Remember when I said there would be just a few recipes that required ingredients you can’t get at a standard grocery store? This is one of them. To make vegan barbecue, you will need a product called Soy Curls. They’re made by Butler Foods, and I get mine for about $8 a pound at the Neighborhood Co-op in Carbondale, Ill. If your local health-food store doesn’t have them, you can order direct from the company or get them through Amazon. In a pinch, you can substitute regular TVP or crumbled veggie burgers, but the end product will be more like sloppy Joe than barbecue.
1 c. Soy Curls
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. molasses
Dry rub seasoning for barbecue
2/3 c. water
Small sandwich buns
1. Place Soy Curls in a small microwave-safe dish.
2. Whisk together vinegar and molasses, add spices to taste (I used about 1 tbsp. of dry rub seasoning, a pinch of celery salt, about a teaspoon each of garlic and onion powder, and a couple of squirts of Sriracha), and stir in 2/3 c. of water. Pour mixture over Soy Curls.
3. Cover and microwave until Soy Curls have taken on a chewy, meaty texture (about 2-3 min.)
4. Put a little olive oil in a skillet, dump in Soy Curl-marinade mixture, and add about 1/4 c. barbecue sauce.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring frequently, until liquid cooks off.
Serve on small hamburger buns or use as filling for tortillas. I especially like this recipe with a little Southern Illinois-style chow, which is a sort of slaw made with minced cabbage, mustard, a little pickle relish and a dash or two of hot sauce.
Serves 2 but doubles or triples easily. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it in less than 20 minutes, and it also keeps well in the refrigerator, so you can prep it in advance and just warm it up when you’re ready to use it if you really don’t have time to cook.