Vegan Filipino: Dinuguan Recipe

dinuguan

If you love Filipino Food, then Dinuguan needs no explanation or justification on why it’s soo good despite its appearance. But if you’re not familiar with Filipino Food, then chances are you might get grossed out by its original black color.

Basically, Dinuguan is a pork blood stew consisting of pig parts that taste surprisingly delectable and delicious. I’ve recently learned that Dinuguan came from a Spanish influence, an adaptation of their blood stews and meat-heavy dishes (Spain colonized the Philippines and left a heavy mark in Filipino (food) culture). So I guess it’s technically false that the use of blood stews originated in the Philippines. In any case, any non-vegan Filipino who grew up in the Philippines would know, Dinuguan tastes amazing.

The problem is, not only Dinuguan defines the absolute opposite of cruelty-free, it’s also highly unhealthy. With all the fats, cholesterol, and sugar, Dinuguan is one expensive dish (because of trips to the hospital later in life). So, to put a creative spin to a Filipino favorite, I’m veganizing it and making it healthier-without all the bad stuff! It’s “Filipino mom-approved” so I’m proud to say it’ll produce the same taste and flavor.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 cups or 1 block of extra firm tofu, chopped
  • 1 cup or 8 oz. oyster mushroom, chopped
  • 1 cup or 8 oz. gluten cake, chopped (available at most Asian stores) (or seitan is ok too)
  • 2 vegetable bullion or 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup palm sugar (organic if possible) (brown sugar or turbinado sugar is good too)
  • 6 tbsp. vegan butter or olive oil
  • 2-3 whole serrano pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 2 cups black beans (either soaked overnight and cooked to soften, or the ready canned ones)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp.  cocoa (optional)

dinuguan 1

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  1. Using a high performance blender, puree the black beans with water. Set aside.
  2. Over medium heat, fry the tofu. Set aside.
  3. Using the same pan you fried the tofu on, fry the gluten cake for 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle some sugar and salt to the gluten cake. Fry for another 30 seconds. Set aside.
  4. In a medium size pot, saute the garlic and onion with oil until fragrant.
  5. Add the chopped mushrooms and season with salt, pepper, vinegar and sugar. Simmer for about 5-8 minutes.
  6. Add the fried tofu and wheat gluten cake to the mixture.
  7. Pour the black beans to the pot.  Mix well.
  8. Mix in the vegan butter or olive oil, vegetable broth. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Adjust seasoning to taste. (vinegar or dark chocolate or sugar or oil, etc.)
  10. Add the serrano peppers and hot cocoa.
  11. Simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  12. Serve with rice or rice cake (puto) on the side.

Feel free to cook the tofu and gluten cake before you start or while you’re simultaneously sauteing the oyster mushrooms and spices. You may also adjust the seasoning towards the end to achieve the perfect balance of sour-sweet-savory with the rich, creamy taste of the sauce. My uncle, who makes the perfect pot of Dinuguan, makes his recipe a little on the sweet side so I’d like to add more sugar towards the final simmer.

By the way, shout out to my friend TJ who suggested to incorporate cocoa! And of course, a special thank you to my mom who meticulously critiqued my dish and offered priceless advice veganizing Dinuguan- which I’m now sharing with you. Enjoy!

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32 thoughts on “Vegan Filipino: Dinuguan Recipe

    • Thanks. The original sounds and looks nasty but (unfortunately) tastes great. Good thing I was able to find a way to veganize it, no more missing meat-based Filipino Food :)

  1. OMG I just stumbled across your blog and I am in AWE!!!! Then I find this blog post on a vegan dinuguan dish and I a, soooooo curious to try it out!! Thanks for posting!!! You’re a genius!! :D

    • Yay! I’m glad you found this blog too. Leme know how the dinuguan goes. It won’t be pitch black but it’ll be pretty darn close. Enjoy!

  2. Just made this for dinner. My meat eater husband approves! I just added wood ear mushrooms to have that “innard” feel to the vegan dish! Thanks for sharing this amazing dish! I’m making your version of bopis next time. ;) You made my hubby and I co-exist! LOL

    • I’m glad you’ve tried the recipe and liked it! Please feel free to try the other recipes as well. Enjoy! Happy Eating!

  3. I’m gonna make this for dinner tonight, but I have a question: Why do you put the serrano peppers in whole? Are you supposed to pull them out, like bay leaves?

    • Cool. Can’t wait to hear how it goes. Yes, the pepper is just there to be pulled out later, unless you want it really spicy then go ahead and mash in the soup. Also, the dark chocolate is just there for enhanced flavor so don’t put alot. HOpe that helps!

  4. you know i never really liked the look of (real) Dinuguan (although my parents claimed I liked it as a kid). I dunno, just the thought of it being made from poor farm piggie blood…*shudder*

    Looking at your recipe makes me want to try this instead.

    • Hi Darlene. Thanks for dropping by. I think most Filipino kids don’t find food “dinuguan” -or “balot” for that matter, appetizing, and yet we’re socially conditioned that there’s something wrong with us if we don’t. So growing up, we tend to learn and endear ourselves to these dishes because they are part of our “tradition”. Unfortunately it’s not that hard to learn to like them because they taste good. I am relieved though that I could veganize some Filipino dishes so I could get the best of both worlds: tradition and cruelty-free that taste good. Let me know how your “Dinugan” goes! Would love to hear about it!

  5. Thanks for the recipe. Despite not using garlic ( the last cloves we had was inadvertently thrown away), my stew was a success! In the past, I never bothered to veganize Filipino dishes coz I thought they would never taste the same. However, I was excited to give your recipe a go and the stew turned out awesome. Many thanks.

  6. thanks for this recipe, i never thought you can veganize this but you did. amazing, can’t wait to try this this weekend. please do vegan lechon paksiw? :D hahaha. thanks agian! :)

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  9. YES. Thank you for existing! I grew up eating so much filipino food and dinuguan was always my favorite but since becoming vegan, I pretty much have not been able to eat a lot of the dishes from when I was growing up that I miss a lot, so your blog is like a godsend. Keep up the great work and creativity!

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