Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I often order this dish in a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant near my house. The dish is low fat but full of flavor (from the lemon grass and five spice powder). I usually pour all the sweet and sour dressings over the noodles and mix them all together. This is a cold noodle dish and can be eaten at a room temperature which is perfect as a picnic or travelling dish. What makes the BBQ TVP slices taste savory is the dry roasted rice powder which is a common use in Vietnamese cuisine.

Servings: 6

2 1/2 cups dry vegetarian protein meat slices (TVP) or Soy Curls TM
16 oz Rice noodles (same one use in Vietnamese Pho noodle) or zaru soba
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1 cup mint leaves, shred into individual leaves
1 cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 cup beansprouts or shredded lettuce leaves
3 Tbsp roasted rice powder (see tip)
2 tsp canola oil
3 Tbsp roasted peanuts, chopped

Seasonings for marinade:
1/3 cup soy sauce or 2 1/2 Tbsp salty dark mushroom soy sauce mixed with 2 1/2 Tbsp water
3 tsp sugar or 1 1/2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp onion or or 'chicken' or mushroom broth powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp good quality 5 spice powder
1 tsp sesame oil
1 stalk fresh lemon grass, chopped

Sweet and Sour Salad dressing:
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 to 4 Tbsp vegetarian fish sauce or Bragg's Liquid Amino
3 Tbsp Agave Nectar or 3 tsp sugar, or to taste
Notes: my husband don't like the sauce too sweet like in the restaurants so I made this sauce more in the sour taste.
1 tsp chili garlic sauce, sambal oelek or Korean red pepper powder, or less for less spicy

  1. If using dry TVP slices, simmer the dried veg protein in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, squeeze all the water out. Or, an alternative method which I like is to pressure cook the dry TVP slices in 3 or 4 cups water on high for 2 minutes. Then, use the quick release method. The TVP slices will be very soft. Let it cool and then squeeze the water out.
  2. If using soy curls, reconstitute them with 2 1/4 cups of hot water for 10 minutes. Then, squeeze the water out.
  3. Combine seasonings for marinade in a blender including the chopped fresh lemon grass stalk. Blend the sauce until well blended and the lemon grass is pulverized into very small bits.
  4. Mix the seasoning sauce with the veg protein (reconstituted tvp or soy cutlets) to marinade for at least 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the rice noodles in a hot boiling water for 1 minute (or soba for 4 minutes). Take it off heat and soak for a few more minutes. Test if the noodle is soft. When the noodles are soft, drain it over a colander and rinse it with cold tap water so it will stop the cooking process.
  6. Heat your indoor bbq grill or a heavy skillet like a cast iron, high heat.
  7. Saute the marinated veg protein slices. Drizzle canola oil to prevent sticking. Cook until they are brown and looked like they have been barbequed. I use an indoor BBQ grill with less oil.
  8. Remove from heat. Add 3 Tbsp of roasted rice powder and mix well. Serve in a bowl on top of the drained rice noodle or soba and vegetables with Sweet and Sour dressing on the side. Sprinkle the roasted chopped peanuts on top

    Nutrition Facts
    Nutrition (per serving): 460.1 calories; 11% calories from fat; 5.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 1499.5mg sodium; 475.2mg potassium; 84.3g carbohydrates; 2.3g fiber; 13.9g sugar; 82.0g net carbs; 25.4g protein; 9.2 points.

    Cooking Tips:
    Roasted Rice Powder: Dry fry rice on cast iron pan in medium heat until rice became opaque and light brown, about 5 minutes. Let it cool. Grind in a mini blender or a spice grinder until it becomes a powder.
    Soy Curls can be ordered from


t. said...

Thank you for visiting my blog! I actually would like to ask you if I can add yours to my vegan directory! I especially like the international twist on your recipes: I love travelleing and have seen my share of the world and it is great if I can recreate some of it in my own kitchen with vegan ingredients!
I am cunrretly trying to loose the next 20 pounds. I already lost the first 20 but the last half of the job seems particularly hard to tackle. I m truly struggling!
But hopefully I will succeed!

In the meanwhile many props for using chick peas flour! It is a trick I use often, but still very rarely used in north america!

t. said...

SIV thanks so much for letting me add you to my directory! Yours is truly a blog worth of notice: I have never seen such a great variety of regional recipes declined for vegans! I just would want to try them all!
Hey, I think that 26 pounds a year is a GREAT loss! I have been at this for over a year and only lost 20!!! so if you can stick with your slow loss, you are definitely getting somewhere!!
Personally I admire your way of loosing: I know I reach weight plateaus and often regain some of the weight back. For me loosing quickly is the way to go since I do not have enough willpower to strech my efforts for long periods of time!
I wish you all the best with you healthy diet and thank you for all the enjoyment I get from your recipes!


linda said...

Hey, Deb!
I don't see any contact info for you, so I can't contact you any other way...
Will you email me? lindalpb at hot mail

LT said...

Hi, I just came across your blog and am very excited to find it. I live in your same city. Mind if I ask what the name of the Vietnamese restaurant is?

Spice Island Vegan said...

Hi It,

Sorry, I haven't checked my blogs for a while.

I would recomment Au Lac. Check this out



Anke said...

Hi, I just came across this blog and the recipes are simply amazing. wow. I'll be visiting this site frequently :-)