Thursday, March 10, 2011

Soy Curls: Texture and Flavor WIN!

Dinner is soy curl tacos with mango salsa, "cheezy" nooch corn, and steamed chard and sprouted lentils with a cilantro lime dressing.  I'm really ready for summer here in Alaska- or a trip South!

I have been seeing these "soy curls" at the local health food store for a while now and wondering about them.  Then, I suggested them to a gluten-free vegan on a message board and she came back with a stunning review.  I knew I had to try them for myself.

Well, today as I read through Viva Vegan! by Terry Home Romero (half of the PPK duo of vegan goddesses), I found a recipe for homemade corn tortillas and decided to try it out.  The soy curls seemed like the perfect chewy, savory topping for my tortillas.  I got a nice big bag from the prepacked bulk (what a weird concept) and some masa harina for my tortillas.  I made flour tortillas often enough to feel comfortable with them, but these corn ones were my first attempt- I'm reminded of the expression "the first pancake."  Oh well, they tasted good, I just didn't get my dough right.
As you can see, it doesn't even look like I put a dent in the bag, but I made enough for two adults and a toddler.

My soy curls, on the other hand, were everything I was hoping for and more.  I soaked them in a mixture of Lawry's fajita seasoning and water, but didn't really measure.  I just made sure there was enough to cover most of them and kept tossing them by hand over the next few minutes while I fixed other parts of the dinner.
After about ten minutes, they have absorbed most of the liquid and are soft but firmly chewy.

Next, I made an aluminum packet with red onion, pasilla pepper, and cilantro chopped at the bottom, I poured my curls and leftover liquid on top and sealed it up.  I bake that at 350 for 15 minutes, then opened it and cooked for another ten minutes or so, turning once during that time so that the exposed parts wouldn't dry out.

Right out of the oven, the liquid has reduced to almost a glaze.

These turned out so amazing I can't wait to try other seasoning and cooking methods.  As much as I don't really like to think about meat so much anymore, I would compare the texture to a pulled pork or very moist pot roast.  I'm thinking it would be great with BBQ sauce or in a stir fry.  The actual flavor of the soy curl is very mild and the texture makes it perfect for absorbing whatever marinade is put on it.  I look forward to many dishes with this versatile soy product.


  1. Yum! Looks delicious. I'll keep an eye out for soy curls to try at home.

  2. You can buy soycurls online from Butler. They are VERY worth it. My family, and my toddler love them. They are also great for non-vegans who may be leery of squishy tofu.