It’s beginning to feel like Fall season here in Northern California so I’m welcoming it with a nice stew of Vegan Kaldereta, a spicy, hearty Filipino dish. Kaldereta could be seen served at Filipino special occasions and restaurants, most likely because most Filipinos find it such a treat, plus it’s quite laborious to make because it takes a while to tenderize the meat. Good thing the vegan version cuts the cooking time in half. Kaldereta is best enjoyed with a bowl of rice so the stew is cooked slightly more savory and salty, basically, it’s meant to be eaten with a side dish. With the help of my mom, I was able to veganize this Filipino favorite.
• 4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
• 3 tbsp sweet pickle relish
• ¼ cup green olives or Spanish olives
• 4-6 tbsp broth from the green olives
• 3 red potatoes, quartered
• 2-3 carrot sticks, cut in big chunks
• 1 pack or 1 cup of Enoki mushrooms
• 1 pack fried tofu, cut in chunks (or Seitan)
• 2 cups Shiitake mushrooms (pureed using a grinder, blender, or food processor) (Baby Bella mushrooms would work too if Shiitake is not available).
• ½ cup vegetable broth (or 1 ½ vegetable bouillon)
• 4-6 hot Chili pepper, crushed (or more to make it spicier)
• ¼ cup vegan cheddar cheese
• 3-6 pcs. dried Bay leaves
• 1 can tomato sauce
• ¼ cup soy sauce (I used the brand Marca Pina)
• 2 pinches of red salt (I used the brand Hepps Salt) or sea salt
• a pinch of Black Truffle salt (as finishing) (I used the brand Hepps Salt)
1. In a medium pot, sauté the garlic with oil until fragrant.
2. Add the onions and tomatoes.
3. After sautéing for about 5 minutes, add the bell pepper, potatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth or bouillon. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender. Mix occasionally so the bottom sauce won’t stick to the pot.
4. Mix in the vegan cheddar cheese until it’s completely melted.
5. Pour the mushroom puree, soy sauce, broth from the olives, and sweet relish. Mix well and add the red salt, hot chili pepper and Bay leaves.
6. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Adjust to taste. Keep in mind this would be eaten with rice so it’s okay if it’s more to the savory-salty side. However, if you want it less salty, you may add more tomato sauce.
7. Add the carrots, fried tofu (or Seitan), Enoki mushrooms, and green olives. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until boiling. Turn off the heat.
8. Sprinkle Black Truffle Salt before serving.
9. Serve with a side of warm rice. Enjoy!
This recipe is also posted on Rika’s Site: Vegan Miam. Rika is in the Philippines right now, exploring the many beautiful sceneries and hunting down the best vegan Pinoy dishes in the country! How I wish I could join her!