TJ + Rupert’s Vegan Filipino (Street food) Wedding

congrats rupert tj

Congratulations to two of my dearest friends, Rupert and TJ, who got married over the weekend. I couldn’t be any happier that they took their eight year relationship to another level (it’s about time! ;))

The couple chose to go for a casual theme which made their wedding more personal and so beautifully “them”.

I had the honor to cater for their wedding reception. I was intimidated at first when they asked me to cook and serve vegan Filipino street food, but I couldn’t say no. Learning what I was up against: the concept, the budget, the headcount (100-125 ppl!), ย I buckled up and went to work.

With the help of my boyfriend Chris, friends Judith, Carlo, Jamie, and Jen (at whollyvegan!), we were able to whip up two kinds of vegan Filipino street food:

1. Traditionally vegan favorites:

Binatog - White hominy corn with grated coconut, seasoned with sea salt and organic sugar. Served warm.
Banana que - Fried Saba bananas rolled in brown sugar then deep fried. Served on a stick. (Why is it named with a “que” when it’s a barbecue but a fried snack? I have no idea).
Mango on a stick and Jicama on a stick – Street food staples in the Philippines. Simple yet satisfying. Served with sea salt and/or vegan Bagoong (see below) for dipping/topping.
Taho drink – One of Filipino’s most endeared street foods. It has 3 components: Soy pudding, Arnibalย or brown sugar syrup, and Sago or Boba pearls. Each component served separately for best results.
Sago drink and Gulaman drinkSago is a type of Tapioca/Boba pearl while Gulaman is Grass Jelly, both enjoyed in a sweet drink.

2. Veganized favorites:

Oyster Mushroom Chicharon Bulaklak – Deep fried battered chunks of oyster mushroom, slightly crispy on the outside and chewy inside. Served with spicy vinegar on the side.
Oyster Mushroom “Pork” Isaw – Grilled small chunks of oyster mushroom marinated in sweet savory sauce, served on a stick.
Vegan Bagoong – Vegan “shrimp” paste made of fermented soy beans, black beans, and seaweed. Sauteed in oil and seasoned with garlic, salt, and spices. Bagoong is traditionally served as topping for the jicama and mango on a stick.

As you could imagine, it was organized chaos in our small kitchen -so much so that no one had the time to grab a camera and take a photo. Every minute counted. Every tick of the clock reminded us we need to stay focused. Yet, each one of us kept our cool and had fun with the craziness of it all. We finished a little behind schedule but made it in time for the anticipating crowd.

In other words, I don’t have any behind the scenes photos. In fact, I don’t have photos of some of the dishes at all because as soon as they landed the table, a line of curious guests showed up.

So funny as it may seem, here’s a visual of what we served:

tj ruper wedding food copy (1)

After their first taste, guests came back for more. I started to calm down and got myself a taho drink. A big sigh escaped my chest especially when TJ happily beamed about the food-not that she was hard to work with anyway.

I was able to take just a couple of photos at the reception but eventually decided to neglect my camera so I could enjoy the moment catching up with friends. For this blog, I asked around and got these photos from the event photographers and friends:

tj wedding holding sign(photo by Tara Perez)

mango on a stick-1 copy.jpeg(photo by Tara Perez)

mango on a stick.jpeg(photo by Tara Perez)

tj rupert wedding jicama banana q(Above) From left to right: Banana cue, Jicama on a Stick, and Vegan Bagoong or shrimp paste. These are the food I grew up eating in the streets of my hometown, especially after school.

black sago.jpegBlack Gulaman or Grass Jelly drink, a refreshing sweet drink. Best served cold. Those floating were ice cubes, the jelly subsided to the bottom hence the long ladle. (photo by Tara Perez)

khalua cake-3.jpegOther folks have also contributed to the reception. One friend brought a vegan Kahlua cake. (photo by Tara Perez)

natalies vegan cakeThe cakes! Also vegan and baked by their good friend, Natalie Yang. Aren’t they gorgeous?ย  Photo by Natalie Yang.

tj rg picTJ and I.

Thanks TJ and Rupert for having me cater at your wedding and trusting me that I could do it. I have learned so much -both from my mistakes and accomplishments and I couldn’t wait to apply these lessons for the next event. Congratulations on your beautiful wedding and may you have many more happy and strong years to come! I love you both!

tj rupert wedding pic

I’ll post my Isaw recipe next so please stay tuned. If you also want to see recipes from the other dishes listed above, let me know. I’ll be more than happy to share them with you. Just leave a comment below. Thanks!

11 thoughts on “TJ + Rupert’s Vegan Filipino (Street food) Wedding

  1. Dang!! You GO girl! That is amazing! I am speechless, not to mention hungry from reading about and looking at all the amazing food YOU made for SO MANY PEOPLE! Sorry, I can’t stop yelling because I truly am impressed. Wanna cater my some time in the future wedding? You should totally open up a street food truck or something. If it were here I would eat there every week at least.

    • Aww thanks! I would love to cater for your future wedding! No problem! hehe I still couldn’t believe I’ve done this catering gig either. Whew! Good thing the theme was street food and not full course meals!

  2. Congrats on a successful event! Thank you for allowing me to help out! All the food looked and tasted fabulous. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! :-)

    • It was a pleasure working with you. You were so calm and collected, just full of positive energy. Thanks Jen. Let’s do a potluck soon :)

  3. Pingback: Vegan Filipino Street Food: Mushroom Isaw | ASTIG Vegan

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