Copycat John Legends Hot Honey Butter Wings

These spicy tofu strips are a copycat of John Legends favourite spicy chicken wings with hot honey butter, which he loves to have whenever there’s a game on. The combination of silky tofu, crispy crumbed outer and sticky, sweet, salty and spicy butter is just the best, and a delicious alternative to chicken. If you have meat eaters in the household who insist on chicken – you can also cook both!
The Origins of Spicy Chicken Wings
Spicy chicken wings have a fascinating history that can be traced back to the 1960s in Buffalo, New York. The famous Buffalo wings were created by Teressa Bellissimo, who accidentally deep-fried chicken wings and tossed them in a hot sauce mixture. This happy culinary accident led to the birth of a timeless classic. Since then, the popularity of spicy wings has skyrocketed, spreading across the United States and beyond, captivating food lovers with their bold and tantalizing flavors.

The Heat Levels of Spicy Chicken Wings
When it comes to spicy chicken wings, heat levels vary widely to cater to different palates. One of the most popular ways to gauge the heat is by using the Scoville scale, which measures the concentration of capsaicin, the compound responsible for the fiery sensation. From mild to inferno-level, you can find a range of spiciness to suit your preferences. Mild wings provide a subtle kick, while medium wings offer a pleasant burn. For those seeking an adventurous culinary experience, hot and extra hot wings bring the heat, while brave souls can venture into the realm of "nuclear" wings that push the limits of spiciness.
Mouthwatering Spicy Chicken Wing Recipes
Whilst these wings are deliciously sweet and spicy, there are many traditional flavors of chicken wings, with a selection of accompaniments. These hot butter tofu wings pair incredibly well with the classic blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

  1. Classic Buffalo Wings: Tossed in a tangy blend of hot sauce, butter, and spices, these wings pay homage to the original Buffalo wing recipe. Serve with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing for an authentic experience.
  2. Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings: Marinated in a delicious combination of soy sauce, honey, ginger, and chili flakes, these wings offer a delightful fusion of flavors. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions for an extra touch.
  3. Jamaican Jerk Wings: Infused with the vibrant flavors of Caribbean cuisine, these wings feature a marinade of scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, thyme, and garlic. Grilled to perfection, they deliver a spicy and smoky delight.
  4. Honey Sriracha Wings: The perfect balance of sweet and spicy, these wings are coated in a sticky glaze made from honey, Sriracha sauce, garlic, and soy sauce. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for a crunchy finish.

Spicy chicken wings are so delicious and perfect when a game is on, when you’re looking for a healthy home made relaxed dinner option, or simply when you’re craving a salty, spicy snack, and as you will taste when you try this recipe, the traditional chicken wing can easily be replaced with a vegeterian friendly option! From their humble origins in Buffalo, New York, to the wide array of tantalizing varieties available today, spicy chicken wings continue to captivate taste buds worldwide. So, gather your ingredients, get your napkins ready, and embark on a crispy-licious journey into the world of spicy tofu ‘wings’ thanks to this copycat recipe of John Legends classic Hot Honey Butter wings.

Enjoy this finger lickin’ goodness!
The Steens Team x

For the Tofu and Brine:

  • 10 cups cold water
  • 6 tablespoons Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 5 pounds Tofu (600g)

For the Breading:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups canola oil for frying

For the Spicy Honey Butter:

  • 1 stick (110g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons MGO 85+ Manuka Honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste


  • Deep fryer (or Dutch oven or soup pot)
  • Candy thermometer

Brine the tofu Combine the water, seasoning salt, garlic powder, and cayenne in a really big pot or 2-gallon Ziploc bag. Add the tofu (sliced into 1cm wide strips), cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24.

Bread and fry the tofu Fill a deep fryer with oil according to the manufacturers instructions, or just fill a soup pot with the oil, making sure there are at least 4 inches between the oil and the lip of the pot. Heat the oil to the 365°F (180C) over medium heat.  If you don't have a thermometer, set your burner on medium and let your pan of oil heat for around 5 to 10 minutes. You'll know your oil is ready if you drop a small piece of white bread in the oil and it starts to sizzle and turn a lovely toasty golden brown right away

Combine the flour, seasoning salt, and cayenne in a big bowl. A few at a time, remove the tofu strips from the brine and toss them in the flour mixture until coated really well, then place on a tray while you coat the rest.

When the oil is ready, turn the heat up to medium-high and carefully slip in the tofu strips, frying just enough so that there’s still plenty of space between each strip. (If it feels safer, use tongs to add the strips; whatever you do, don’t just drop them in! Splashing hot oil is bad.)

Fry the strips until golden and crispy, 13 to 14 minutes, per batch. Drain the tofu on plenty of paper towels. Let the oil come back to temperature between batches and fry the rest of the tofu in batches.

Make the honey butter: While the tofu is frying, whisk together the butter, Cholula, honey, and salt in a bowl until incorporated. Add more salt to taste if necessary. Lather the strips with the Spicy Honey Butter and eat that crispy tofu!


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