Whenever people tell me “I could never give up bacon” I always choose to smile. Eating a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you need to give up or compromise on your favourite foods — it simply demands some creativity in the kitchen. I don’t proclaim to have a plant-based recipe that mimics bacon in its entirety but I think this recipe for soy curl ‘bacon’ comes pretty darn close. The flavour is the perfect balance of sweet and smoky while the meaty texture of the soy curls is so satisfying even my BBQ-loving neighbour couldn’t hide his surprise when I asked him to try it. Today I’m thrilled to share my recipe for Soy Curl BLT Sandwich with Matchstick Fries.
This isn’t my first vegan BLT sandwich recipe I’ve shared, but it’s the first one featuring soy curls 🙂. If you’re not familiar with them soy curls are made from whole non-GMO soybeans that have been cooked, texturized and dried. When rehydrated soy curls ‘plump up’ (much like quinoa) and mimic meat-like strips of chicken or beef. In a similar fashion to tofu, soy curls soak up flavour which makes them an excellent ingredient for marinating. In this recipe rehydrated soy curls are marinated in a delicious marinade featuring balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamari sauce and liquid smoke and then pan fried until crispy (a few dashes of additional tamari sauce and liquid smoke during frying certainly help to accentuate the bacon-like flavour). Rather than use classic mayo (Vegenaise) as my spread I created a quick and easy sandwich sauce with fresh garlic, lime juice, vinegar, sugar and a kick of sweet heat with cumin powder. Paired with fresh tomato slices and leaf lettuce this creamy sandwich sauce and the bacon-style soy curls combine to deliver a mouthwatering BLT-inspired sandwich that rivals the real thing.
If soy curls are tricky to source you can certainly try out this marinade using a block of firm tofu (see our Tofu Bacon Tomato Sandwich recipe here). If you’re looking for other ways to cook with soy curls why not try our Mongolian Style Sauce with Soy Curls.
Soy Curl BLT Sandwich with Matchstick Fries
Note: Marinate the soy curls for 2-3 hours for a bold, smoky flavour so plan ahead for best results!
- Soy Curl Bacon Marinade
- One 8oz/227g package of Butler’s Soy Curls, rehydrated (see Recipe Notes below)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled (20g)
- 1/3 cup canola oil (or similar lightweight oil) (65g)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (15g)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (30g)
- 2 Tbsp tamari sauce (25g) + extra
- 1 tsp liquid smoke (5g) + extra
- 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce (20g)
- Olive oil (for pan-frying)
Creamy Sandwich Sauce
- 2 garlic cloves (15g)
- 1 tsp lime juice (5g)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (5g)
- 1 Tbsp cane sugar (15g)
- 1 tsp cumin powder (5g)
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt (5g)
- Rustic Ciabatta Loaf (or similar bread)
- Tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch slices
- Leaf lettuce
- Himalayan pink salt (optional)
Matchstick Fries (Note: Customize the quantity of each ingredient to your liking)
- Red potatoes, cut into matchstick-size strips
- Himalayan pink salt
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil
Soy Curl Bacon Marinade
Important: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to the Thermomix mixing blade before Step 1
- 1/Add garlic to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- 2/Add canola oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, tamari sauce, liquid smoke and sweet chili sauce to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Whisk 30 sec/ Speed 3.5
- 3/Transfer marinade to a shallow dish. Add rehydrated soy curls to the dish. Marinade soy curls in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours (or overnight if time allows).
- 4/Heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil over the skillet. Pan-fry the marinated soy curls until brown and crispy (the darker the better!)
Important: Add a few drops of tamari sauce and liquid smoke to the skillet during frying to enhance the flavour~
- 1/Add garlic to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Mince 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Important: Add the butterfly whisk attachment to the Thermomix mixing blade before Step2
- 2/Add lime juice, apple cider vinegar, cane sugar, cumin powder and salt to the TM bowl. Whisk 45 sec/Speed 3.
Prepare your Soy Curl BLT Sandwch using two slices of bread, marinated soy curls, creamy sandwich sauce, sliced tomatoes and leaf lettuce. Finish with a pinch of salt (optional).
Serve with Matchstick Fries or your choice of side.
- 1/Spread matchstick-cut fries on a parchment-paper lined baking tray.
- 2/Drizzle olive olive over potatoes to coat generously. Sprinkle salt, smoked paprika and garlic powder over potatoes (amount of each to your liking).
- 3/Transfer potatoes to oven. Bake at 425F for 45-60 minutes until golden and crispy (toss the fries at 20 minute intervals to ensure they bake evenly)
Note: Our family likes a lot of flavour so I’ll usually sprinkle additional smoked paprika and garlic powder each time I flip the potatoes.
* Each 8oz bag Butler’s Soy Curls yields 1.5 lb soy curls when hydrated
*How to rehydrate soy curls:
- 1/Place soy curls (8oz/227g) in water. Add enough warm water to completely cover the curls. Let soak for 10 minutes.
- 2/Drain soy curls and rinse in cold water. Using the underside of a spoon, press gently on the soy curls to release any excess water.
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance; however, it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. multi-function processor, immersion blender etc).