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Vegan Dragon Chicken Soycurls  – a plant-based twist on a Indo-Chinese classic that is easy to make with simple ingredients.

vegan dragon chicken soycurls served over rice sprinkled with green onions

Continuing with fabulous and interesting Indian fare with this vegan spin on Dragon Chicken – chewy soy curls in a sweet and spicy sauce that is deliciously good. A mouth watering Indo-Chinese vegan dinner that is rich in flavor and taste and unique. Indo- Chinese is an extensive subcuisine of Indian cuisine with various fusion dishes like meat or cauliflower manchurian, Chili paneer or meats,  Indo Chinese styles of fried rice, noodles, chopsuey, veggie stir fries and more. Yes there are Indian restaurants dedicated to just this fusion cuisine. There are more vegan versions coming to the blog this year!

This dish can be served as a starter but I usually serve it for lunch or dinner. It can be easily made at home when you crave a restaurant-style take-out.

chopped spring onions sprinkled over soycurls in a sauteeing pan

Like many Indochinese restaurant-style dishes, this one is uses fairly easily available ingredients to make at home. It’s mostly the garlic, the bell peppers, and cashew nuts, soy sauce, black pepper, chilies and ketchup that deliver unique sweet and spicy notes to this dish.

what is dragon chicken ?

Dragon chicken is a fusion dish usually made with battered chicken that is fried and then tossed in a spicy sauce.
For the vegan version we use soycurls that are marinated then battered and baked or panfried then tossed in the fiery sauce.

vegan soycurls with bell peppers and cashew nuts served over rice

More Stir-fries:

Dragon Chicken Soycurls (Indo-Chinese Recipe)

5 from 34 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Dragon Chicken Soycurls  - a vegan twist on Indo-Chinese restaurant classic. Soycurls are Marinated and baked then tossed in a fiery spicy sweet cashew pepper sauce. Glutenfree.
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Ingredients 
 

  • 4 ounces dry soycurls
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth , heated to hot

For the marinade:

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, , use tamari for Glutenfree
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or Indian red chili powder, or use 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika for less heat
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste or finely minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste or finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons oil divided
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews or use roasted
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 dried red chilis, use Indian red or cayenne for hot , california red or Kashmiri chilies or mild
  • 1/4 cup white parts of green onion, reserve the green part for garnish
  • 1/2 green bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or use tamari for gluten free
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek, or use Asian chili sauce of choice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • green onion for garnish

Instructions 

  • Soak your soy curls in the hot vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes. Then drain really well and squeeze out a bit of the excess water. Add to a bowl
  • Marinade: Then to the bowl, add the soy sauce, black pepper, cayenne/chili powder , ginger, and garlic paste, oil  and toss well to coat. Then sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss well to coat the soycurls.
  • Distribute the soy curls over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (206 c) for 15-20 minutes or until crisp to preference. You can also pan-fry these in a skillet with 1-2 teaspoon oil until they're crisp on the edges. Set aside
  • Make the sauce: add 1 teaspoon oil to a skillet then add cashews if they're not roasted and roast for 3-4 minutes until golden then remove from the skillet. If they're already roasted, then skip this step.
  • Add the other teaspoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and dried red chilis and cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden.
  • Then add in the white parts of green onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and a good pinch of salt and mix well and cook until the peppers are starting to turn golden on some of the edges but still crunchy. 2 mins
  • Then add in soy sauce and ketchup and sambal oelek, sugar and black pepper and mix well. Mix cornstarch in water and  Add to the skillet and bring to a boil.  Then add in the crisped soy curls and toasted cashews and toss well then immediately serve over rice. Garnish with some green onion.

Video

Notes

  • For extra sauce, you can add in 1 cup of water instead of 1/3 cup and additional 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in and bring to a boil. This will add additional sauce to the soy curls.
  • For nut-free, omit cashews and use pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds 
  • Soycurl substitute: Use seitan or other vegan chicken subs or jackfruit(squeeze all brine out of jackfruit). Skip soaking in stock. Add to the marinade, then bake or panfry and proceed 
  • soy chunks : they are chewier and need longer soak in hot or boiling water/broth(soak according to instructions on package). After the soak, chop them smaller so that they absorb more of the marinade and then proceed 

Nutrition

Calories: 236kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 720mg, Potassium: 314mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 952IU, Vitamin C: 66mg, Calcium: 119mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

vegan soycurls tossed with sweet and spicy gravy, cashew nuts and bell peppers

Ingredients:

  • bell pepper: Green, yellow or red peppers that give a crunchy and sweet note to your dish. You could either mix and match or can stick with one variety
  • Stir-frying cashew nuts along with dry red chilies, ginger and garlic gives crunchy and spicy flavors to the cashews as well
  • sauce: soy sauce, ketchup, and sambal oelek are the main ingredients that you will need to make the final sauce
  • a touch of sugar is added for sweetness
  • the sauce is thickened with a small amount of cornstarch

Tips:

  • For extra sauce, you can add in 1 cup of water instead and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed in and bring to a boil. This will add additional sauce to the soy curls.
  • Even though I have used sambel oelek in moderate quantity, you could increase it to satisfy your craving for spicy takeout foods
  • This vegan dragon chicken tastes best when served warm and fresh out of the frying pan.

ingredients for making vegan dragon chicken soycurls

How to make Vegan Dragon Chicken:

redydrated chicken soycurls sprinkled with spices

Soak your soy curls in the hot vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes. Then drain really well and squeeze out a bit of the excess water. Add to a bowl

rehydrated soycurls sprinkled with spices

Then to the bowl, add the soy sauce, black pepper, cayenne/chili powder, ginger, and garlic paste, oil and toss well to coat. Then sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss well to coat the soy curls.

vegan soycurls sprinkled with cornstarch in a bowls

 

soaked soycurls with spices

soy curls on a baking sheet

Distribute the soy curls over a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (206 c) for 15-20 minutes or until crisp to preference. You can also pan-fry these in a skillet with 1-2 teaspoon oil until they’re crisp on the edges. Set aside.

cashew nuts in a sauteeing pan

Make the sauce: add 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet then add cashews if they’re not roasted and roast for 3-4 minutes until golden then remove from the skillet. If they’re already roasted, then skip this step.

chili and garlic in a black sauteeing pan

Add the other teaspoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and dried red chilis and cook until the garlic is starting to turn golden.

sauteeing pan with minced garlic and chile

Then add in the white parts of green onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and a good pinch of salt and mix well and cook until the peppers are starting to turn golden on some of the edges but still crunchy. 2 mins.

bell peppers spring onions and garlic in a frying pan

Then add in soy sauce and ketchup and sambal oelek, sugar and black pepper and mix well.

soy sauce and sambal olek being added to a frying pan

Mix cornstarch and water, Add to the skillet and bring to a boil.

chili sauce and soy sauce being added to a frying pan

Then add in the crisped soy curls and toasted cashews and toss well then immediately serve over rice.

soycurls and cashew nuts being added to stir-fried veggies

Garnish with some green onion.

soycurls, cashews and bell peppers mixed with sweet and spicy sauce in a frying pan

Garnish with some green onion. These soy curls are crispiest when just done , so toss in the sauce and serve immediately.

Even if you do serve them later, the texture is still great and it makes a fabulous dry-ish side.

vegan dragon chicken soycurls in a frying pan

 

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 34 votes (1 rating without comment)

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78 Comments

  1. Vicky Rowe says:

    5 stars
    This was quick and delicious to make, yet another one that was a big hit with the family.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      So glad to hear it!

  2. Deb Earnshaw says:

    5 stars
    I made this the other day using Richmond frozen roasted “chick’n” pieces, and it was excellent!
    Will definitely make again.
    Thank you!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Super! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  3. Stefanie says:

    5 stars
    Ohhhhh that was soooo delicious as per usual. Thank you for your recipes, it was my first time using soy curls and definitely not the last!!!!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      So glad you liked it!

  4. Carly says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is out of this world. Best thing Ive ever made. This is my first experience with soy curls. Yum is an understatement !! I adore Vegan Richa’s recipes and this one has stolen my heart, my family’s heart, and it was gone in a flash! Make this. Right now!!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Good to hear! Thank you.

  5. Julia says:

    5 stars
    This was excellent! Fairly easy to make and just so flavorful and good…definitely a keeper!

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      awesome! thanks so much for your kind comment!