Texturized soy protein is a dehydrated soy product that is infinitely versatile.

While it may sound like a meal from the future, texturized soy protein (TSP) is a simple way to create your own meat substitute. I came across this particular package of it in the Mexican grocery section of my local international market.

There were several brands, all marked "Carne de Soya," which told me it was a soy-based meat substitute. They ranged from tiny, rice-sized granules to larger, jagged shards. 


After a little research, I decided to rehydrate the TSP with a bit of vegetable bouillon instead of plain boiling water. The ratio of TSP to water is 1 to 1, so it's easy enough to remember. Add a little garlic powder to your liquid so you're not put off by the smell!

Most home cooks recommend using it in strongly spiced sauces, so I went with a simple taco seasoning mix and a can of diced tomatoes with diced jalapenos. I also threw in a can of mixed beans in chili sauce.

taco meat

The final verdict was that the texture is a bit spongy, but the TSP itself takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it in. Think of it as a sort of dehydrated tofu, shaped in either shreds, nuggets, or crumbles. The sky's the limit if you have a bit of imagination!

While this was perfectly fine in a taco salad, I think it would be even better in a big plate of loaded nachos.


You can also find textured vegetable protein, or TVP, online and in the vegetarian section of your local grocery store. Try experimenting with the different products for your next Meatless Monday—they would be great in a robust marinara sauce or even with some veggies in a fiery Thai curry. For more ideas, just head to Instagram!

**The photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly

Have you ever tried TSP or TVP? What are some of your favorite preparations or recipes? Let us know in the comments!