When I cook vegan, it can sometimes be a drag. I tend to use the same ingredients over and over again — lentils, chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, rice and so on.
That’s why it was such a thrill to discover soy curls. These are tiny dehydrated twists made of soybean and nothing else. They will stay fresh practically forever, especially in the freezer, and require only a quick steeping in hot water in order to be rehydrated.
They can be substituted in any recipe that requires shredded meat, such as this vegan BBQ sandwich recipe.
The taste of soy curls is neutral like chicken breast, so they enthusiastically take on the flavor of whatever other ingredients you prepare them with. Their texture is sort of like pulled pork, but without the globs of fat or stringiness (or the saturated fat).
The only downside is that soy curls are not yet widely available. I had to mail away for them from a vegan grocery store on the West Coast after I found this recipe and wanted to give it a try. But they are quite inexpensive — I paid $4.15 for a 10 oz package, but that results in about 1.5 pounds of actual edible product once you add water — especially when compared to meat.
Plus, they are made from the whole soybean, are all natural, contain no preservatives or additives and are high in fiber.
Seriously, what’s not to love?
To make things even better, this recipe is made with a Sriracha Barbeque Sauce.
I’ve been putting it on everything, but I especially love it over a couple of scrambled eggs inside a warm tortilla with a little queso fresco. (I literally had that for breakfast every day last week!)
Vegan BBQ Sandwich
1/2 package Butler Soy Curls, rehydrated according to the package instructions
1 Red Onion, slivered
1 Green Bell Pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
8 oz Portobello Mushrooms, diced
For the Sriracha BBQ Sauce
1/2 cup Organic Ketchup
2 TBS Molasses
2 TBS Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 TBS Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Agave Nectar
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
2 tsp Sriracha Sauce
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
1. In a non-stick skillet, water sauté the onion, pepper and mushrooms until onions are softened, about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the soy curls and sauce and cook until most of the sauce is absorbed by the soy curls and they begin to brown a little, stirring occasionally, about five minutes.
3. Serve on pretzel bun with pickles on the side.
Soy aminos is a liquid protein that is used as an all-purpose seasoning and tastes like soy sauce. It is made from soybeans and includes a bunch of essential and non-essential amino acids, and is much better for you than sodium-rich soy sauce.
Agave nectar is a natural sweetener extracted from the core of the blue agave plant, the same cactus that is used to make tequila. It’s tastes like honey and is 25% sweeter than sugar. I’ve been using it a lot anywhere I would use sugar or honey, such as in breads, sauces and salad dressings.