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!
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.
🥣 How to Make Char Siu Soy Curls
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 powder – Five spice is essential to give the sauce that specific char siu flavor.
Here is the process of cooking these char siu curls:
- 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.
- Prepare the sauce: Combine hoisin sauce, coconut sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, and five-spice powder in a small bowl.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
If you don’t have soy curls on hand, you could use tofurky or shredded vegan chicken.
Cooked soy curls will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
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!
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!
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- 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.
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.