Vegetarian chorizo (Soyrizo)
This week, we’re making a vegetarian version of homemade Mexican chorizo. Mexican chorizo is traditionally made of ground pork mixed with spices. Chorizo is not usually eaten on its own (though, you can), but it’s a wonderful addition to other ingredients like potatoes, eggs, or beans for delicious breakfast tacos; you can also dress it up more and make a nice lunch or dinner with chorizo or mix it with queso for a yummy dip. Chorizo is the best!
There are 2 main reasons why I decided to make this myself: 1) the store bought chorizo that I find at my nearby stores is not the best quality, it is often too greasy and not very flavorful 2) store bought chorizo is super high in calories/WW points, mainly because of all the fat in it. Also, Amit wasn’t a fan of regular chorizo so I thought I’d give it a try with the vegetarian version.
For this soyrizo, I bought soya granules from the Indian grocery store. Here’s a picture of the box. They had a generic version of this, but I’ve tried Nutrela soya chunks before and I like their quality, so I decided to go for the Nutrela granules.
To cook the soya granules, add them to boiling water for a couple of minutes. It doesn’t look very appetizing at this stage. I included this not-so-pretty picture so you can see what I’m talking about. Don’t get discouraged by the looks of this, trust me, it will be delicious!
It took several attempts to get the right ratio of chiles, basically all the attempts were tasty but I was looking for a very specific flavor: I wanted to re-create the chorizo that my grandma used when I was growing up. If you can’t find the chiles that I’ve listed, feel free to experiment with various red dried chiles - the flavor profile will change, but the end result will still be a yummy soyrizo.
The best way to bring out the flavors from dried red chiles is to toast them. You have to be careful, though, as they burn easily. Just a few seconds per side on a hot skillet will do. You will immediately start to smell the aroma being released from the chiles.
After roasting them, I re-hydrated them in hot water for a couple of minutes then added them to a food processor with the spices. If you’re having trouble with the blending process, you can add some of the cooked and drained soya granules to the food processor, that will help. You can also add a bit of water, but be careful not to add too much, you don’t want wet chorizo.
The key to a good chorizo, whether with soy or pork, is to have lots of fragrant spices. When you make your own chorizo, you can adjust the spices to your liking and I think this was one of the main reason why I couldn’t get satisfactory chorizo from the store - they all tasted kinda muted when it came to spices. My homemade soyrizo was full of flavor and spice and it tasted so good, I didn’t even miss the grease or the meat.
This soyrizo recipe is intended to give you a chorizo ready to cook with; meaning that it does take an additional cooking step to get it to be ready for consumption. I usually make a large (or extra large!) batch and then separate it into “weekly” amounts and put them in the freezer. At the beginning of the week, I thaw enough for the week and leave the rest in the freezer; this way, I have homemade soyrizo ready to go any time.
In the future, we’ll use this recipe to create more dishes, so keep this in your favorites tab. We have tried breakfast tacos (potato/soyrizo, bean/soyrizo, egg/soyrizo). We’ve also tried chori-queso - yum! - and we’re currently experimenting with fusion recipes. Stay tuned!
We love to hear from you, let us know what you think of this soyrizo.
- 1 cup dry soya granules (I used Nutrela)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 7 dried guajillo chiles (cleaned, veins/stem/seeds removed)
- 3 dried pasilla chiles (cleaned, veins/stem/seeds removed)
- 5 dried arbol chiles (clean, with seeds but stem removed)
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 4 cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
2. Add dry soya granules to boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Drain the water from the soya. Allow to cool.
4. Once the soya is cool enough to handle, remove excess water by pressing fistfuls of soya granules with your hands to squeeze the water out. Set aside.
5. Pre-heat a skillet to medium-high heat. Carefully place 2-3 dry chiles at a time on the skillet to toast. It only takes seconds to toast each side, if you leave them longer they will burn. Once both sides are toasted, remove from the skillet.
6. Re-hydrate the toasted chiles in hot water for a couple of minutes. Cut into smaller pieces.
7. Pulse the cut rehydrated chiles along with the apple cider vinegar and all the spices in a food processor until fully blended. If you’re having trouble getting the food processor to grind the chiles, add some of the cooked soya (a couple of tablespoons) to the food processor. If needed, add some water, but be careful not to add too much.
8. Mix the chile and the cooked soya until all the soya is covered in red.
9. The final step is to use this soyrizo the same way you would use uncooked store-bought chorizo. Remember: this has no fat so you’ll need add cooking spray or oil to cook it. If you’re not planning to cook all the soyrizo at once, you can freeze the rest.
Enjoy this soyrizo with potatoes, beans, or eggs for a delicious breakfast or with queso for a yummy dip. Buen provecho!