Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chinese Style TVP

There are many ways in which to prepare textured vegetable protein (TVP), from Asian to Indian, Italian to American.  It is an incredibly versatile product with a texture that is reminiscent of pork meat (dare I say). 

You can purchase TVP at most large grocery stores and various Asian markets. It comes dried either in a package or in bulk sections and is very inexpensive.  There are various shapes and sizes.  Choose one that looks good to you!  I've tried all sorts and my preference is for the flat chunks.

This recipe is for a Chinese-inspired TVP dish which uses soy and 5 spice powder.   5 spice powder gives it a distinctive Chinese flavor and the sauce has that shine that you see in many Chinese dishes. 

For 4-6 servings.

  • 1 cup TVP chunks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cups water, plus 1 cup extra
  • 1 celery stock, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
  • oil for frying


  • Sesame seeds
  • Chopped scallions
  1. In a large bowl, cover TVP chunks with 2 cups of boiled water.  Cover and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the TVP is soft. 
  2. In a measuring cup, combine soy sauce, sugar, 5 spice powder, 1 cup water and corn starch. Stir so that it is uniform.
  3. Heat a large frying pan or wok with a drop of oil.  Add the celery, peppers and carrots and gently fry until they blister.
  4. Drain the TVP, squeezing out any excess moisture with your hands.  Add them to the vegetable mixture and continue to saute.
  5. Season with pepper.
  6. Once lightly brown, add the soy-water mixture.  After a few minutes it will begin to thicken.  Stir constantly so it does not burn.
  7. Serve over steamed rice and garish with extra scallions and sesame seeds.

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