All-Purpose Plant Steak

The challenge: store-bought, plant-based ‘meats’ are pre-seasoned, heavily salted, and flavor-skewed. I’m talking about the Beyond Beefs, Impossible Chickens, and Beefless Tips of the world. You serve a purpose, but you’re not “all-purpose.”

All-Purpose Plant Steak

All-Purpose Plant Steak

Craig Dugas
A blank slate plant steak with minimal ingredients and a flavor profile similar to unseasoned, medium-cooked beef.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Rest Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Ingredient
Servings 4


  • cups water
  • ¼ tsp beetroot powder
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp Vegemite (this really does make a difference, and I recommend Vegemite over Marmite in this recipe)
  • 1 pinch activated charcoal (about 1/16 tsp to 1/8 tsp, optional for color)
  • 2 tsp mushroom powder (white button is my favorite, shiitake and porcini also work)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (Wizard's brand is vegan and delicious)
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder
  • 4 oz soy curls (or TVP)


  • Add all ingredients except for the soy curls to a pot.
  • Whisk over medium heat until vegemite is fully dissolved and liquid is near boiling.
  • Fold in dry soy curls, and simmer, stirring occasionally until all liquid is absorbed/evaporated.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
All-Purpose Plant Steak and Rolling Pin
All-Purpose Plant Steak and Rolling Pin + Light Seasoning

A Real-World Example

You can’t just add your favorite taco seasoning to Beyond Beef. That’s because, and I just looked this up, a serving of Beyond Beef has 390mg sodium. A serving of raw ground beef isn’t sodium free, but it’s also not 390mg. So if you add your taco seasoning to Beyond Beef, you end up with Beyond Salted, Beyond Off-Tasting taco meat. Barf.

A Recipe that Nobody Asked For…

… because this recipe is for creatives in the kitchen. It’ll probably never come up in a Google search because what term would you even search for? By itself, it has a reminiscent taste of, well, ‘medium’ cooked unseasoned steak. It’s not meant to match that exactly, it’s meant to provide a new slate for some steak-y recipes.

All-Purpose Plant Steak

A neutral base for your culinary creativity.

This minimally-seasoned, ready-to-customize, ‘medium’, all-purpose plant steak recipe transforms soy curls or TVP to convert their light flavors to mimic the flavor of unseasoned steak. It’s a versatile base that absorbs whatever seasonings and sauces you bring to the table… a plant-based ingredient that truly complements your recipes, rather than competing with them.

A Little More Detail

This project was no small feat. I conducted numerous tests, trying to nail that subtle acidity that characterizes slightly rare meat. After trials with various vinegars and finding them a bit too assertive, I recalled an old friend turned unexpected hero – cream of tartar. This often-overlooked ingredient added just the right touch of clean-tasting, slightly sour flavor profile, enhancing the ‘meatiness’ of the plant steak without overwhelming your palate. I really thought red wine vinegar was going to be the way to go, but in the end, even a tiny amount was just overpowering.

All-Purpose Plant Steak delivers a new level of control and customization in your kitchen. Given the use of Vegemite and Worcestershire sauce, it’s not sodium-free. I tried to work through versions without those ingredients but nothing held up as well to the desired goal. But, it so turns out that beef steak itself is not free of sodium, so I suppose there is that.

All-Purpose Plant Steak
All-Purpose Plant Steak

Let’s Connect!

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