Friday, October 21, 2011
My First Soy Curls Experience
Sometimes I feel like I'm living under a vegan rock...it's a Canadian rock since we tend to not have all the wonderful yummies the US is enjoying. We do usually get the same stuff but it takes awhile and usually involves mail order in my case. Thank goodness for Viva Vegan and Karmavore! So up until earlier this week I had never tried soy curls. I had ordered a bag from Viva Vegan and wasn't exactly sure what I was getting or what I was going to do with them but I had heard they were delicious. I kept seeing pictures of the notorious Macnocheeto from Homegrown Smoker and drooling all over my keyboard every time I did. I googled a bit to find how to work with soy curls and found mostly BBQ recipes so decided that's the way I would go too. I soaked them in vegan "chicken" broth instead of water and then pan fried them until they were a bit crispy on the outside. I then poured my made up BBQ sauce (apple butter, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, tamari, apple cider vinegar, cumin, ancho chili powder, coriander, garlic and onion powder and the kitchen sink) into the pan and let it get all thick and sticky and delicious. Man the house smelled amazing! Ryan came into the kitchen and said "I have no idea what you are making but it smells amazing and I want two!" so I knew I had a winner on my hands.
Now to go with the soy curls...I had been introduced to the idea of mac n' cheese with BBQ by Tamasin Noyes during the testing for the upcoming sandwich book and it fricken wowed me! It was one of those combos I had heard of but thought it wouldn't work and it sooooo works! I also like coleslaw with BBQ sandwiches so I did something a little nutty. I made Cheesy Coleslaw and put it on top of the soy curls on a buttered hamburger bun and oh my goodness....it was sooooo good together! It had the crunch from the coleslaw but the tang of a cheesy mac, all mingled in with the slightly sweet, smoky flavour of the soy curls. And I love the texture of these things, it's so perfect for this and immediately I started picturing what else I could make with them. I am totally trying to figure out if I can lightly bread and fry them crunchy on the outside to make a vegan version of this Chinese takeout I used to get, spicy crispy beef. Hopefully I can crack the code on the sauce. I also thought about making carnitas out of them, soaking them in a citrus-y, slightly sweet, cumin flavoured broth, that you then reduce down to make a sauce that you slather on and then broil to finish. All I know...I'm gonna need a bigger bag!
I don't have an exact recipe for the coleslaw but all I did was take shredded cabbage and carrot, poured about a cup of cheesy sauce (almost exactly the creamy sauce from the amatriciana sauce I posted earlier this month), about a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, lots of pepper and some salt and stirred it all together and gave it about a half an hour to do it's thing and mingle all together before putting it on top of the soy curls. I seriously recommend giving it a shot! Here's the final product...