Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sweet'n Sour Soy Curls with Chinese-style Broccoli!

Soy Curls! An awesome new protein product from Butler Foods. Check 'em out!

Soy Curls have a great texture, and stir fry and take up flavors nicely. Yep, even in a stainless steel pan, which is great if you now refrain from using non-stick pans. Butler Foods is a small family owned company which now has a base in Oregon. Soy Curls are affordable and deliciously vegan, so try 'em out!

To get started with a great recipe (that is, the one in the pictures), try this one from Chez Bettay:

(Recipe reprinted below): (my own edits in red)

2 cups Butler Soy Curls™
warm water to cover

1 tablespoon vegan no-chicken soup base (preferably one without any additives and organic) (I used 1 tblsp all-purpose spice blend)
1 teaspoon egg replacer powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup coconut oil or grapeseed oil (I used canola)

Ingredients for Sauce:
4 tablespoons organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Water
3 tablespoons organic sugar
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon organic ketchup
1 tablespoon unsulphured organic molasses
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 tablespoons Cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water

2 cups Thai sticky rice (I made a brown and wild rice blend)
2 2/3 cup water
2 pinches sea salt
Get your rice started.

In a small bowl, measure out 2 cups of Butler Soy Curls™ and cover with warm water.

Cover with a small plate to keep the Butler Soy Curls™ submerged and prepare the rice and sauce while they rehydrate and become pliable.

In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan, add the sauce ingredients except for the cornstarch and water and heat on medium-low until sugar dissolves. In a small bowl mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water and add to the warm sauce ingredients. Turn up heat to medium-high and whisk until the cornstarch is cooked leaving the sauce thickened and clear looking. Remove the sauce from the heat and cover with a lid.

Remove the Butler Soy Curls™ from their water bath and drain them on a kitchen towel. Press as much liquid out of them as you can. In a small dry bowl, whisk the powdered soup base, egg replacer and cornstarch together to distribute the dry ingredients. Place the Soy Curls™ in a large bowl and sprinkle with the mixture of the soup base, the egg replacer powder and cornstarch. Toss the Butler Soy Curls™ until all are completely coated with this mixture.

If using a cast iron skillet, turn the heat to medium once the pan get HOT. Cook the Soy Curls™ and stir and/or flip them until golden brown and crispy. There should not be any oil left in the pan. Turn the heat off and set aside... do not use a lid. Combine the Sweet Sour Sauce into the Soy Curls™ pan and stir together over low heat.

This turned out awesome. I garnished with some chopped spring onions and sesame seeds. To make the broccoli (and a great accompaniment), follow the following recipe:

Chinese-style Broccoli:

2 hefty cups broccoli, cut into large bite size pieces
2 tblsp canola oil
1/2 tblsp fresh ginger, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh small red chile, minced
2 tbslp lite soy sauce
1 tblsp rice vinegar
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder*

Heat the oil in a stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, and chile, and saute for 20 seconds. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lemon juice, and five-spice powder, stir once, then add the broccoli. Stir to coat the broccoli with the sauce. Cook until tender-crisp (5-7 minutes). Yum!

*You can make your own five spice powder by following the recipe, reprinted below from

Chinese five spice powder: 

2 tablespoons anise seed
2 tablespoons fennel seed
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 tablespoons whole peppercorns 

In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, combine all ingredients (in batches if necessary); grind until mixture becomes a fine powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


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