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COOKIN’ RECIPE: Dinuguan

Vegan Dinuguan

Vegan Dinuguan

One of my grandmother’s specialties is dinuguan and I grew up eating so much of it that I have plenty of great memories surrounding this dish. When I lived abroad, most Filipinos call it “chocolate soup” or “chocolate stew” to trick others to give it a try. Traditionally, it is a stew of  pig innards cooked in pig’s blood with vinegar. It is beyond me how Nanay (my maternal grandmother) can make a pot of magic with pig carcass and its body liquids. Naturally, becoming vegan is not an impediment to enjoying this dish I loved eating growing up so I made my guilt-free pot last night.

Replicating looks, taste and texture is front and center of every successful veganized dish and in this case, I needed a lot of  chew and substance. Taking the pig out of the picture and pulling out my vegan swaps, I used black beans for blood, reconstituted dried oyster mushrooms, fried tofu and pig-free pork belly (vegchon) for innards and dense vegetables for substance.

Software:

2.5 cups dried black beans (soaked overnight and slowly cooked in 2 liters of water without salt until tender–I used a slow cooker for this as I cannot be bothered with tending a pot on a stove for hours)
2.5 nori sheets
500 g of extra firm tofu, cubed and fried
125-250g pig-free liempo (vegchon), cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces and flash fried (you can get this from The Real Happy Cow)
2 cups packed dried oyster mushroom, reconstituted and excess water removed then roughly chopped
2-3 sayote or carrots or potatoes, cut into small cubes
5 finger chilis
3 laurel leaves
1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised (white part only)
2 large red onions, roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 vegetable stock cube or 1 teaspoon mushroom powder
1/3 cup vegan patis
3/4 to 1 cup coconut vinegar (I used half coconut cider and half white vinegar)
Cracked black pepper to taste

*for those sensitive to yeast and mushrooms, replace with more dense vegetables and add more black beans
*for those sensitive to soy, forgo the patis, you can use salt and/or coconut aminos
*for the garlic and onion free, replace with asafoetida

Procedure:

1. Blend beans with the nori sheets with the cooking liquid. Make sure the cooking liquid is double the amount of the beans, if not, add more water.
2. Saute garlic in a bit of oil until golden brown. Turn fire down to low, add onions and lemongrass stalk. Sweat onions until translucent. Add a one chopped green chili if you like while cooking the onions.
3. Add the blended beans and bring to a boil. Add patis, vinegar and a few cracks of black pepper.
4. Put the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Do not stir until after you smell the vinegar. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. Serve hot with rice or vegan puto.

Enjoy!

 

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