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Chinese Five Spice Barbecue Sauce Soy Curl Sandwich

Chinese Five Spice Barbecue Sauce

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  • Author: Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 Minutes
  • Total Time: 15 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Switch up your BBQ game with this bold and flavorful Chinese Five Spice Barbecue Sauce that is so simple to make and sure to make your taste buds tingle. It’s bursting with delicious notes of sweet, salty, spicy, and umami, an amazing flavor combination that will totally knock your socks off. Plus, it makes for a fantastic sauce for tofu, tempeh, soy curls, beans, and veggie bowls – YUM! The whole family will thank you for making this healthy, tasty BBQ sauce with a fun flavor twist. We hope you love this week’s awesome Whip It Up Wednesday recipe.

Whole Food Plant Based, vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, gluten free, no highly processed ingredients.



Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons tamari *
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon chili garlic sauce *
  • 1 teaspoon miso (optional) *
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice Blend (+/-) *
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or thickener of choice) *


  • Chickpea Veggie Stir Fry over steamed rice
  • BBQ Soy Curls (tofu, tempeh) Sandwiches/Lettuce Wraps

Optional Toppings

  • Sesame seeds
  • Sliced green onions
  • Sriracha sauce


Veggie Stir-Fry Instructions

  1. Place all the Sauce Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk, set aside.
  2. In an enamel/ceramic lined Dutch oven, skillet or similar stock pot, add the stir-fry veggies, sauté until the veggies have reached the desired tenderness. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
  3. Then add the chickpeas and some of the sauce, increase the heat, simmer until the sauce thickens and the veggies and chickpeas are completely coated in the sauce. Add more sauce if needed. Lower the heat and simmer for one minute.
  4. Remove from heat, serve over rice with your favorite toppings.

BBQ Soy Curl Sandwiches/Lettuce Wraps Instructions:

  1. Rehydrate the soy curls per package directions.
  2. Place all the Sauce Ingredients into a small bowl, whisk, set aside.
  3. In a large ceramic/enamel-lined Dutch oven, skillet or similar stock pot, add the sauce and rehydrated soy curls, sauté over medium heat, stirring constantly to ensure that all the soy curls are coated with the sauce and that the sauce has thickened. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, serve in a bun or in a lettuce cup and top with Fast and Easy Asian Slaw.


*Soy Curls: We found it challenging to find soy curls in our local grocery stores.  We ended up buying them from Amazon.  We purchased Butler Soy Curls100% natural, no additives or preservatives, non-GMO, grown without chemical pesticides.  However, if you want to make this dish without soy curls, you can add 2 cans of your favorite beans.

*Miso:  We used Miso Master Organic Mellow White Premium Lite Miso, Certified Gluten Free.  Miso really lends itself to balancing flavors when you don’t use oil.  You can also use chickpea miso for a soy free version. 

*Tamari:We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium.  You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos. 

*Chili Garlic Sauce: We used Huy Fong Foods Chili Garlic Sauce. This brand does have a small amount of sugar.  However, this brand is generally accepted by the WFPB community. You can make your own by placing 4 spicy chili peppers, seeded (use gloves) into a food processor along with 1 heaping Tablespoon of minced garlic (about 4 to 5 cloves), 1 ½ teaspoons of maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 Tablespoon water, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend until smooth, do not puree, you want some texture.  Place in a small pan and simmer over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Refrigerate in a tightly sealed jar.  We used 4 Fresno peppers.  If you use hotter peppers, cut back on the cayenne pepper. Note:  If you do not like any heat, you can leave the Chili Garlic Sauce out of the recipe. The flavor will be still be great, but the Chili Garlic Sauce really punches the flavor up.

*Chinese Five Spice Blend:  We used Penzeys Chinese Five Spice Powder.  It is excellent and has great flavor.  You can certainly use any brand you’d like or make your own spice blend. Keep in mind different blends have different flavors.

*Serving: Makes 1 cup sauce (4 servings)

 *Storage: Refrigerate, use within 5 days