For the American palate, fried breakfast food means bacon, eggs, and toast. For the Filipino palate, fried breakfast food means Tapsilog.
The word itself, Tapsilog, is made up of the combined phrases of the three components you’ll find in the dish: “Tap-” for “Tapa” or seasoned beef, “si-” for “Sinangag” or garlic fried rice, and “-log” for “itlog” or eggs, which in this dish means fried eggs. To balance with the fried, savory flavors, Tapsilog dish is usually garnished with fresh tomatoes and vinegar dipping for the tapa.
Veganizing Tapsilog is alot easier than you might think. For the tapa, you could use dehydrated, textured soy protein. As for the fried eggs, you’ll find tons of recipes online on vegan scrambled eggs. I will also post my version of fried eggs here so feel free to choose which version you would like to try in your cooking. The garlic fried rice is already vegan so no need to stretch your creativity muscles there.
Whether you’re a morning person or night owl, Tapsilog on the breakfast table will get you up and ready for breakfast. In the Philippines, Tapsilog was my great motivator to be up at the break of dawn. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one because you’ll find Tapsilog restaurants or “Tapsihan” always busy and bustling with hungry customers. But you know what’s better than Tapsilog? Cruelty-free, guilt-free vegan Tapsilog that tastes just the same if not better. Here’s how to make Vegan Tapsilog:
- 2 oz plain and unseasoned dehydrated soy protein (pictured below), found at Asian supermarkets
- 4-5 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 medium bowl of warm water
- pinch of black pepper
- 3-5 tbsp. refined coconut oil (make sure it’s refined so it won’t have the coconut-y taste)
- Mix all the seasonings in a bowl of warm water
- Add the dehydrated soy protein
- Marinate for about 20-30 minutes. Mix every once in a while to make sure the soy pieces have evenly absorbed the marinate. You may bite the soy protein to check if the texture and flavor are to your liking. Adjust the marinate to taste. Remove the soy protein from its marinate and set aside for frying.
- Heat a medium pan over medium heat
- Add the refined coconut oil
- Once the coconut oil has fully melted, fry the soy pieces. It doesn’t take long to fry the soy pieces, probably about five minutes both sides.
- Turn off the heat and serve with vinegar dipping. Assemble with scrambled tofu and garlic fried rice
VEGAN SCRAMBLED EGGS
NOTE: We’ll use one part plain medium firm tofu chunks and one part pureed tofu mixture to achieve the custard-y, soft texture of scrambled eggs.
- 1 block of medium firm tofu, divided into different chunk sizes. Feel free to use your hands to break down the tofu. Please don’t skimp on good, quality tofu. It does make a difference!
- Another 1/4 block of medium firm tofu
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- 2 tbsp. potato starch dissolved in 6-8 tbsp. water
- 1/2 tsp. black salt, available at most South Asian/Indian grocery stores
- 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- cooking oil
- Using a high speed blender, puree the 1/4 block tofu with the potato starch mixture, tahini, salt, and nutritional yeast. You should have a thin but creamy consistency. The consistency will also depend on the amount of moisture of your tofu. So if you got a firmer tofu with less moisture, just add more water to the blender and puree again until you have a soupy mixture.
- Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add cooking oil (you may use refined coconut oil or any cooking oil of choice). The reason why I suggested to use refined coconut oil for the tapa was to have that fatty flavor that could be found with the beef version. With veganizing fried eggs, it’s up to you if you’d like to have that fatty taste.
- Pour the puree mixture and let it firm up on both sides. You don’t have to thoroughly fry it like a pancake, just enough to cook the starch and tofu, so about 5 minutes each side.
- Add the tofu chunks and mix well. It’s okay if the tofu break apart as it is supposed to be scrambled. Add more black salt to taste. Fry for another 10 minutes or until you’ve achieved the desired texture.
- Turn off the heat and serve the scrambled tofu with tapa and garlic fried rice
- one large bowl of leftover cooked rice. I used brown rice but you could use any kind of rice you prefer. Using your hands, break apart the rice into pieces. Sprinkle some water to help divide the rice.
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- cooking oil. You could use the same oil and pan you used to cook tapa so the rice could absorb some delicious flavors that’s left from the tapa fry.
- sea salt
- Saute the garlic in oil over medium heat until the garlic is golden brown
- Add the rice and mix thoroughly
- Sprinkle some sea salt to taste
- Fry for about 5-8 minutes or until all of the rice portions are hot
- Turn off the heat. Serve with tapa and scrambled tofu
The recipe looks like there are a lot of steps to follow but really, it’s just all about frying the ingredients. You could serve Tapsilog with fresh chunks of tomatoes or pickled papaya slices called achara.
A combo meal of fried food may not sound like the healthiest choice to start your day but at least it’s relatively a better option than meat Tapsilog or the typical bacon and eggs.
But who says it’s only good for breakfast? Enjoy a plate of vegan Tapsilog any time of day and you will be just as pleased. Happy cooking!