Thursday, 1 October 2015

Meatless monday (all month long): red thai soy strip curry (vegan)

Aaaah... October. The month of challenges. There's Stoptober encouraging people to quit smoking and then there's Sober October, willing people to spend 31 days without alcohol. Since I seem to have this inexplicable need to do everything in life the hard way, I felt compelled to challenge myself, too. No, I'm not even going to attempt the latter as October is also the month of Oktoberfest (surely those two cancel each other out?) . Instead I, the insatiable carnivore, am joining the meat-free October. Not that my life has seen any kind of carnal delights of late, anyway...

I love everything about meat, starting from the texture. It's just so immensely satisfying to sink one's hungry teeth into it! But no, not for the next 30 days. Instead I'll be sinking my teeth into... wait for it... soy. There's a wide array of soy-based meat substitutes out there which are more ecologic than meat, wildly high in protein, cholesterol-free, loaded with calcium and rich in fiber, too. So, we'll stay how this pans out...

I started my exploration into the vegetarian world with soy strips (also called textured vegetable protein strips or chicken-free strips), which I turned into this comforting vegan dish: red Thai curry. Just what these cold autumn days call for.

Not only is this suitable for just about any special diet out there, it's also quick and easy. You'll have dinner on the table in half an hour! 

PS. If you insist on making your own curry paste, you'll find the recipe on the blog here.

Serves 2-3

Red thai curry with soy strips:

125 g soy strips 
1,5 l vegetable stock

1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
4 cm piece of fresh ginger
1,5 red chilli (reserve the rest for serving)
the stalks from a bunch of coriander
1 tsp soy sauce
the juice of 1,5 lime (reserve the remaining half for serving)
3 tbsp red curry paste
1 tbsp ketchup

400 g coconut milk (rich, creamy kind)

To serve:

finely chopped leaves of a bunch of coriander
handful of toasted coconut flakes (or crispy, roasted onion flakes)
remaining half of the lime, cut into chunks
remaining chilli, thinly sliced

Cook the soy strips in vegetable stock for 10 minutes. Drain and steam drier. 

Measure the remaining ingredients into a small food processor (or pound into a paste using pestle and mortar) and blizz into a smooth paste. If needed, add a tbsp or two of coconut milk. 

Pour the paste into a pan and add soy strips. Stir to make sure they're covered in paste for a couple of minutes and then add coconut milk. Let simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add coriander leaves, drizzle freshly squeezed lime juice on top and sprinkle with coconut flakes (dry roast them in a hot pan until golden and fragrant). Serve with rice.

I was ridiculously skeptic somewhat curious as to what the taste would be like (yes, I pushed and shoved the pieces around with the tip of my fork like a petulant 3-year-old). But you know what? Damn. Goddamn, this was yummy. So. Bloody. Yummy. And that texture? Juicier than chicken. 

Carnivore's verdict? Soy strips, you're going to Hollywooooood!

PS. If Asian flavours are your thing, try using soy strips for substituting chicken in this divine mango and chilli chicken recipe or instead of beef with this delicious peanut sauce!

(125 g of uncooked soy strips equal roughly 400 g chicken/ beef strips.)




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