Soy Curls with Mole Sauce

By Wendy Andresen | Oct 24, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen

Holy moly! (You knew I had to say that.) Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce that usually contains a fruit, chili peppers, nuts, and several spices. Variations are infinite, but the recipe here is fairly simple and not overly spicy. The trick is making the sauce just the right thickness by adding the concentrated mole plus enough broth to form a generous, thick, gravy-like sauce you can sop up with tortillas. I like serving mole with warmed flour tortillas and avocado halves with balsamic, but feel free to put it over rice instead, or maybe you’d prefer a green salad with avocado slices. You’ll want to add salt somewhere along the way, but I always hesitate to say how much because tastes vary so greatly.


2 cups vegetable broth

4 ounces soy curls, such as Butler’s

4 Tbsp. canola oil, divided

1 small slice of bread, roughly torn

1 corn tortilla, torn up, or 2 Tbsp. cornmeal

1/2 cup coarsely chopped onions

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup chili powder

2 Tbsp. peanut butter

2 tsp. sesame seeds

1/8 tsp. cumin

1/8 tsp. cloves

1/8 tsp. coriander

1 square unsweetened chocolate

3 cups thinly sliced bell peppers

1 cup thinly sliced onions

Salt to taste


1. In a saucepan, heat the vegetable broth until very hot, add the soy curls, and remove from the heat to soak for half an hour.

2. Place the bread, cornmeal, chopped onions, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth.

3. Heat a sauté pan, add 2 Tbsp. canola, and fry the ingredients from the food processor until scorched (but not totally incinerated, please). The scorched flavor is essential.

4. To the sauté pan, add the orange juice, chili powder, peanut butter, sesame seeds, cumin, cloves, coriander, and chocolate. Cook and stir over low heat until smooth, adding a little broth from the soy curls if it’s too thick to mix well. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. This is your concentrated mole sauce.

5. Drain the soy curls and wring out as much of the broth as possible. Save this broth!

6. In the same sauté pan (no need to clean it first), add 2 Tbsp. oil, pepper and onion slices, and soy curls. Cook them until well browned, stirring occasionally.

7. Add about a cup of broth to the sauté pan along with about 1/2 cup of the mole sauce. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens and coats the vegetables. Add more broth and more mole sauce as needed to make a generous, fairly thick coating for the vegetables. You’ll probably have mole sauce left over, and maybe some broth, and you can freeze it for next time. Add salt to taste, depending on the saltiness of the broth you used.

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