Sticky-sweet BBQ soy curls are a delicious main dish or vegan sandwich filling. I love a BBQ soy curls sandwich with plenty of creamy vegan jalapeño slaw!
This super simple BBQ soy curls recipe could not be easier to make. You make the whole thing on the stovetop in one pan.
If you're new to soy curls, don't panic! They might seem super processed or hard to work with, but they're actually neither.
Soy curls are minimally processed. They're made by pressing soy beans and drying them out. The result is strips that, when you reconstitute them in hot water or broth, have a shockingly chicken-like texture.
They're perfect tossed in BBQ sauce, teriyaki sauce, or buffalo sauce. Use them wherever you need a vegan chicken substitute!
Ingredients and substitutions
You only need three ingredients to make this recipe:
- soy curls - These are made from whole soy beans. They have a meaty, chicken-like texture and a neutral flavor. They're a great vegan meat substitute!
- oil - You can use spray oil or a little dollop of oil from the bottle. You just need a little bit to get those soy curls crisp on the edges before adding the BBQ sauce.
- BBQ sauce - Make sure you check the ingredient label for animal ingredients like honey, anchovies, and meat.
How to make BBQ soy curls
This is a quick and easy stovetop recipe.
First, you need to soak the soy curls, because they come dehydrated. Cover them in boiling water or broth, let them rehydrate for 10 minutes, then drain them.
Once they're cool enough to handle, use your hands to squeeze out the excess water, like wringing the water from a sponge. Really squeeze them out well for the best texture.
Now, heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat and add the soy curls. Cook for just five to seven minutes, until the soy curls start to turn crispy on the edges.
Then, it's BBQ sauce time! Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the sauce right to the pan of soy curls, and cook, stirring for about five more minutes, until the sauce is clinging to the soy curls.
That's it! You are now ready to make your BBQ soy curls sandwich or dish these up with your sides of choice.
- Make sure you choose vegan BBQ sauce. Look for honey, anchovies, and meat ingredients on the label. A lot of store-brand BBQ sauces are vegan, bc those animal ingredients are pricey. And, they're more affordable than other BBQ sauces!
- Squeeze out the soy curls well after soaking! You don't want them to be watery.
I love to serve these as an entree or as a BBQ soy curls sandwich!
- For a great, easy vegan BBQ sandwich, just pile them onto hamburger buns with a good dollop of your favorite vegan slaw or sliced lettuce, tomato, and onion.
- They make a great protein for a mashed potato bowl! Use them in place of the tofu.
- Serve with your favorite BBQ sides, like potato salad, pasta salad, corn on the cob, etc.
- Pile them onto a baked potato with steamed or roasted broccoli.
Leftover BBQ soy curls will keep for up to four days in an airtight container the fridge. I have not tried freezing these.
To reheat, just pop them into the microwave or into a nonstick pan on the stovetop to warm them through.
Frequently asked questions
Honestly, I feel like "good for you" is a loaded term, but if pressed, I'd say yes! They have plenty of fiber and protein and are low in salt.
They have a very neutral flavor, which means you can take them in any direction you like, seasoning-wise. If you want to add some flavor oomph, soak them in vegetable broth or vegan chicken broth instead of water when you reconstitute them.
Butler soy curls are dehydrated strips made from pressed, dried soybeans. They have a very chicken-like texture when cooked.
Tofu, on the other hand, comes in a block and has a more soft, creamy texture. Tofu is made similarly to how cottage cheese is made. Soy milk is combined with an acid, and then they press the curds into a sliceable block. I've actually made tofu from scratch before! It's fun but time consuming.
They aren't. They come dehydrated, and you need to reconstitute them with water, then pan fry or bake them. They cook up very quickly!
BBQ soy curls are naturally gluten-free and nut-free.
More vegan sandwich recipes
BBQ Soy Curls
- 2 cups soy curls
- 2 cups warm water or use broth for even more flavor
- 1 teaspoon olive oil or neutral-tasting oil or spray oil
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Place the soy curls into a bowl and pour on enough boiling water to cover them completely. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then drain them. When the soy curls are cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess water.
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat and add the soy curls. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the soy curls start to turn crispy on the edges.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the sauce to the pan of soy curls, and cook, stirring for 5-7 more minutes, until the sauce is clinging to the soy curls.