Air fried soy curls make a great vegan substitute for meat dishes. Soy curls are made by cooking, extruding and drying whole soybeans. This makes them chewy and meaty. You will be surprised to see how close it resembles meat, when you look at it for the first time. Most Chinese restaurant will fry them before they serve. However cooking soy curls in air fryer makes them makes it healthier. You still get that golden brown sheen yet you avoid extra calories from oil.
A bag of soy curls can help you make many a new favorite quickie dinner. Vegan fried chicken, vegan chicken salad, vegan orange chicken. Vegan pepper steak, soy curl bacon, Mongolian seitan or vegan Mongolian beef are other dishes you can make.
Is TVP and soy curls the same?
TVP is a meat-free alternative. It is made with soybeans. Though, TVP and soy curls have some major differences. TVP is actually ground up soy flour or defatted soy flour. However, soy curls are whole soybeans.The easy and delicious recipe preparation is very similar to air fried tofu ,tofu manchurian and Chilli paneer or gobi manchurian.I like to serve these with stir fried rice, hakka noodles or as tacos.
What are soy curls ?
Soy curls are a plant-based protein made from whole soybeans that've been cooked, given texture, and then dried off into small, curly pieces. They have a texture similar to meat and are a hit with vegetarians and vegans. Soy curls are cheap and simple to use, making them perfect for any veggie-based diet.
Homemade soy curls - You can easily make them at home using soy chunks that are easily available in the market. Below are the soy chunks that I bought very cheap from the market and made it similar to soy curls.
Benefits of Soy curls
Speaking of nutrients, are soy curls healthy?
Absolutely! Soy curls are packed with plant-based protein. They are full of fiber and important minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc. A healthy choice, they're low in fat and calories.
- large bowl
- air fryer
- wok / large skillet
Air fried soy curls ingredients
- dried soy curls or vegan soy chunks - I have used vegan soy chunks
- Marinade (we will use half of the marinade for airfrying and rest for stir fry
- soy sauce (dark and light)
- maple syrup
- chilli paste or any asian cooking paste like red curry paste
- corn flour
soy curls stir fry ingredients
- Garlic,Brocolli, onions, peppers,green onion,celery etc
- Leftover marinade or any stir fry sauce.
refer to recipe card for details.
Instructions for air fried soy curls
- Heat water in a pot,soak the soy curls / soy chunks in boiling hot water (turn off the heat) for 10-15 minutes or as per packet instructions.Drain the excess water and squeeze the chunnks/curls.
- Cut/shred the soy chunks in smaller pieces if you like
- Mix the sauces for marination in a bowl
- Mix soy sauce ,oil and toss soy curls pieces .Keep it aside for 10 mins.
- Add cornflour on the marinated soy curls
- Preheat your air fryer for 5 mins at 180 deg C. | 355 F. Layer the pieces on a parchment paper on the air fryer basket without overlapping each other.
- Air fry the soy curls for 6-7 mins at 180 C| 355 deg F.
- Once cooked, keep them aside.
You can enjoy these as is or make a stir fry below.
Instructions for vegan soy curls stir fry
- In a wok, heat oil and fry chopped garlic,add broccoli and peppers.Cook on medium/high heat for few minutes
- Add the cooked soy curls.
- Add the marinade mix,allow to cook for few minutes, turn off the heat.
Enjoy this as a stir fry or with your tacos..
You can use any marinade of your choice and any sauce as a stir fry sauce.You can choose to use a homemade barbecue sauce or bbq soy based sauce. Shallow fry them instead of air frying to get the crispy texture if you do not own an air fryer yet.
- Toss the soy curls in teriyaki sauce, then sauté 'em with fresh veggies like onions, peppers, baby corn and mushrooms.
- Toss the soy curls in homemade bbq sauce then bake 'em in the oven till they're crunchy. Have it with vegan mac and cheese or a salad.
- Spicy soy curls: Throw in some chili powder, cumin, garam masala powder and paprika to give the rehydrated soy curls some kick. Sauté with onions and sliced peppers for a flavorful and spicy dish.Serve with a dash of lemon juice and your favorite sauce.
- Buffalo Soy Curls: Toss the soy curls in buffalo sauce and serve with vegan ranch dressing and celery sticks.
Store it in refrigerator for 1-2 days. Always reheat your left overs.
- Rehydrate soy curls: Rehydrating the soy curls is key before you cook. Soak dry soy curls in boiling water for 10 minutes until they become soft and puffy. Get the water out of them and give 'em a squeeze. This will make sure the flavors from the marinade or sauce get absorbed by the soy curls.
- Don't Overcook the Soy Curls: Soy curls cook fast, so watch out. Overcooking can make them tough and chewy.
- Mix it up with sides: Soy curls are so adaptable, you can make all kinds of sides to go with them. Have them with rice, quinoa, roasted veg, or a salad is a good idea.
You can buy them at local health food store or order them online, and they keep for a while at room temp.
They are minimally processed.
butler’s soy curls are made of non GMO soybeans. They are processed without chemicals and added preservatives. Many feel soy curls taste like chicken.
easy air fryer soy curls recipe
- Mixing bowl
For air fry soy curls
- 80 gms Dehydrated soy curls or soy chunks the packet that I had was of 80gms, approx 3 oz.
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
Marinade (use half of below sauce mix for air fried soy curls, rest for stir fry)
For soy curls stir fry
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 2 tbsp. ginger-garlic chopped
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets blanched/steamed, 1 cup is ½ brocolli
- ½ red pepper diced
- ½ green pepper diced
- 2-3 stalks green onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon Salt as per taste adjust as per the salt in the soy sauce.
For Air fried soy curls
- Heat up some water in a pot, and soak the soy curls or chunks in the hot water for 10-15 minutes or according to the instructions on the package. Once done, drain the excess water and squeeze out the excess moisture from the curls.
- Optionally, cut or shred the soy chunks into smaller pieces as desired.
- Prepare the marinade by mixing the sauces in a bowl. Keep half of the sauce mix for the stir fry, use the rest for soy curls
- Toss the soy curls in the sauce mixture until they are evenly coated. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle cornflour over the marinated soy curls and mix until evenly coated.
- Preheat the air fryer at 180°C/355°F for 5 minutes.Arrange the soy curls on it in a single layer, making sure they don't overlap.
- Place the tray in the air fryer and cook the soy curls for 6-7 minutes at 180°C/355°F, or until they are crispy from outside.
- Once done, remove the tray from the air fryer and set it aside.Serve the soy curls as is, or use them in a stir fry recipe.
For vegan soy curl stir fry
- Cook/blanch brocolli in hot water for few minutes
- In a wok, heat oil and fry chopped garlic,add broccoli and peppers.cook on medium/high heat for few minutes
- Add the cooked soy curls.Add the marinade mix,allow to cook for few minutes, turn off the heat.
- Serve as a stir fry or with tortilla/taco
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have a good ventilation when cooking on a stove.