I made this for my people the other day, and it was a HUGE hit. So much so, that I’m sharing the love with all of you. This is a slight adaptation of the “South Carolina Barbecue Tofu Sandwich” recipe on page 114 of the terrific book, Spork-Fed: Super Fun and Flavorful Vegan Recipes from the Sisters of Spork Foods,” by Jenny Engel and Heather Goldberg. For those not familiar with the Spork Sisters, they’re actual sisters who live in Los Angeles and teach fun vegan cooking classes out of their loft. They are passionate about tasty food and love sharing their creations with others. Thankfully for non-Angelenos (and former Angelenos, like myself), they published the aforementioned cookbook. They also created the vegan menu for the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. They’re on a roll!
You should, of course, get your hands on this book, because it’s chock full of yummy recipes that will make you happy. In the meantime, though, I found it online from another blogger who had obtained permission to publish it, so you’re in luck – link at the bottom. The blog in question is called Living On The Vedge, and this was the first time I’d come across it. While it doesn’t look currently active, it has some nice recipes and posts in its archives that look worth exploring.
Back to the recipe… The key to it is the home-made “South Carolina” barbecue sauce. I often used (note the past tense) bottled barbecue sauce for my bbq needs. Never again. Not only is the home-made sauce exponentially superior to anything I’ve ever tasted from a bottle, but it’s really not difficult or especially time-consuming to make at all. Of course it takes a bit more time than popping the cap off a bottle, but I cannot emphasize enough how absolutely worth the (minimal) effort it is to create. The sauce is sweet and tangy and just a bit spicy and super, duper delicious.
The sauce is comprised of onion, garlic, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, vegan Worcestershire sauce and a nice array of herbs and spices (salt, black pepper, allspice, celery seed, dry mustard powder, cayenne pepper). Those are simmered into a rich, sticky batch of heaven. According to the recipe, you can get away with only simmering it for 5 to 10 minutes if you’re in a hurry. But, of course, “the longer the sauce is cooked, the better the flavor.” So if you’re not in a hurry, let it sit.
The recipe calls for creating a sandwich using tofu, which I’m sure is perfectly delightful. However, Mr. Man adores Soy Curls, so I opted to use them instead. If you’re not sure what Soy Curls are, here’s a link to their manufacturer:
They come in a dried state and need to be reconstituted in water or broth or some other liquid. Once they’ve plumped up, they’re ready to take on any sauce you want to throw their way.
I mixed the Soy Curls in with the barbecue sauce until the curls were heated through and had absorbed some of the wonderful flavor.
Put the barbecue on the tasty roll of your choice and top with whatever you choose. I kept it simple, just putting some Vegenaise on the rolls, but lettuce or tomato or avocado would have been delightful, too.
Everything you need to make this: