Ah soy curls! Yet another fantastical vegan food that I had never heard of before venturing into the unknown. These are one of my favorite meat substitutes, besides tofu and tempeh, for a few reasons. Soy curls have one ingredient: Non GMO soy beans. If, like I once was, you are a novice to soy curls, allow me to help you.
Soy curls are whole soybeans that have been soaked in water and then dried. Because of this, they must be rehydrated before using. Lucky for us, this step only requires ten minutes of preparation. Place an 8 oz bag of soy curls in a bowl of warm water for 8-10 minutes. Drain excess water and pat them dry. Voila! They are ready to use!
Much like tofu, soy curls will take on whatever flavor you give them. You can season like you would tacos or fajitas, toss them in barbecue sauce, or marinate them in your favorite marinade. Unlike tofu though, the texture of soy curls is extremely close to meat, and as you can see, it even resembles it.
While I love to dote on some of the prepackaged brands of meat substitutes, soy curls takes the vegan cake for me. It is low in calories, high in fiber and protein, gluten free, non GMO, reasonably priced, unprocessed, and contains no sodium. (It is also easy to purchase online.) If you aren’t allergic to soy, there isn’t much to dislike!
My first go at soy curls was making a philly cheesesteak per my husband’s request. (Side note: It turned out great and he loved it!) After I used the three bags I had, I kinda forgot about getting more and their potential fell to the wayside. A few weeks ago, when I asked my husband what nonvegan food he missed most, he told me it was orange chicken. I immediately knew I could get the most desirable texture using soy curls. I played around with a few different sauce recipes because I just wasn’t satisfied with any single one I tried, so the sauce is a combination of several different takes.
*UPDATE* I tried this recipe with orange juice and brown sugar instead of the marmalade. While it didn’t have as orange of a flavor, I much preferred this spicy sweetness and the fact that it didn’t have the processed sugar. I have updated the ingredients, accordingly!
I hope this inspires you to give new products a try! It was a very enjoyable dish. 🙂
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
For the soy curls:
1 package Butler soy curls, soaked and drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 clove crushed garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) hot sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
Rice for serving
Sesame seed for garnish
Optional vegetables- broccoli, green beans, celery, carrots, pea pods, bell peppers
Soak soy curls in warm water for ten minutes. Drain and pay dry the excess water.
Toss soy curls with cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together all sauce ingredients except cornstarch in a small saucepan and bring to a slight boil. Dissolve your cornstarch in water and add to sauce. Mix well. This will help thicken the sauce a little bit.
Mix in vegetables that you’re using. I chose broccoli, celery, and green beans this time. Pour sauce over your mixture of soy curls end vegetables.
Serve over rice. (I used jasmine.) Garnish with sesame seed and/or green onions.