If you look around the grocery/whole food stores, you will find a variety of soy products. Soy is cholesterol free, low in carbs. & fat calories & most importantly, excellent source of protein.
The first thing that comes to mind when talking soy, if obviously Tofu. Others being Soy Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), Tempeh (It’s made from whole soybeans that have been mixed with some grain and a mold culture, fermented, and pressed into a block), & TSP (Textured Soy Protein) or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) – these being made from textured soy flour in the form of chunks or granules. Once soaked & cooked the TVPs have a spongy meaty texture.
The Dry Soy Chunks or Nuggets/TVP (Commonly called Nutrela tho’ it is a brand name) is sold in most Indian Groceries in a pre-packaged box. All you need to do is just soak them in really hot water for about 10-15 minutes till they soften & become really spongy. At this stage they will absorb any flavor that it is cooked with. There are quite a few ways these could be enjoyed. The chunks are cooked in a curry, or used in making pilafs/pulaos, the granule version of these are even made into patties – just to name a few for some ideas. I have cooked them with an Asian twist, with the flavors of Sesame, Red Dry Chilli & Soy Sauce all combined in the spicy sauce which makes the chunks absorb in all the wonderful flavors & the zing. Sometimes I do a dry, chunk coated thick sauce, sometimes I leave a little bit more sauce which goes really well with some rice.
This is how the soy chunks look:
Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)
- 1.5 Cups Uncooked Soy Chunks/Nuggets
- 1.5 medium Onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Hot Green Chilli Pepper, like Thai Bird
- 1 Cup Sliced Bell Peppers/Capsicum (Optional, I have not used it here, but do use it sometimes)
- 4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
- 1.5 inch Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Grated
- 4-6 Dry Red Chillies (More or less to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds + 1 teaspoon seeds, lightly toasted for garnish
- 4 Tablespoons Oil ( Sesame or any other oil)
- 2-3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 3-4 Tablespoons Hot Sauce (more or less as per your taste), like Sriracha
- 4 Tablespoons Tomato Puree ( I used the canned ones)
- Scallions/Green Onions, chopped – for Garnish
- Salt to taste
Boil about 4 Cups of water. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt & add the soy chunks/nuggets to the water. Cover & Soak for about 15 Minutes. There is no harm done if they soak longer than 15 minutes. Just don’t leave it overnight:-)
Heat oil in a wok/pan. Add the Red Dry Chillies. Turn them over when they turn a shade darker & cook the other sides too. Add the sesame seeds to the oil. When they start to sizzle, add the the Onions, Hot Chilli Peppers, Bell Peppers (if you are using them), Ginger & Garlic. Stir fry at medium heat till the Onions are translucent & just barely start to brown at the ends.
Drain the Soy Chunks, but reserve about 1 Cup ( or more if there is any more left) of the water. Gently squeeze out some water out of the nuggets, they will still stay soft after doing this. What this does is, prepares the nuggets to absorb more of the liquid/sauce that they will be cooked it, which make them more flavorful.
Add the Soy Chunks/Nuggets & the salt to the pan & toss them around for about 5-7 minutes till the onions kind of coat the nuggets.
Combine the soy sauce, Tomato Puree, & Hot Sauce in 1/2 Cup of the reserved water. Add this to the soy nuggets in the pan & cook till the nuggets are coated & the oil leaves the sides of the pan, for about 7-10 minutes.
Add the rest of the water (about 1.5 cups)… use the reserved water or a combine some plain water if there is no more left. Cover & cook for about 10 minutes, & then uncover & cook for 5 more minutes.
This should have some sauce in it, more than just that coats the chunks. Make sure you have more sauce left than you want, for if left for some time, the nuggets will soak up a lot of the sauce & the sauce will reduce in amount.
Garnish with scallions & sesame seeds.
Serve with Plain or Fried Rice. We usually have ours with brown rice, or even flat bread.
The health benefit of soya bean is undeniable. This is a pretty quick & healthy side dish, a great substitute for non vegetarian meals. Enjoy! Sending this to MLLA Eleventh Helping, hosted by Lori of Taste with the Eyes, & created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.