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I don't know from buffalo ...

Posted Oct 02 2012 1:23pm
Tossing the curls with spicy barbecue sauce.
I saw a blog post about Buffalo soy curls and was very interested in the crispy-barbecued aspect of the curls. Could this recipe be the key to recreating crispy Thai BBQ salad from Blossoming Lotus in Portland? Could I really get crispy curls without deep frying them? Could it be this easy?

These were the thoughts in my head when it dawned on me that I didn't really know what it meant to "buffalo" a food. Sure, I knew the term "buffalo wings" which I associated with bars and football, but I couldn't tell you what they were. How embarrassing. I turned to my friend Google for help, and learned they are chicken wings, disjointed and the tips discarded, deep fried and coated in spicy barbecue sauce. Now how did I miss knowing that? There are many stories of their origin but the one that seems most likely to me involves a bar in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1964. An incorrect delivery of chicken wings instead of backs, and a hungry group of late-night drinkers, inspired the bar owner's wife to fry the wings for the crowd, and they became an institution.

For some, buffalo wings may conjure up a good time, but for me it represents the sad state of commercial chickens who have miserable lives, horrible deaths, and suffer their fate so people can gnaw on their bones. Not a pleasant thought. Barbecued soy curls, on the other hand, sounds like a great idea!

I must be out of practice rolling these things. Or maybe it was the square shape that threw me.

I followed the recipe and baked the curls nice and crispy. Then I made a similar barbecue sauce minus most of the oil. The spicy sauce used for Buffalo chicken parts contains a lot of melted butter, but since I've never tasted the source recipe, and wasn't trying to reproduce it, I went for a lighter version. Still spicy, though.

I thought the curls were pretty darn good - nice and crispy-chewy. They would work perfectly in the salad recipe but that's not what I did. I copied Kittee and made fresh spring rolls, which were great.

The next day I used the leftover curls in a stir-fry, but now that I know how to make barbecued soy curls, the crispy Thai BBQ salad is just a matter of time.

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