Vegan Cuban Porq featuring Butler Soy Curls™

Soy porq strips are made with Butler Soy Curls™. When seasoned and prepared properly, this unique product yields an amazing roast pork-like texture and flavor (left unseasoned they have an inherent natural sweetness; proper seasoning helps mask this sweetness). Butler Soy Curls™ have a texture similar to textured soy/vegetable protein chunks but they are fundamentally different because they are made with non-GMO whole soybeans, as opposed to textured soy/vegetable protein, which is the extruded by-product of soybean oil production. As such, they are processed differently.

For gluten-free diets, replace the white shoyu with 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari in the seasoning broth and add salt to taste.

If you cannot obtain the soy curls, textured vegetable/soy protein nuggets can be used (but you will have seasoned porq bites rather than porq strips). This recipe yields about 1 and ½ lbs.

Primary Ingredient
• 1 pkg (8 oz) Butler Soy Curls™ (or 8 oz textured vegetable/soy protein nuggets)

Seasoning Broth
• 3 cups water
• ¼ cup white shoyu (white soy sauce)*
• 4 tsp onion powder
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
• 2 tsp mushroom powder (porcini or portabella)
• a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper
• 1 bay leaf

*If you cannot obtain white shoyu, substitute with 2 tablespoons tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™* and add salt to taste.

Additional Ingredients for Sautéing
• 2 T olive oil
• sea salt or kosher salt as desired
• additional coarse ground pepper as desired
• additional herbs and spices of your choice

In a large saucepan, whisk together the seasoning broth ingredients, add the bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the dry soy curls. Fold well in the broth and cover the saucepan. Allow to cool for 30 minutes to allow proper absorption of the seasoning and the color. Fold occasionally to ensure that all pieces are rehydrated and seasoned.

Drain the excess liquid (about ½ cup) and reserve if desired for enhancing vegetable broths or for seasoning other foods.

Add the olive oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat. Add the seasoned porq strips and any additional herbs and spices as desired (a splash of white wine is always a nice touch too). Sauté, turning frequently until most of the liquid has evaporated and the strips are nicely browned (the strips hold a great deal of flavored broth even after draining the excess, so browning may take a bit longer than other meat analogues). Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

If you wish to toss the strips with sautéed onions or other vegetables, prepare them in a separate skillet and combine with the strips before serving.

Note: To shred the porq strips, tear the larger individual strips in half lengthwise with your fingers. While this takes a few extra minutes, it yields a better shredded texture than pulsing them in a food processor (which chops rather than shreds).

Cuban Porq Variation
Ingredients for finishing the prepared porq strips:
• ¼ cup fresh orange juice
• 2 T fresh lime juice
• 2 T cooking oil
• 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
• 9 cloves garlic, minced (3 T)
• 1 T fresh minced oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp fresh orange zest, loosely packed
• 1 tsp fresh lime zest loosely packed
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Finishing Technique
Combine the citrus juices in a small bowl; set aside.
Add the oil to a large non-stick skillet or wok and place over medium heat; sauté the onion until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, oregano, orange zest and lime zest and sauté 30 seconds.

Add the porq strips and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned. Drizzle in the citrus juices and toss well to distribute. Continue to sauté until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the strips are beginning to brown in spots (this will take several minutes); season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with lime wedges.

Soy Porq Strips featuring Butler Soy Curls™
Votes: 8
Rating: 3.88
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Course Main Dish
Course Main Dish
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