If you’re a vegan or someone trying to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, Filipino cuisine might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the Philippines actually has a rich tradition of vegan and vegetarian dishes, often featuring locally grown vegetables, legumes, and grains. Plant-based eating is also gaining popularity in the country, with more and more Filipinos embracing a vegan lifestyle or exploring vegan options. In this article, we’ll explore some delicious Filipino vegan recipes that you can try at home, whether you’re a longtime vegan or just looking to switch up your meals.
What Are Filipino Vegan Recipes
Filipino cuisine is famous for its bold flavors and rich variety of dishes, which often feature meat as a main ingredient. However, there is also a growing movement in the Philippines towards plant-based eating, with more and more people adopting a vegan lifestyle for ethical, environmental, or health reasons.
Why Choose Filipino Vegan Recipes?
Choosing Filipino vegan recipes is an excellent way to explore the flavors and culinary traditions of the Philippines while enjoying the benefits of a plant-based diet. Vegan versions of classic Filipino dishes allow you to experience the familiar tastes and textures you may have grown up with, without harming animals or the planet.
As a vegan, you can still enjoy the bold and complex flavors of Filipino cuisine by using plant-based ingredients such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, jackfruit, and a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, and spices. Whether you are cooking for yourself or sharing your food with loved ones, Filipino vegan recipes are a delicious and satisfying way to nourish your body and your soul.
Examples of Filipino Vegan Recipes
- Adobong Sitaw: A vegan version of the classic adobo dish, made with green beans sautéed in garlic, onions, soy sauce, vinegar, and bay leaves.
- Gising-Gising: A spicy coconut milk-based dish made with green beans and other vegetables, flavored with chili peppers, garlic, and ginger.
- Lumpiang Togue: A vegan version of the popular spring roll, filled with mung bean sprouts, tofu, carrots, and other vegetables, then deep-fried or baked.
- Kare-Kare: A peanut-based stew made with vegetables such as eggplant, bok choy, and string beans, served with a vegan bagoong (fish sauce substitute).
These are just a few examples of the many delicious Filipino vegan recipes that you can enjoy. Whether you are looking for savory or sweet dishes, appetizers or main courses, there is no shortage of options to choose from. With some creativity and experimentation, you can adapt your favorite Filipino recipes to fit a vegan diet and discover new flavor combinations that you never thought possible.
Ingredients Commonly Used in Filipino Vegan Recipes
Filipino cuisine is known for its bold and distinct flavors, commonly achieved through the use of a wide array of ingredients. However, for vegans who want to enjoy Filipino food, certain ingredients commonly found in traditional Filipino dishes such as meat, fish sauce, and shrimp paste are off-limits. Fortunately, Filipino cuisine also has a rich plant-based culinary heritage that has been enjoyed by Filipinos for centuries. In this article, we will be discussing some of the ingredients commonly used in Filipino vegan recipes.
Tofu is a popular plant-based protein alternative used in Filipino vegan dishes as a substitute for meat. It is made from soybeans and is high in protein, calcium, and iron. Tofu comes in different textures, including silken, soft, firm, and extra firm, which makes it versatile and suitable for different types of dishes. In Filipino cuisine, tofu is often used in dishes such as adobo, sinigang, and sisig.
2. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is a staple in Filipino vegan cuisine and is used to add creaminess and depth to dishes. It is made by extracting the liquid from grated coconut meat and can be either thick or thin depending on how much water is added. Coconut milk is a great alternative to dairy milk and is used in dishes such as curries, stews, and coconut-based desserts like buko pandan or ginataang bilo-bilo.
Coconut milk also has nutritional benefits and is rich in healthy fats that can help improve cholesterol levels and boost heart health.
Tempeh is a protein-rich food made from fermented soybeans. It has a nutty flavor and firm texture, making it a suitable substitute for meat in many vegan dishes. Tempeh is also a rich source of B vitamins and iron, making it a healthy addition to any meal. In Filipino vegan cuisine, tempeh is often used as a topping for salads or as an addition to dishes like sinigang or kare-kare.
Seitan, also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten, is a protein-rich food made from gluten, the main protein in wheat. It has a chewy texture and a meaty taste, making it a popular substitute for meat in vegan dishes. Seitan is also rich in iron and low in fat, making it a great addition to a healthy vegan diet. In Filipino cuisine, seitan is used in dishes such as adobo and menudo.
5. Eggplant, Okra, and Squash
Filipinos love their vegetables, and vegans can enjoy many of the same vegetable-based dishes as their non-vegan counterparts. Eggplant, okra, and squash are common vegetables used in Filipino cuisine and can be cooked in a variety of ways. One popular dish is pinakbet, a vegetable stew made with a mix of vegetables, including eggplant, okra, and squash, sautéed with garlic, onion and tomatoes, and flavored with bagoong (shrimp paste) in the non-vegan version and fermented tofu for the vegan version.
Eating a plant-based diet has become a popular lifestyle choice for many people. By using plant-based ingredients, Filipino vegan cuisine still offers rich and flavorful dishes that are packed with nutrients. With the right combination of ingredients and some creativity in the kitchen, vegans can enjoy the distinct and bold flavors of Filipino cuisine.
Famous Filipino Vegan Recipes
Veganism is a growing movement worldwide, and the Philippines is no exception. Filipino cuisine is known for its savory and meaty dishes, but there are also vegan options to try and enjoy. Some popular Filipino Vegan recipes are Adobong Kangkong, Ginataang Gulay, and Lumpiang Gulay, which are all flavorful and easy-to-make dishes. These recipes are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients that can help contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Adobong Kangkong is a popular Filipino dish that is typically made with pork, but this version is vegan-friendly. The dish features an excellent mix of tangy and salty flavors from vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic.
- 1 bundle of kangkong (water spinach)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp oil
- Ground black pepper
- Wash and cut the kangkong into 2-inch lengths.
- Heat oil in a pot and sauté garlic and onion until fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and water, and bring to a boil.
- Add the kangkong and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Season with ground black pepper and serve.
Ginataang Gulay is a creamy and hearty vegan dish that is perfect for those chilly nights. The dish is typically made with shrimp or chicken, but this recipe uses mixed vegetables, making it ideal for vegans.
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups mixed vegetables (squash, eggplant, green beans)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp ginger, sliced
- 2 tbsp bagoong (fermented fish paste)
- 2 cups water
- Heat oil in a pot and sauté garlic, onion, and ginger.
- Add bagoong and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Add mixed vegetables and water, and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Add coconut milk and stir well.
- Simmer for another 5 minutes, then serve.
Lumpiang Gulay is a type of Filipino spring roll that is typically made with meat or shrimp, but this version is filled with mixed vegetables, making it perfect for vegans. It is a great appetizer or snack and goes well with a sweet and sour dip.
- 10-12 pieces lumpia wrapper
- 2 cups mixed vegetables (cabbage, carrots, green beans)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic and onion.
- Add mixed vegetables and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add cornstarch and water, and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place a spoonful of the filling on the middle of a lumpia wrapper.
- Roll the wrapper tightly, tucking in the sides.
- Seal the edge with a bit of water.
- Repeat for the rest of the filling and lumpia wrappers.
- Deep-fry until golden brown and serve with sweet and sour dip.
How to Make Filipino Vegan Recipes
If you’re looking to explore the world of Filipino cuisine while sticking to a plant-based diet, you’re in luck! With a few simple substitutions and techniques, it’s easy to create delicious vegan versions of traditional Filipino dishes. Here are some tips to get you started:
Stock Up on Plant-Based Ingredients
The first step to making vegan Filipino recipes is to build a pantry stocked with plant-based ingredients. Look for fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, tofu, and tempeh, as well as grains like rice, quinoa, and buckwheat. Many Filipino dishes also incorporate coconut milk and coconut oil, which are both vegan-friendly alternatives to dairy products. You’ll also want to have a variety of herbs and spices on hand, such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, and lemongrass, which are commonly used in Filipino cuisine.
Learn About Substitutions
To make vegan versions of your favorite Filipino dishes, it’s important to learn about ingredient substitutions. For example, meat can be replaced with tofu or tempeh, while fish sauce can be substituted with soy sauce or miso. Coconut milk can be used in place of cow’s milk, and vegan butter can be substituted for regular butter. It’s also possible to make vegan versions of Filipino desserts by using non-dairy milk and plant-based sweeteners.
Get Familiar with Cooking Techniques
Many traditional Filipino cooking techniques work well with vegan ingredients. Adobo, a popular Filipino dish, is typically made with chicken or pork, but can be made vegan by using tempeh or tofu instead. Kare-kare, a vegetable stew that’s typically made with oxtail, can be made with eggplant, squash, and green beans instead. You can also make vegan versions of lumpia, a Filipino version of spring rolls, by filling them with veggies and tofu instead of ground meat.
Experiment and Have Fun!
Making Filipino vegan recipes is all about experimentation and having fun in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to try new ingredients or cooking techniques, and feel free to put your own spin on traditional dishes. With a little creativity and some practice, you’ll be able to create delicious and healthy vegan versions of your favorite Filipino dishes.
Tips for Cooking Filipino Vegan Recipes
Cooking Filipino Vegan recipes can be a challenge but it is worth it in the end. The flavors are complex and delicious, and the dishes are usually quite filling. Here are five tips for cooking Filipino Vegan Recipes:
1. Use fresh ingredients
Filipino cuisine is known for its freshness and flavors, so it’s essential to use fresh ingredients when preparing Filipino vegan dishes. This ensures that the flavor of the dish is authentic and not overpowered by any off tastes. It is a good idea to buy ingredients locally or grow your own produce if possible. This way, you can guarantee the freshness of the dish.
2. Balance flavors
When cooking Filipino dishes, it is important to find the right balance of flavors. In most cases, a combination of salty, sour, and sweet is preferred. A squeeze of lemon or lime, vinegar, or soy sauce can be used for the sour taste, while use sugar, coconut sugar, or coconut nectar for sweetness. Salt is used in moderation.
3. Experiment with spices and herbs
Incorporating herbs and spices is an important aspect of Filipino cooking. Bay leaves, garlic, and black pepper are commonly used in most dishes, but experimenting with other herbs and spices can help take your Filipino Vegan dishes to the next level. Ginger, cumin, coriander, and turmeric are a few spices that work well in Filipino dishes.
4. Veganize traditional Filipino dishes
Most traditional Filipino dishes contain meat or animal products, but you can easily veganize these recipes by using plant-based substitutes. For example, adobo is a popular meat dish, but you can swap out the chicken or pork for tofu or jackfruit. Once you have veganized a traditional dish, experiment with the flavorings to suit your taste.
5. Know your substitutions
There are plenty of plant-based substitutes you can use for traditional Filipino ingredients. Here are some common substitutions:
- Coconut milk instead of cream
- Tofu instead of meat
- Jackfruit or mushrooms instead of chicken/pork
- Chickpeas or lentils instead of ground beef
- Cornstarch or arrowroot as a thickening agent instead of gelatin
With a little experimentation and some creativity, you can create delicious Filipino Vegan dishes that are healthy and satisfying.
FAQs About Filipino Vegan Recipes
As more and more people switch to a vegan diet, it’s important to know that traditional cuisines can still be enjoyed even without meat or animal products. Filipino cuisine, known for its rich flavors and textures, is no exception. Here are some frequently asked questions about veganizing Filipino recipes.
Can Filipino cuisine be veganized?
Absolutely! Many traditional Filipino dishes can be modified to create delicious vegan versions. By using plant-based ingredients, vegan chefs can get creative and produce meals that are both flavorful and satisfying.
What are some vegan alternatives to traditional Filipino ingredients like fish sauce and shrimp paste?
Fish sauce and shrimp paste, which are commonly used in Filipino cuisine, can seem like difficult ingredients to replace when transitioning to a vegan diet. However, plant-based alternatives such as soy sauce, tamari, miso paste, and mushroom sauce can be used to bring depth and umami to vegan dishes. The key is experimenting with different flavors until you find ones that work for you.
What are some easy and tasty Filipino Vegan recipes for beginners to try?
If you’re new to veganism, don’t be intimidated by the thought of cooking Filipino dishes. There are plenty of easy and delicious recipes to try. Here are a few ideas:
- Adobong Sitaw (Green Bean Adobo) – a tasty and simple dish made with green beans, soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic.
- Ginisang Ampalaya (Sauteed Bitter Melon) – a nutritious and slightly bitter vegetable sauteed with onions, tomatoes, and tofu.
- Tofu Sisig – a vegan version of the classic Filipino dish made with crumbled tofu, onions, chili peppers, and soy sauce.
These recipes are just a starting point – don’t be afraid to experiment and make them your own by adding your favorite herbs, spices, and vegetables. With a little creativity, veganizing Filipino cuisine can be both fun and delicious.
Thanks for joining us on a journey of Filipino vegan recipes
We hope you enjoyed learning about Filipino vegan recipes and found some inspiration for your next meat-free meal. Remember, with a little creativity and some fresh ingredients, there are endless possibilities when it comes to vegan food. Keep exploring and experimenting in the kitchen, and don’t forget to come back to see us for more delicious recipes!