Vegan recipes for a kinder lifestyle

Butter Soy Curls

Creamy, spicy and full of rich tomato flavour, Butter Soy Curls are sure to please. Make it ahead for a fast and delicious weekday meal or dress it up to impress your dinner guests. It’s surprisingly easy to make as well.

Butter soy curls

I love Southeast Asian cuisine and it’s probably the cuisine that first turned me into a foodie. The first time I tasted it, at a buffet style restaurant, it was a revelation. The flavours were deep, complex and phenomenal, and the dishes just spicy enough. Southeast Asian dishes also a mainstay of vegan cooking as the recipes are very easy to veganize and they feature lots of veggies.

This recipe for Butter Soy Curls is not totally authentic, but it does capture the flavours and texture of this popular dish very well. It consists of firm and chewy soy curls marinated in a creamy, spicy tomato butter sauce. It looks and tastes much more complicated than it is to make, and its an easy way to impress guests, and brings some spice and warmth to a weekday meal.

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Making Butter Soy Curls

Making butter soy curls can seem quite daunting and intimidating for those new to southeast Asian cooking, but it really isn’t. It has only a few ingredients and all can easily be found in most supermarkets. For this recipe, try to use high quality canned tomatoes, such as organic or those with only tomato as an ingredient. It does make a big difference.

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To begin, measure out and assemble your ingredients. Next, soak your soy curls in water and spices and refrigerate for at least one hour. Once soaked, drain them very well in a sieve or colander. Do not rinse them.

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Next, heat the stovetop to medium high. In a large, deep skillet, add your butter and let it melt. Then add the spices, chopped shallots, minced ginger and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic next and stir until cooked, about one minute until slightly browned but not burnt.

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Then, you add the soy curls. Stir them well to mix, and keep stirring until they are browned and even blackened on the edgew, about three minutes. Finally, add the coconut milk, lime juice, tomato paste and canned tomatoes, and stir until well mixed. Reduce heat to simmer and cover skillet. Let simmer, stirring often for 10-20 minutes. Once liquid has evaporated a little, and the flavours are well incorporated, the soy curls are ready for serving.

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Delicious and Easy Dinner

There is nothing more comforting that a delicious butter curry on a cold night. It can also be easily dressed up for an impressive dinner with guests. Soy curls are delicious and have the firm, chewy texture of chicken without the cruelty and cholesterol. You definitely won’t miss a thing! Serve butter soy curls in the traditional way, with basmati rice, naan bread and fried greens, for a filling and healthy meal that is sure to satisfy. Enjoy!

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More Recipes for a Special Dinner

For those time you need a little something extra, these amazing vegan dishes are sure to please.They might require a little more time and effort, but they are so worth it:

Black Eyed Pea and Kale Masala

Vegetable Tempura

Pasta with Creamy Zucchini Sauce

Vegan Three Bean Chili


Vegan food is healthy, kind to animals, and kind to the planet. It is also delicious and affordable. If you like this recipe, please share! ~Una

Butter Soy Curls

Course: Entrees
Cuisine: Southeast Asian
Keyword: curry, indian, southeastasian, soycurls
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: unarosevegan
Print Recipe


  • Deep covered skillet


Soy Curls

  • 8 oz dry soy curls
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder

Butter Sauce

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3 tablespoons ginger minced
  • 5 shallots peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes Preferably organic and high quality
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat coconut cream o
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 bunch parsley or cilantro for garnish roughly chopped

To Serve

  • 2 limes cut into wedges
  • Basmati or brown rice
  • Naan bread or other flatbread


Soy Curls:

  • Place soy curls in a large mixing bowl and cover with water. Add the garam masala, cumin and cayenne and stir to combine.
  • Let sit for at least 1 hour
  • After soaking, drain soy curls very well. Set aside.

Butter Sauce

  • Heat vegan butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Let it melt.
  • Add the shallots and ginger to the pan. Cook stirring until onions are translucent. 
  • Add the garlic, curry powder, garam masala and cayenne powder. Cook stirring for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. 
  • Add the soy curls. Stir until well combined and soy curls are well browned, about 3- 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and ccoconut cream. Stir until well mixed.
  • Add canned tomatoes and stir well. 
  • Cover skillet and reduce heat to simmer.
  • Let simmer for 10-20 minutes until the liquid has partially evaporated and the soy curls are hot and aromatic. 

To Serve

  • Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro.
  • Serve hot with basmati or brown rice, naan bread.