I know it’s been a while since I posted a recipe here, so today I’m excited to share with you one of our current weeknight favorites – vegan fajita filling with soy curls! It makes a delicious and easy filling for tacos, fajitas, burritos, plant-based deconstructed burrito bowls, etc.
This recipe is so simple that for a while I didn’t even consider it blog-worthy. But since the demand for easy, quick and tasty vegan meals is always there, I decided to finally post it here today.
Back in our pre-vegan days, fajitas were one of my favorite things to order at Mexican restaurants. I loved the assortment of sizzling hot, slightly charred crisp vegetables tossed with strips of chicken or steak, served in a hot cast iron pan, along with guacamole, sour cream, warm tortillas, rice, and whatever toppings each restaurant could come up with. Assembling each individual fajita from all those fillings was always so much fun!
Then I went vegan, and for the most part the appeal of fajitas went away because without meat, they just didn’t seem worth it. I tried to recreate the magical fajita filling at home with various ‘fake meats’, but something was missing. Then it dawned on me – I’ve got to try soy curls here! So this is how my easy vegan fajita filling was born.
I’m not usually a fan of vegan meat substitutes, but soy curls have a pass in my kitchen. Butler Soy Curls is the brand I’ve tried and liked a lot (please note: Butler is not paying me to say these nice things about them, so all opinions in this post are my own.)
Butler Soy Curls are made from whole, non-GMO soybeans – not soy protein isolate like TSP or TVP – so even though the beans are processed, they are technically a whole food.
Soy curls are sold dehydrated, so they need to be reconstituted in hot water for a few minutes for best results. I don’t eat them very often, but when I do, I find the texture very reminiscent of chicken or pork, which makes them ideal as vegan Barbecue pulled pork – or fajitas!
Can you guess if this is chicken or soy curls? Okay, that’s a silly question coming from a vegan blog…
Peppers and onions make a great addition to the soy curls: I like to keep their cooking time to a minimum to retain their crunch. Cooking them in a hot skillet with a tiny bit of oil allows them to get slightly charred in a few spots, which adds some delicious smokiness to the taste of this fajita filling. If you have some smoked paprika in your spice cabinet, it could be very handy here!
To complete your perfect fajitas, serve them with warmed corn or flour tortillas along with whatever toppings fit your fancy. I often go simple and just add my Easy Chunky Guacamole, shredded lettuce and Sriracha. Feel free to go for the whole shebang of refried beans and rice, vegan sour cream (or cashew cream), pico de gallo – the list goes on!
- 1/3 bag dried soy curls
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced into half moons
- 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced into 1/4" thin strips
- 2-3 scallions, chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)
Spices and seasoning:
- 1/2 Tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp sweet or smoked paprika
- 1/2 - 1 tsp chipotle chili powder, to taste
- Salt, black pepper to taste
- 6-8 warm corn or flour tortillas, preferably organic
- One recipe of Easy Guacamole or any favorite guacamole
- Any other toppings of choice (optional) - sriracha, cashew cream, vegan cheese shreds, etc.
- In a large bowl, pour boiling hot water over the soy curls to cover them fully. Set aside to soak for 10-15 minutes. Prep the veggies while the soy curls are soaking.
- Heat a nonstick pan (or a well-seasoned cast iron pan) over medium heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp of the soy curl soaking water to the pan. Once the water starts bubbling, squeeze the soy curls lightly and place them into the pan. Stir the soy curls regularly to prevent sticking, 4-5 minutes, until golden. Add more water if needed. Take the curls out of the pan and set aside.
- Clean the pan lightly, andd return it to the stove. heat the pan on medium-high. Lightly spray the pan with cooking spray, or add up to 1 tsp high-heat oil (avocado oil works well here). Add peppers and onions and let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple times. The vegetables should get slightly charred in a few spots but retain their crispness.
- Put the soy curls back into the pan with the vegetables. Add the spices and salt and pepper. Toss everything together to mix well. Let the soy curls warm up again, 1-2 minutes. Mix in scallions and cilantro if using. Turn off heat.
- Serve along with warm tortillas, Easy Guacamole and any additional toppings of choice. Enjoy!
Butler Soy Curls, 8 oz. Bags (Pack of 6)
Lodge 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet. Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder.
Cuisinart 633-30H Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan with Helper Handle and Lid
This recipe contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you make a purchase through affiliate links on my blog, I receive a very small commission that helps me run this blog, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212 Total Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 6mg Sodium: 221mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 9g Protein: 7g
Besides this fajita filling, I also like to use soy curls to make spectacular vegan BBQ pulled ‘pork’ sandwiches! I cook the soy curls the same way as described above, then mix in my Easy Barbecue Sauce from this recipe, and voilà – a delicious sandwich filling that will wow even the most skeptical meat eater!
Question for you: Have you tried soy curls before, and if so, how did you prepare them?
(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you make a purchase through affiliate links on my blog, I receive a very small commission that helps me run this blog, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!)