My time in the south has been as a vegetarian or vegan, so I haven’t really jumped on board with much of the North Carolina cuisine. BBQ seems to be big here and I don’t know all that much about it. I’ve had BBQ vegan sandwiches before and they were delicious. From what I have gathered (mind you as a vegan who normally doesn’t pay much attention when people speak about meat), there is a playful debate in the state in the style of the BBQ sauce. One seems to be a red sauce with a tomato base and the other seems to be a vinegar base with no tomato.
I am a huge fan of both tomato and vinegar, so either sounds amazing to me. In some of the vegan BBQ sandwiches that I’ve had, I remember a strong vinegar taste and I loved it! I think I’d honestly like them both, cruelty free, of course! For today’s theme, I decided to make up a batch of my homemade BBQ sauce, which has a tomato base and a good amount of vinegar. This might be blasphemous to some native North Carolinian’s, but this is vegan BBQ- anything goes!
In my recreation, I used Butler’s Soy Curls that I ordered online as they are one of my favorite faux meats. They are freeze dried crispy curls that you re-hydrate and then cook as you desire. I have ordered these several times before as I have yet to find them in the area stores. We have been known to use the curls in stir fry, satays, BBQs and sandwiches. I think they are versatile enough to be used in many ways. They do a great job at absorbing liquid and sauces and have a nice flavor on even on their own. On this particular occasion we ate the BBQ over quinoa, but my favorite way is on a sandwich with vegan mayo and pickles. As a bonus, I like to throw on some vegan mayo based slaw.
My BBQ sauce is a tomato and vinegar base. I might have just broken a law and if you’re from North Carolina, don’t yell at me. I’m a vegan-gluten free-Northerner trying to recreate a Southern dish. Just be happy that I tried! I have made this sauce before and I usually make it to taste, but I’ll provide a recipe below with some guidelines. I encourage you to taste the sauce and make it your own. When I made the sauce, I added it to the rehydrated curls and simmered until warmed through. I could hardly wait for dinner, I kept snacking out of the pan.
Amanda’s Southern Inspired Vegan BBQ Sauce
- 8 oz no salt added, organic tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp molassas
- 2 tbsp tamari, low sodium
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp or more of your favorite hot sauce
- Agave nectar, to taste
In a bowl add all of the ingredients except the agave nectar and whisk. Before adding the agave nectar, taste the sauce to see how much sweetener is needed. I like less sweetener. Add more or less of any of the ingredients.