking tray with a grill rack and spray or spray the grids with oil. Place the tofu skewers on top. Leave some space in between. Place the tray close to the broiler. Grill them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes, turning them at half-time.
Our little trick is to use aluminum foil drip pans or grill mats. This way you can be sure they don’t fall even if you have large space between grids. Spray the drip pans with a bit of oil. Grill mats are supposed to be non-stick. Preheat your gas grill to 400 Fahrenheit (ca. 204 °C) and grill your tofu skewers for 8-10 minutes, turning them at half-time.
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Grilled Buffalo Tofu Skewers
Preparing the ingredients
- Use a firm tofu and press it.
- Boil water in a kettle. Soak cashews in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
- Take your blender and blend all ingredients (Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, soaked cashew nuts, white wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, and soy sauce) until you get a smooth sauce.
- After you pressed the tofu cut them into cubes of approximately 0.5 * 1 * 1 inches (1 * 2 * 2 cm). If the cubes are too small, the skewer can split them. If the cubes are too large, they will remain too soft.
- Take a shallow bowl and layer the tofu cubes in one layer.
- Pour the buffalo sauce on them and gently mix them. If you use a bowl with a lid, you can close the lid and shake the bowl gently.
- Let the tofu marinate for 15 minutes.
- Take your skewers and pierce the tofu cubes in the middle. Leave a bit of room in between them so they can be grilled from all sides.
Grilling tofu 4 ways
- In a grill pan: Heat the grill pan over medium heat and add a bit of oil or dairy-free butter. Place the tofu skewers on it leaving a small space in between them. Grill both sides for approx. 2-3 minutes.
- Under the broiler: Pre-heat the oven on 400 Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Take a baking tray with a grill rack and spray or sprinkle the grids with a bit of oil. Place the tofu kabobs on top. Leave some space in between. Place the tray close to the broiler. Grill them under the broiler for 8-10 minutes, turning them at half-time.
- On a gas grill: Our little trick is to use aluminum foil drip pans or grill mats. This way you can be sure they don’t fall down even if you have large space between grids. Spray or sprinkle the drip pans with a bit of oil. Grill mats are supposed to be non-stick. Pre-heat your gas grill on 400 Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and grill your tofu kabobs for 8-10 minutes, turning them at half-time.
- On a Blackstone or griddle: They can be super hot super quick as they have a completely flat surface, unlike the grill racks. So pre-heat your Blackstone on 300 Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). Spray or sprinkle it with a bit of oil. If you have a non-stick griddle, you don’t need to do that. Grill your tofu kabobs for 4-5 minutes, turning them at half-time.
UPDATED: This recipe was originally posted in June 2021. More tips, info, and details have been added and it was republished in January 2023.