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.
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
- 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.
- If using soy curls, reconstitute them with 2 1/4 cups of hot water for 10 minutes. Then, squeeze the water out.
- 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.
- Mix the seasoning sauce with the veg protein (reconstituted tvp or soy cutlets) to marinade for at least 1 hour.
- 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.
- Heat your indoor bbq grill or a heavy skillet like a cast iron, high heat.
- 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.
- 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 (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.
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 www.butlerfoods.com