Spicy Orange Soycurl “Beef” & Broccoli
Soy Curls is an exciting new product made of dried whole soybeans, its only ingredient. It really does have the chewy texture of meat, so if you are new to a plant-based lifestyle and are really missing animal protein, this may help you over the hump. It is fantastic in chili and many other dishes that could benefit from a little more texture. One of the foods I’ve missed since adopting a whole foods plant-based lifestyle over six years ago is a Chinese dish called Orange Beef.
One of the meals I’ve missed in the six-plus years since adopting a whole foods plant-based lifestyle is a Chinese dish called Spicy Orange Beef. It was not so much the meat I was missing but the chewy texture of strips smothered in a bold, sweet, zesty ginger-orange sauce with a backdrop of spicy heat. I have come spectacularly close to recreating it with this recipe featuring soy curls.
Spicy Orange Soycurl "Beef" & Broccoli
- 2 cups brown basmati rice or short grained brown rice
- 2 1/2 cups water if preparing in Instant Pot
- 3 cups water if preparing on stovetop
Spicy Orange Soycurl "Beef"
- 1 package soy curls
- 3 Tablespoons ginger freshly minced
- 3 large cloves garlic freshly minced
- 2 - 3 large oranges juiced (should be about a cup) may substitute 1/3 cup frozen orange juice
- 2 - 3 large orange zest
- 6 - 8 whole thai chili peppers stems on (or substitute crushed red pepper)
- 1 Tablespoon crushed red peppers
- 1/2 cup molasses organic, unsufured
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar loosely packed
- 1 Tablespoons sweet brown rice vinegar** or 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce may substitute tamari
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 - 1 cup water divided
- 1 medium orange sliced, for garnish
- 4 - 5 cups broccoli florets and stems
- 6 cups water boiling
- Make Brown Rice at least 30 minutes in advance;
- IP Brown Rice: Rinse brown rice and drain. Transfer to Instant Pot. Add water. Cover and put vent in closed position. Set IP on Manual. If you are making basmati brown rice, set timer on 12 min. If making short-grained brown rice, set timer on 22 min. Either way, use natural release.
- Stovetop Brown Rice: Rinse brown rice and drain. Transfer to medium saucepan with a lid. Add water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low simmer. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Turn off heat, fluff with fork and allow to rest covered for five minutes.
Spicy Orange Soycurl "Beef" and Broccoli Preparation:
- Cover Soy Curls in water in a medium-pan for 10 minutes. Place plate on top to hold curls underneath water. Drain and discard liquid. Set aside.
- Mince ginger and garlic and set aside. Zest and juice oranges and set zest aside.
- Transfer juice to a 2-cup measuring cup. This should make about one cup orange juice. If it doesn't make a full cup, add water to bring the liquid measure to one cup. You can choose to fill with more orange juice rather than water for a stronger flavor.
- Bring a covered two-quart saucepan of water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and keep on stove until needed.
- Wash broccoli. Peel stems and cut into bite-sized pieces (about 1/4 by 1-inch). Cut florets into bite-size pieces. Transfer to a medium saucepan and set inside your sink. Have a strainer ready.
- Transfer minced ginger and garlic, and soaked soy curls to a large non-stick sauté pan. Stir on medium heat for one minute.
- Stir molasses and brown sugar into soy curl mixture. Continue stirring on medium heat until soy curls are dark and thickly coated with the molasses mixture, adding a little water as needed to prevent scorching.
- Add the Thai chili peppers and orange zest. Continue to stir until mixture has thickened.
- Stir cornstarch, soy sauce, and sweet brown rice vinegar into orange juice until smooth and lump-free. Stir into soy curl mixture. Allow to thicken, stirring constantly to prevent clumping. Use some of the remaining water to thin sauce if necessary.
- Carefully remove simmering water from stove and take over to sink. Pour over broccoli stems and florets in saucepan. Set water pan out of the way. In ten to fifteen seconds, drain broccoli in colander or strainer.
- Transfer broccoli to soy curl mixture and stir in to combine or plate next to the soy curl beef.
- Serve hot with a side of steaming brown basmati rice.
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It tasted great before I added the grated orange rind. The orange rind was so bitter that I feel it ruined it:( Next time I will leave it out or use just a pinch. I don’t like spicy so I used only 1/2 tsp ginger powder & 1/8 tsp garlic powder, and omitted the red pepper. It was hard to eat with all that orange rind in there & I recommend using much less.
Thank you for your comments and for trying my recipe. I’m surprised you found the orange zest bitter. It usually adds sweetness and a deeper orange flavor, much like candied orange peel. I can think of only two reasons this could have happened: 1- if you used a non-organically grown orange. (I can easily taste the bitterness of the pesticides used in non-organically grown fruit) and 2- if, when you zested your orange, you included too much of the white pith underneath the rind. This will also cause your zest to taste bitter. It’s also possible that you just don’t like orange zest. To each his own. There is a product you can use that I really love called Boyajian Orange Oil, which is the oil from the zest of over 200 organically grown oranges. A five-ounce bottle will last years. This is a very powerful oil, so be careful to not overdo it. You can find it on Amazon. The max I use in this recipe is three drops. I suggest you start with one since you don’t seem to be a fan of orange zest. It’s perfectly fine to adjust recipes to your personal tastes. I consider all recipes template to be transformed by the preparer according to their whims. Good luck!
I made this tonight for my family of five including three small children. It was a bit too spicy for the kids, even though I omitted the thai peppers. Next time I will reduce the crushed peppers. I also cooked my rice and broccoli together using a rice cooker with steamer basket so that saved a lot of steps as written. Overall this helped with my craving for Chinese food and tasted good. With some modifications, I think this will be added to our meal rotation. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for taking the time to share your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed my recipe and now have a Chinese fix!
I LOVE this recipe!!! My fiancee found it and ever since eat it about once a month. It’s a perfect fix for when I’m craving Chinese food. It’s as close to orange “beef” broccoli that I’ll ever find. SO good and not too time-consuming at all, a really simple recipe, actually! Cheers!
Thank you, Biz! I love this recipe too, and I’m always so pleased to hear to learn that someone else has fallen in love with it as well. Thanks so much for your feedback. You made my day! Happy Cooking! Danielle