Learn how to make vegan jerky at home! It’s a cheap, gluten-free, easy-to-prepare recipe packed with plant-based protein and bursting with flavor. Plus, it has the perfect chewy ‘meat’-like texture that classic jerky has without the meat!
This jerky is perfect for snacking on and great for an on-the-go snack as it is mess-free and light!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Soy Curls: The star of this vegan jerky is Butler’s Soy Curls, which is a soy-based, non-GMO vegan meat alternative. We purchase ours at a local health food store, but they are also available online. These make for the perfect substitution for beef in this vegan jerky. Once the marinade is cooked down into them and dried out, they have the same chewy and semi-tough meat consistency as beef jerky, with a pop of adobo flavor.
Vegan Beef Broth: Adds “beefy” flavor without using meat. We like to use this one.
Soy Sauce: The salty, umami-packed flavor bomb of a condiment helps this barbecue build depth of flavor. You can also opt for tamari, which tastes like soy sauce, but is gluten-free.
Vinegar: We used apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works.
Oil: We like to use a high-heat neutral oil like avocado oil for pan-frying.
Brown Sugar: A sweetness that balances out both the acid and heat in this recipe.
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce: Typically, Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies, but this brand is fish free and a great vegan option.
Spices: to elevate the other flavors in this dish, we add garlic powder, ground ginger, and onion powder.
Chili Garlic Sauce: To add a pop of spice. If you cannot access this, you can opt for sriracha to taste or even a few pinches of red pepper flakes.
Aromatics: Simple yet essential aromatic flavor base to start this dish right. This dish includes two crucial ingredients in adobo: whole black peppercorns and bay leaves.
What is Adobo?
The noun adobo is used to describe a marinade or seasoning mix, and different forms of adobo exist in different cultures.
While the Filipino adobo dish and adobo in Spanish cuisine share similar characteristics, they refer to different things with different cultural roots. Filipino adobo was developed entirely independent of Spanish influence.
Filipino adobo refers to the cooking process indigenous to the Philippines. The main ingredients of Filipino adobo are soy sauce, vinegar, black peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic. It is both salty and sour in flavor. It has been considered the unofficial national dish in the Philippines.
The marinade for this recipe is based on a traditional Filipino Adobo (check out our recipe here) with a few added flavors to make it more jerky-like. It has the perfect balance of salty, sour, sweet, and umami and is a flavor bomb in your mouth in the best way!
Large bowl, for marinating
Large cast-iron skillet, for cooking
Tongs or slotted spoon, for scooping out the soy curls
Learn how to make vegan jerky at home! It’s a cheap, gluten-free, easy-to-prepare snack packed with plant-based protein and bursting with flavor. Plus, it has the perfect chewy ‘meat’-like texture that classic jerky has without the meat!
In a large bowl, mix the hot water and bouillon paste. Once uniform, combine soy sauce (or tamari), white vinegar, vegan Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce, garlic powder, ground ginger, and onion powder.
Add in the soy curls and give everything a good mix. Set it aside for 15 minutes to allow it to marinate and soften up.
In the meantime, heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add in the oil. Once warm, add the bay leaves and black peppercorns and toast for a few minutes, or until the bay leaves start to become golden.
Begin scooping in the soy curls, squeezing/shaking off any excess liquid (but do not discard!)—cook for 2 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
Preheat the oven to 220F.
Add in ⅓ cup of the marinade and cook. Once the first batch of the liquid cooks off, add the next and continue this process until you have cooked off all of the liquid. Make sure you cook off the full ⅓ cup before adding in the next batch!
Once the liquid has cooked off, spread the soy curls out evenly in your cast iron skillet (or transfer them to a baking sheet) and place them in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, give them a mix and continue cooking them in 20-minute batches until they are dried out and jerky-like. This process should take around 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Remove the jerky from the oven and allow it to cool. Dig in!
Because of the sodium content in the broth and soy sauce, we don’t add additional salt, but you can add some to taste as needed based on your taste preferences.
If you don’t have garlic chili sauce, you can opt for sriracha or your favorite hot sauce. You can even use fresh hot peppers and add them into the marinade as well.
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