Monday, December 24, 2012

general tso's soy curls [or tofu]

General Tso's Soy Curls 
The Internet is brimming with vegan Christmas recipes. But what are my Jewish herbivore friends going to eat on December 25? Sure, you can always fall back on the seemingly ancient Jewish tradition of going out for Chinese food and a movie on Christmas day. But why not make your own Chinese chow and watch a movie at home instead?

Soy curls look and taste disturbingly meat like. But unlike most mock meats, they are not a frankenfood.
One of my favorite Chinese-American dishes is General Tso's Tofu/Vegan Chicken/Seitan – hot, sweet, filling, what's not to love? But I 'm not a fan of eating deep-fried food [too unhealthful] or cooking it [too messy]. So I came up with this version using soy curls. To make using tofu, simply press the tofu, cut into cubes and dry fry, then cook it with the sauce as described below. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more agave nectar, or even a tablespoon of apricot or peach jam. The pinch of cinnamon is my twist – I like how it complements both the heat and sweetness.

Happy holidays, everyone!

General Tso's Soy Curls

Recipe created for my dear BFF and uber-reporter, Karen Pearlman

Soy Curls and saute fodder:
  • 3 cups vegetable broth [Reserve extra after draining soy curls]
  • 2 cups dry soy curls
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 tsp oil

    • Sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp hot sauce, like Sriracha 
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 T agave nectar
  • Serves 3, easily doubled

Soak soy curls in broth for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour. Meanwhile, make sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Drain soy curls, reserving broth in another bowl. Squeeze out excess liquid with your hands.

Soy curls are done when lightly browned but still moist.
Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium. Add the soy curls, onion, garlic and carrots and saute about 15 minutes or until onions are soft and curls are golden brown. When the mixture starts to dry out as you saute, add about 1-2 T of broth. This will help prevent sticking while infusing the soy curls with even more flavor.

Add the sauce and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved broth and cook another 5 minutes, then add another 1/4 cup of broth and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over brown rice or another whole grain.

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Dianne Wenz said...

I just bought a boatload of soy curls, so I'm going to try this recipe. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Soy curls? I'm not familiar with these? Sold at whole foods?

urban vegan said...

No. You have to order them, unfortunately. I love them and buy them in bulk!

Andrea said...

My husband was very excited by the recipe when I showed it to him. He printed it out and is planning to make it! We always have a supply of soy curls handy since we can buy them here.

Hannah said...

Mmm, awesome entry to the Chinese food on Christmas tradition! I fully plan on relishing my own celebration, and will be posting that recipe tomorrow, too. Always happy to have more ideas for soy curls, too.

Kari said...

I have never seen soy curls, but these look great!

Jennifer Lynskey said...

I made this today. Fantastic!

urban vegan said...

They look great, Jennifer! Soy curls are the best.

Mattheworbit said...

yuuum! they look great. i love soy curls and i'm always on the lookout for new ways to use them.

Suzanne said...

My WFs sells them in bulk only, then again I'm on the other side of the country. Soy curls are a delicately processed soy bean--meaning it is not chemically altered or separated like TVP, the integrity of the whole soy bean is intact, and they have an uncanny chicken like texture when prepared. BTW this sounds SUPER yummy!!

Joey said...

Soy curls are a complete unknown over here. I reckon I have some seitan with General Tso's name on it though...

Marianne LaBatto said...

Made this on Saturday. It was awesome. My cousin came over on Sunday and had the leftovers with me. She found it to be delicious as well. Many thanks.