2 generous cups

As a soy curls novice, I am still learning their ways and wiles, but even after just a few forays I can see the wisdom of sorting for size for different applications. Seeing as how one 8-oz. package yields about 4 oz. of strips and 4. oz. of small pieces and the bits that fall to the bottom, this chikn salad is a perfect way to put the latter to good use.

I have always loved the TVP-based store-bought versions of tuna fish and chicken salad made popular in my region by Sunneen Health Foods, a Pennsylvania company that makes two of my favorite spreads, Stedda Tuna and Vegetarian Chicken Salad. I love them both (they taste almost interchangeable to me) in sandwiches, spread on Ritz crackers, filling a Fritos Scoop, or piled high on corn thins (better than rice cakes) with a juicy slice of tomato.

With the advent of the pandemic though, I have had to find other ways to scratch that itch. To be sure, in my quest to recreate these beloved spreads at home I have made delicious batches of chickpea-based mock tuna salad, and even tried a TVP (texturized vegetable—or soy—protein, as it is called now) version with limited success. But nothing ever gave me the satisfaction derived from that little plastic deli container with the distinctive Sunneen logo of a yellow sun rising behind a snow-capped mountain range.

It turns out soy curls are the perfect vehicle to reproduce the elusive taste and texture sensation that until now has only been available to me at Whole Foods in a 7-oz. serving for $4.00 a pop. Now I can make twice that amount for about two thirds the price and enjoy it whenever the fancy strikes.

4 oz. (half a package) soy curls, small pieces and bits

1 stalk celery, finely diced

2 scallions, finely chopped (optional)

2 T. fresh dill, chopped (or substitute parsley)

Up to ½ C. vegan mayonnaise

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, or brown deli mustard, or sweet pickle juice, or any combination, to taste

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Optional: ¼ tsp. celery seed


  1. Hydrate soy curls in 2 cups seasoned broth for 10 minutes, squeeze out excess liquid and discard. You will have a bowl filled with small pieces and bits, which need to be shredded or chopped to a small enough mince to mix well with the remaining ingredients. This can be achieved manually with a knife and cutting board, or by pulsing a few times in the food processor.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to taste and mix well.
  3. Serve on rye bread in a sandwich, spread on crackers, or scooped in a chip.