It may not be chorizo, but this veggie equivalent is spicy, packed with flavour and easy to make as long as you have a well stocked cupboard and a reliable mortal and pestle.
I have been going down the US a lot and one of the things that I could not do without was Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. I became obsessed with the stuff and was putting it in absolutely everything. It then occurred to me one day, why don’t I just make it myself? How hard can it really be? The answer is that it is quite easy and because I make it myself, I can play with the spices a little to make something that is even better than my American favourite. I make soy faux chorizo my way!
I have to confess that while the true way to do this would be to rehydrate some TVP and some tofu, I cheat a little (everyone has their flaws). I start with veggie ground. That soy protein ground beef substitute that is already hydrated and ready to go. A word of warning – don’t get the Mexican flavoured one thinking that you can skip even more steps…. it is not good. Get the plan old original one because you are going to be packing so much flavour into this stuff that when you are finished, people won’t even realize that it’s not pork or that you cheated in the least bit.
My second piece of advice, and this is really more life advice than faux chorizo specific, is to have a well stocked spice and chile cupboard. I love to buy dried chiles in bulk and then have a whole section on hand. I have hot ones, mild ones, smoked ones and ones that give almost a raisin taste. You will use them eventually and so it pays to grab them when you can and stock up.
Once you have all of your spices laid out on the counter and the chiles rehydrating in the water, I always feel sense of excitement take over. What would life be without a little spice and herb action? Can you imagine a world where we didn’t know which plants and seeds to pick and grind to make something magical. It sounds ridiculous but it is in these moments as I stand in front of the jars and bags and other random containers that I can start to understand the allure of alchemy and the fascination with spell casting These are more than just ground bits of plant and seeds, these will combine to create something that is going to taste amazing and complex and make you feel great when you eat it. How is that not special? On the other hand, you could just blindly throw them all into the food processor and mortar and pestle and never give it a second thought until the “hey, that’s pretty good” you get when you bite into your taco. Whatever floats your boats my friends…
I can also attest that if you happen to be a meat eater, this mixture of spices works exceptionally well with pork and I usually double the recipe and do half with the soy and half with pork for the rest of the family.
Get in there and spice it up!
Spicy, savoury and the perfect faux chorizo for all of your Mexican food needs (and any other chorizo needs you might have)
- 1 kg or so of veggie ground
- Wet Ingredients-
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 onion
- 1 dried ancho chile
- 1 dried mulato chile
- 3 dried New Mexico chiles
- 2 tbsp chile in adobo
- 1/4 cup black, apple cider or red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Dry Ingredients-
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1.5 tsp cumin seeds (or ground if that is what you have)
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds ( again ground if that is what you have)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice berries
- 3 cloves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp chili powder (I like to use New Mexico molido)
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp cane sugar (half a pellet if you buy it in pellet form
- Place the dried chilis on a bowl and cover with hot water to rehydrate.
- Once rehydrated, remove the stems and seeds from the chilis and place them into a food processors.
- Add all of the other wet ingredients to the food processor and blend until it forms a paste.
- Add of the dry ingredients to a mortal and pestle or a spice grinder and grind to a powder.
- In large bowl, combine the veggie ground, wet paste and the dry spice blend and stir together making sure that it is well combined.
- Leave the faux chorizo in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to marinade but over night is best.
- When you are ready to eat it, heat a pan over medium heat and fry the faux chorizo until is crispness up and becomes fragrant.
- The faux chorizo freezes really well and so make it in bulk sot hat you always have some on hand!
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