Textured Vegetable Protein, or TVP, is a versatile, high-protein soy product that takes on the flavour of whatever you marinate it in. Its texture is similar to well-cooked beef or pork, and is sometimes used in place of ground meat by restaurants and cafeterias because of its low cost. TVP is surprisingly inexpensive! One dollar of TVP can be transformed into several meals and feed many people, making it an amazing, cost-efficient, and delicious ingredient to use!
I created this recipe with little food in my house. I had TVP, miso paste, lemongrass, and a few salad vegetables. It was raining and I didn’t want to go to the market. So I put everything together and was so pleasantly surprised!
1 cup TVP chunks (not the small grains)
2 stalks of lemongrass
2 cloves of garlic
1-inch-long knob of ginger
2 small chilli peppers
2 tablespoons of miso paste
2 tablespoons of either rice flour/corn starch/tapioca starch
Oil for frying
Fill a soup pot half way with water. Add the miso, lemongrass stalks, ginger, garlic and chilli peppers. (You don’t have to peel, chop or crush any of them, YEY!) and bring to a boil for 3-4 minutes so that the water infuses with flavour.
Add the TVP and cover with a lid. Continue to boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat and let cool. Strain, but reserve the liquid! Pick out the garlic, ginger, peppers and lemongrass and discard. Squeeze remaining liquid from the TVP. Set aside.
Heat a medium sized frying pan or wok and add a splash of oil. Lightly toss the TVP in the oil till they brown. In a separate cup, dissolve the starch or flour in half a cup of water and mix in with 1 cup of the broth that you saved from before. Add it to the TVP and stir. The starch will thicken into a delicious gravy sauce! Serve with freshly cut vegetables, or in a wrap.