This easy and delicious Soy Curl Tacos recipe is the ultimate fusion of taste, texture, and plant-based protein-packed goodness. Get ready to indulge in soy curls marinated in a smoky chipotle sauce, nestled inside soft tortillas, and topped with creamy guacamole, salsa, and a refreshing squeeze of lime.
I am thrilled to share with you one of many recipes for my favorite dish in the world: vegan tacos! These soy curl tacos are simply irresistible—they have a meaty texture, are exquisite, easy to make, and packed with plant-based protein.
Before we dive into the recipe, let's talk a little about soy curls or textured vegetable protein (TVP). It has often been criticized, but the truth is, it's a nutritional treasure! Not only is it cost-effective, but it's also high in protein and incredibly versatile.
The source of textured vegetable protein or soy curls
Textured vegetable protein and soy curls, come from soybeans, a legume native to East Asia. Soy is an ancient and valuable plant cultivated and used by ancestral civilizations for thousands of years.
The transformation process
To obtain textured soy protein, soybeans go through a transformation process involving several stages. First, the soybeans get cleaned and soaked in water to rehydrate them. Then, they are cooked at high temperatures to make them easier to process and to eliminate antinutritional substances present in raw soy.
Next, the cooked soybeans are pressed to extract the oils (which are sold as another product), resulting in a byproduct called "okara" or "soy pulp." This okara is rich in protein and fiber.
After oil extraction, the okara is dried and ground to obtain a coarse soy flour known as "raw soy flour." This flour undergoes a process called extrusion, where it is heated and pressed through specialized machinery to give it a shape and texture similar to meat, creating textured soy protein.
The meaty texture of soy curls and textured vegetable protein
One of the most impressive benefits of textured soy protein is its surprising meaty texture. This characteristic makes it an excellent option for recreating traditional dishes that would typically include meat. Its ability to absorb flavors and marinades makes it perfect for tacos, burgers, stews, and more.
A nutritional treasure
In addition to its culinary versatility, textured soy protein is a true nutritional treasure. It is an excellent source of plant-based protein, rich in essential amino acids, fiber, iron, and other essential nutrients, making it an ideal food for vegans, vegetarians, and those looking to reduce their meat consumption. It is also low in calories, high in protein, and low in fat, making it a healthy choice for weight management and overall well-being.
Another reason to love textured soy protein is its positive environmental impact. Soy production requires fewer natural resources and produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to intensive livestock farming.
Now that you know the origin and benefits of textured soy protein, you will undoubtedly feel even more excited to incorporate it into your meals. Vegan tacos with textured soy protein are not only delicious and easy to prepare but also a conscious and planet-friendly choice. Enjoy the flavors, textures, and nutritional goodness while knowing you're making a positive impact on your health and the environment.
What ingredients do I need to make these soy curl tacos?
- Soy curls
- Veggie broth
- Chipotle adobo
- Seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika)
- Toppings: tortillas, guacamole, salsa, lime wedges
Cooking Tips for these soy curl tacos:
- If you want to use TVP (textured vegetable protein) instead of soy curls, just remember to use water instead of veggie broth, and rinse the TVP to remove any funky flavors.
- To get crispy soy curls, make sure to squeeze out excess liquid and fry them until they achieve a delectable crispiness.
- If you prefer a spicier kick, increase the chipotle adobo or add some crushed red pepper for an extra fiery twist.
Variations for these soy curl tacos:
- If you want to give these soy curl tacos a twist, swap the chipotle adobo for tangy BBQ, savory buffalo-style, or another sauce you like.
- Baked Crispy Tacos: Instead of frying the soy curls, try baking them to achieve a crispy texture. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), toss the hydrated soy curls with a little oil, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through. The result? Delightfully crispy soy curls without the need for frying!
- Sheet Pan Tacos: Embrace the simplicity of sheet pan cooking. After hydrating and squeezing the soy curls, toss them with the sauce in a bowl. Spread the coated soy curls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and broil them on high for 10-12 minutes until they become golden and slightly crispy.
- Air Fryer Tacos: If you're an air fryer enthusiast, this variation is for you. After hydrating and squeezing the soy curls, toss them with the sauce in a mixing bowl. Place the soy curls in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook at 375°F (190°C) for about 8-10 minutes until they achieve a lovely crispy texture.
FAQs about these vegan soy curl tacos:
Can I use other protein sources in this recipe?
Absolutely! Try tempeh, seitan, or even jackfruit for unique variations.
Can I use TVP instead of soy curls?
Absolutely! Just remember to use water instead of veggie broth, and rinse the TVP to remove any funky flavors.
Do soy curls need rinsing?
Unlike TVP, soy curls don't have any funky flavors, so rinsing is unnecessary. Just hydrate and fry them to perfection!
Can I prepare the soy curls in advance?
Absolutely! Just store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat before assembling your tacos.
How long do leftovers keep?
Absolutely delicious for up to 5 days when refrigerated properly.
Can I freeze the soy curls?
Absolutely! Freezing soy curls is easy and convenient. After preparing them, whether you've squeezed the liquid out, fried them in oil, or mixed them with the sauce, transfer the soy curls to a ziploc bag or an airtight container. Simply reheat when ready to use.
Can I add other toppings to these soy curl tacos?
Absolutely! Get creative and add your favorite toppings for a personalized touch.
We highly recommend pairing these tacos with our Mexican Red Salsa!
Give our Vegan Soy Curl Tacos a try, and you'll be hooked!
The Ultimate Soy Curl Tacos (Easy Vegan Tacos)
Soy curls hydration
- 2 ¼ cups soy curls, (114 g)
- 2 cups veggie broth or water, for hydrating soy curls*
- ½ cup veggie broth
- 2 teaspoon chipotle adobo, the liquid part of canned chipotles
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
Soy curl frying
- 2 tablespoon oil, for frying the soy curls
- Soft tortillas, corn or flour
- Lime wedges
Hydrate the Soy Curls
- In a medium-sized bowl, place the soy curls and pour approximately 2 cups of hot veggie broth or hot water over them.
- Stir the soy curls constantly to ensure even hydration and to minimize the amount of broth used. Allow them to soak for about 10 minutes until they become soft and pliable.
Prepare the Sauce
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ½ cup veggie broth, paprika, chipotle adobo, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. This will be the marinade/sauce for the soy curls. Set it aside.
Squeeze and Dry the Soy Curls
- Once the soy curls are hydrated, drain them using a colander.
- To remove excess liquid, press the soy curls firmly against the colander using another small bowl or your hands.
Fry the Soy Curls
- In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the 2 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
- Add the squeezed soy curls to the hot oil and fry them until they become browned and slightly charred. Use a potato masher or a spatula to press and remove any remaining liquid from the soy curls during frying.
Add the Sauce
- Once the soy curls are nicely browned and slightly crispy, pour the prepared sauce over them in the pan.
- Stir well to coat the soy curls with the spicy chipotle sauce.
- Keep stirring and cooking until the sauce is mostly absorbed and coats the soy curls evenly.
Assemble the Tacos
- Warm the soft tortillas, spoon the spicy chipotle soy curls onto each tortilla and top with guacamole, salsa, and a squeeze of lime juice.