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Recipe – Sweet and sour TVP

Heads up. This feels to me like a bit of a cheat because I used a pre-made sauce. But it is lockdown. And it is time to use what is in the cupboard. So with those caveats in place here’s what I made.

So I assembled an onion, a handful of mushrooms, some glorious rhubarb chard, a jar of TVP chunks and a packet of sweet and sour sauce.

But before we get a pan on the go let’s wind back to the morning when I began to prep the TVP.

Making TVP taste better – part 1

Previously I’ve always soaked TVP in a bowl. And returned to stir it on a regular basis. But recently I’ve been experimenting with adding it to a jar.

Key things about this:

You can shake the jar up like you would a cocktail shaker to ensure each cube gets a marinade coating.

Or you can put the jar on its side and roll it for a similar effect.

I used some bacon style seasoning because it was what I had and I thought it would go well with the sweet and sour sauce. Previously I’ve experimented with blends of Marmite, stock cubes and various seasoning in powder form.

Make sure you leave enough space for the TVP to expand. The photo of the jar above was taken a few minutes after adding liquid and doing my first shake. If you then look at the first photo in this post you’ll see that it has almost filled the jar.

Making TVP taste better – part 2

It’s time to start cooking! So grab a pan and empty the entire contents of the jar in.

Yes that right chuck it all into the pan. You don’t need to add any extra oil or liquid at this stage. What you’re trying to do is dry out the TVP while retaining all the flavour.

Cook it until it starts to get a little bit brown. I often add splashes of water to stop it sticking at this point. And that’s a splash of water – not a torrent!

Feel free to try a cube at this point so you can find out how tasty they are!

Back to the recipe…

From here on it’s all straight forward.

Add the onions…

Then chuck in the mushrooms. Add splashes of water as needed. Put the chard on top of the pan for a few minutes until it wilts then stir it in.

Then just stir through the sauce and you’re good to go.

Things to note at this point:

You can use splashes of stock or other liquid to keep things from sticking. I never seem to have stock lying around so it’s water. Or the dregs of salad dressing left in the blender jug blitzed up with a cup or 2 of water.

The pre-made sweet and sour had a pleasing ginger note so I’ll be looking to add this to my homemade one in future.

Time to eat.

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