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These saucy and incredibly meaty char siu soy curls are simmered in a delicious hoisin sauce infused with garlic, shallots, and five-spice! A quick and high-protein plant-based dish!

Soy curls on top of white rice.

If you ever wondered what to do with those soy curls sitting in your pantry, I’ve got the perfect recipe for you!

📘 What Are Soy Curls

Soy curls are a meat alternative made from soybeans. It is sold as a dried product and must be rehydrated before being used. The texture of soy curls is a bit similar to chicken, meaty, and slightly chewy.

It seems there are different types of soy curls. The ones made by Butler foods are prepared from whole soybeans, while other brands are sometimes made using soybean flour or defatted soybean flour. In Europe, I could only find ones made from soybean flour.

There are also now curls made from pea protein instead of soy protein! It’s actually what I used here, but both work the same.

Ingredients like soy curls, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili sauce, garlic, shallots.

🥣 How to Make It

This recipe takes around 30 minutes to prepare, from start to finish, and requires just 9 ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Soy curls – You can use soy curls or curls made from another plant-based protein.
  • Hoisin sauce – I highly recommend making your own hoisin sauce, but store-bought will work great as well.
  • Shallots and garlic – Feel free to use onions if you don’t have shallots.
  • Soy sauce – For saltiness and umami.
  • Coconut sugar – To balance with the saltiness. You can use coconut sugar, regular white sugar, or even maple syrup.
  • Sriracha – For a hint of spiciness. Here, I went with my homemade sweet chili sauce.
  • Five spice powderFive spice is essential to give the sauce that specific char siu flavor.

Here is the process of cooking these char siu curls:

  1. Soak the soy curls: Start by rehydrating the curls in warm water for 15-30 minutes. Once the curls are soft, drain and rinse them well to remove the soy flavor. Squeeze them between your hands to remove as much water as possible. This way, the curls will absorb the sauce better.
  2. Prepare the sauce: Combine hoisin sauce, coconut sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, and five-spice powder in a small bowl.
  3. Sauté aromatics: Sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant. At this point, feel free to add a teaspoon of minced ginger as well for a zesty flavor!
  4. Add the soy curls: Once the aromatics are cooked, add the soy curls and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until just slightly golden brown.
  5. Pour in the sauce: Finally, pour in the sauce and dilute with water. Simmer for a few minutes to let the soy curls soak up the sauce!

💬 FAQ

What can I substitute for the soy curls?

If you don’t have soy curls on hand, you could use tofurky or shredded vegan chicken.

How long do these soy curls keep?

Cooked soy curls will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

How to serve these soy curls?

My favorite option is on top of white rice! You can also serve it on top of quinoa, farro or stir the curls into a noodle stir-fry. Top with chopped green onions and a squeeze of lime for freshness!

Close up of vegan soy curls.

If you are looking for a high-protein, flavorful, and quick plant-based meal, you are going to love these char siu soy curls! It’s just perfect as a weeknight dinner served on top of rice and with steamed greens on the side!

Close up of char siu soy curls with green onions.

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Soy curls on top of white rice.
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Recipe

Char Siu Soy Curls

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
These 30-minute soy curls are simmered in a delicious hoisin sauce! Infused with garlic, sriracha, and five-spice. A delicious and high-protein plant-based dish!
Prep Time : 15 minutes
Cook Time : 15 minutes
Total Time : 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 268 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 and 1/2 cup dried soy curls or pea protein curls
  • 2 tbsp oil or annatto oil
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp sriracha or sweet chili sauce
  • 1/8 tsp five spice powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in 1 tbsp water

Instructions
 

  • Soak the soy curls in warm water for 15-30 minutes or until the curls are fully rehydrated and tender. Drain and squeeze the curls to remove excess water. Rinse the curls and squeeze again.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced shallots and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Next, add the soy curls and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. In the meantime, whisk together the hoisin sauce, light soy sauce, coconut sugar, sriracha, and five-spice powder.
  • Pour the sauce into the skillet and stir to coat the curls with the sauce. Pour in the water and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  • Finally, pour in the dissolved cornstarch and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Serve hot over white rice, or with your favorite noodles!
  • These char siu soy curls will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 268 kcal | Carbohydrates: 24 g | Protein: 7.9 g | Fat: 17.2 g | Fiber: 2.5 g | Sugar: 15.4 g
Course : Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine : Asian
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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Where did you buy the curls made from Pea flour?
i am going to try this dish as is, we do use the soy curls in similar dishes.

Hi Thomas, cool recipe – but a factual error in the intro: soy curls are not made from soy flour; they’re actually boiled and dehydrated *whole* soy beans, so very little processing done to the product.

Can’t find them anywhere in Australia.
Made by South Africans and not really an accurate description of the ingredients used.

I love to thank you Thomas for your beautiful recipes.You do in wonderful way.

Not TVP!
Soy Curls are made from whole soybean; not defatted flour.

Hello Thomas,
Butler Soy Curls seems to be impossible to find in Europe.
Do you know a supplier or an another brand’s alternative?
Big thhanks!

5 stars
This was epic! The sweetness of the coconut sugar and five-spice mixed with the spicy of the sriracha…Perfection (with a capital “P”)! Best soy curl recipe I have tried so far. 10/10.

5 stars
This recipe bring a new taste to the traditional char siu. I just tried and my family loved it. Thank you Thonas.