#2023 #thanksgiving #amazing #vegan #turkey #cutlets #shredded #soycurls #glutenfree #oilfree #wfpb
Plant-Based Turkey Cutlets
- 2 ounces soy curls
- 2 tbsp oat flour (or other binder, such as rice flour, corn flour (masa harina), cornstarch, etc.)
- 4 sheets small rice paper (or 2 large, see notes)
- ½ tsp plant-based chicken bouillon powder
- 1-2 tsp water
- Add all 'Turkey-Inspired Broth' ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, add soy curls, turn off heat, stir. Cover for 10 minutes (stirring once after a few minutes).
- Shred soy curls (see video in notes).
- Add oat flour (or other binder) to soy curls and mix well with your hands. Really squeeze it all together! They should stick together, but only just. If it's too dry, add a tiny amount of water to your hands until it just sticks!
- Dip rice paper in water for about 10 seconds, and put it on a cutting board. Take a small handful of the mixture (1/4 of it) and form a dense cutlet. Set it on the center of the rice paper, and when the rice paper is sufficiently pliable, wrap it around the cutlet. Wrap it tightly, trying not to break the paper (it's ok if it breaks). Repeat with the remaining cutlets.
- Make your herb baste. Simply mix the vegan chicken bouillon powder with water until it's just thinned out!
- Air fry on parchment at 390-400℉ 8 minutes, then baste, and air fry 4 more minutes or until desired brownness and crispiness.You could also oven bake or cook in a skillet. NOTE: I highly recommend using parchment paper. Until you feel confident in the rice paper not sticking, you an also dust with a little bit of rice flour (which slightly alters the appearance) and they will not stick, I do this all the time!!
- Create a turkey-inspired broth
- Rehydrate soy curls
- Shred soy curls
- Add binder to soy curls
- Rehydrate rice paper
- Form a dense cutlet with your hands
- Wrap in rice paper
- Optional: initial baste (do this if you want the skin to have extra flavor)
- Air fry (or bake, or cook on a skillet)
- Finish cooking
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About These Vegan Turkey Cutlets
For a few years now, I’ve been experimenting and dreaming of ways to replicate some meaty tastes and textures with whole foods. Enter: soy curls. I don’t cook with soy curls as much as I used to, but I still do sometimes. I continue to use them because they’re so versatile, and I do appreciate the minimally processed nature of them. I’ve spent too much time searching for something to replicate turkey flavor, only to realize that’s not the direction I want. I want to replicate the experience.
Not the experience of carving a turkey; that’s a pain in the ass. I never liked doing it. The culinary experience of a dense, meatless, meaty, herb-infused cutlet that’s wrapped in a fat-free fatty/slightly-tough/crispy basted skin (made with our good friend rice paper). It’s actually wicked simple!
The Strategy Comes Together
I’ve been doing the shredded soy curls thing for a while, but the best binder to date has been the less-than-ideal methylcellulose. After making some millet quenelles in a recipe shared by @chris_vege_95, a fantastic individual I met on Instagram, I realized I don’t need some perfect meaty binder, I just need a simple binder.
In his recipe, @chris_vege_95 uses chickpea flour to bring already sticky millet into a hearty quenelle. Impressive, no doubt. So I tested with chickpea flour and masa harina (fine corn flour). Chickpea flour works well in his recipe, but it is overpowering in this one. I liked the masa harina. It’s got a distinct corn presence, but let’s be honest, corn tastes better than turkey every did, and the lightly seasoned soy curls as well as the basted rice paper skin are still the stars.
And The Winning Binder Goes To…
I was really impressed with this simple cutlet. It tasted good warm, cold, even at room temperature! So, I tested more binders out of sheer curiosity, and the clear winner was shocking: oat flour. Somehow that underlying oat warmth CRUSHES it here, but if you don’t have oat flour, there are so many options that I tried in micro batches that are wonderful. I tested them all in the same ratio (1 tbsp binder to 1 dry ounce soy curls, rehydrated in broth) and that worked out just fine!
- Oat flour
- Rice flour
- Corn flour (masa harina)
I’ve been trying to get to something like this for a long time. Something hearty and satisfying that doesn’t require weird ingredients and doesn’t taste weird. Honestly, I can’t believe how simple it ended up being. A lot of what we make seems lost in mish-mash of ingredients (shout out to my plant-based sour cream!), and the most important takeaway I’ve had so far is to strive for simplicity, but accept complexity when necessary.