Category Archives: Recipes

peach mango pie vegan copy

Vegan “Jollibee” Peach Mango Pie

You’ve been warned, this recipe is “sinful”. Peach Mango Pie was something I used to love and would usually get at a Filipino restaurant called Jollibee (the McDonald’s of the Philippines). The filling had ripe yellow mangoes and ripe yellow peaches, and their sweetness and texture go so well together. The crust was crunchy and very comforting. Jollibee‘s Peach Mango Pie was my guilty pleasure back when I was still an omnivore. Today, I decided to veganize it.

Vegan Peach Mango Pie may not be the healthiest; it’s rather an indulgent treat you could enjoy every once in a while. Just like any rich dessert, this has some fat and sugar… and this version, just like the Jollibee version, is fried, not baked (gasp!).

Perhaps what’s even more sinful is to have this with ice cream, à la mode. Okay, I need to stop giving you more ideas. I do have to say that at least it is vegan and it’s something you could enjoy on those days when you feel like you’ve earned it.


peach mango pies

 

peach mango pie vegan

 

peach mango pie

 

 

Vegan "Jollibee" Peach Mango Pie

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 pies

Sinfully good, Peach Mango Pie. This is the vegan version of the famed, "Jollibee Peach Mango Pie". (Jollibee is like Philippine's McDonald's). This recipe was adapted from Pepper magazine with few changes such as veganizing the recipe as well as changing up the ingredients.

Ingredients

    DOUGH:
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/8 cup organic sugar
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons vegan shortening (I used non-hydrogenated)
  • 5-6 tablespoons of water
  • FILLING:
  • 1 cup ripe yellow mangoes, chopped
  • 1 cup ripe yellow peaches, sliced
  • 1/8 cup organic sugar
  • 1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup water

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Add the shortening and using a pastry blender, cut the shortening and mix it into the flour. You could also use two table knives. With each hand holding a knife, cut the shortening in a criss cross motion. You may also pulse the mixture using a food processor, pulsing every 10-15 seconds until the shortening has been cut into small crumbs and mixed in with the flour.
  3. Add one tablespoon of water to one area of the mixture and mix that area using your hand. Keep adding one tablespoon of water at a time around different areas of the mixture and stop once you have formed everything into a soft dough.
  4. Flatten and form the dough into a disk then wrap the whole thing with a plastic wrap.
  5. Put the dough in the freezer for at least half an hour.
  6. FILLING:
  7. Heat a medium pan over medium heat. Add everything except for the flour.
  8. Mix well and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add the flour and let it cook for another minute.
  10. Turn off the heat and set aside to completely cool down.
  11. ASSEMBLY:
  12. Take out the dough from the freezer and divide it into 4 parts.
  13. Grab one part and using a rolling pin, roll to flatten and expand the dough with just enough space to add the filling and cover it.
  14. Add two tablespoons of filling on the bottom half of the dough leaving a little bit of space on its sides.
  15. Fold down the upper half of the dough to cover the filling and gently pat down the sides to carefully seal the pie.
  16. Cut out the excess dough to clean up the look
  17. Using a fork, gently press down the edges of the pie and set aside.
  18. Repeat process for the remaining dough.
  19. Put the prepared pies to the freezer while preparing the stove (or oven if you'd like to bake).
  20. TO FRY:
  21. Heat a wok or pan over medium heat then pour about two inches of cooking oil.
  22. Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a piece of dough. If it quickly bubbles, it's ready.
  23. Gently drop the dough to the oil and fry for a minute or two or until you see the edges have turned golden brown.
  24. Flip to cook the other side until golden brown.
  25. Transfer the pies to a cooling rack or a plate covered in paper towel.
  26. Let it cool for 2-3 minutes and serve.
  27. TO BAKE:
  28. Bake in a pre-heated 400 Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes.

Notes

You may fry or bake the pies -or fry half of the batch and bake the other half.

It's important to completely cool the filling before adding it to the dough. Otherwise, the dough will melt.

Always keep the dough cold by putting it in the freezer when you're not using it.

If you don't have the time to make Peach Mango Pie in one event, you could prepare and freeze the dough and come back to it when you're ready to finish the recipe. Frozen pie dough usually lasts a month in the freezer.

I went with individual servings but you could also make vegan Peach Mango Pie using one pie pan.

http://www.astigvegan.com/vegan-jollibee-peach-mango-pie/

Now that Peach Mango Pie has been veganized, I don’t miss Jollibee’s version anymore. It’s a truly decadent dessert that is joyous to eat every once in a while, as a treat to yourself or your loved ones. It’s fairly easy to make, and fairly easy to love. Kain na, let’s eat!

stawberry beets bibingka titlecard

Strawberry Beets Bibingka, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free

This vegan version of Bibingka cake has a lovely shade of pink which is perfect for the Spring season as well as for parties, potlucks, and for Mother’s Day. Bibingka is a Filipino rice cake traditionally made with rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and eggs. I used flaxseed meal to replace eggs and natural cane sugar to replace white sugar (unfortunately white sugar is not vegan).

I made my “Strawberry Beets Bibingka” for my niece’s 7th birthday party and they were a hit! My niece is highly allergic to nuts and she’s not fond of the taste of coconut milk so I used rice milk. I am glad and relieved that she enjoyed these cakes and did not develop any reaction.

Aside from being nut-free, these cakes are also gluten-free.

 

strawberry beets bibingka wideshot

strawberry beets bibingka close up

Although the name of this recipe has the word “strawberry”, the only strawberry part is the topping. The pink hue came from beet juice, which I prefer instead of red food coloring because unfortunately red food coloring is not vegan.

“Strawberry Beets Bibingka” is a reincarnation of my vegan version of the classic flavor. I changed it up because I wanted to further play with color and presentation.

 

strawberry muffin2

strawberry muffin

Aside from using beets and strawberries, another minor change from my other recipe was that I cut back on the amount of milk and coconut oil. I also used Nuco‘s liquid coconut oil which stays liquid under any temperature.

I think Nuco‘s liquid coconut oil is perfect for baking because you’ll know exactly the amount you’ll be using and it will easily blend with the rest of the ingredients.

What I also love about Nuco‘s liquid coconut oil is that it is organic and fair-trade, helping the coconut farmers in the Philippines live a better life.

 

ingredients for strawberry beets bibingka

strawberry beets bibingka

 

Strawberry Beets Bibingka, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 24-28 mini cakes or 12-16 small cakes

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 9 tablespoons of water
  • one cup rice flour
  • one cup natural cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup beet juice (I used the juice from canned beets)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid coconut oil (I used Nuco's forever liquid coconut oil) plus more for oiling the muffin pan
  • small bowl of thin strawberry slices (I sliced 3 big strawberries)
  • 1 sheet of banana leaf (optional)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix flaxseed meal with water and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375degrees Fahrenheit
  3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: rice flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients: flaxseed meal mixture, coconut oil, rice milk, and beet juice.
  5. Combine both dry and wet ingredients and whisk until fully incorporated.
  6. Using a pastry brush (or your fingertips if you're up for it), oil a muffin pan to prevent the cake from sticking. I used a mini muffin pan with 24 cups. You could use whatever size of muffin pan you'd like.
  7. Pour the batter only 3/4 of the way into each slot (the cake will rise).
  8. Put the muffin pan in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  9. While baking, you may place a sheet of banana leaf in the oven to infuse its flavor to the cake (optional).
  10. Once done, let it cool for another 10 minutes.
  11. Using a spoon or knife, carefully loosen the sides and center of the Bibingka cakes and transfer them to a serving plate.
  12. Place strawberry slices on top of the Bibingka cakes and serve.

Notes

Although beet juice has a vibrant pink hue, it will fade into light pink after baking.

It's best to use a muffin pan. Keeping the cakes in small containers creates the best texture for this vegan version.

http://www.astigvegan.com/strawberry-beets-bibingka-gluten-free-nut-free/

 

I really enjoyed making these cakes because they are simple and quick to make, pretty to look at, and delicious to eat. Not to mention, they stay good for up to two to three days -not that you’d want to wait that long to eat them.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Feel free to also share it with family and friends. The lovely shade of pink and red will delight and cheer up your loved ones. Kain na, let’s eat!

Note: The kind and gracious people at Nuco sent me their products to try in my dishes. All views are my own. I only feature products that I would use and would share to family and friends.

title card vegan lechon paksiw recipe close up copy

Vegan Lechon Paksiw Recipe

Lechon Paksiw is a sweet and tangy Filipino dish made from leftover lechon or roasted pig. Lechon is a Spanish influence introduced to Filipinos during the Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Eventually, Filipinos started serving roasted pig at big gatherings.

As popular lechon is to a lot of Filipinos, the host somehow still ends up with lechon leftover, and that’s when the host will make Lechon PaksiwPaksiw means cooked in vinegar, garlic, and salt. Lechon Paksiw is arguably just as loved as lechon itself.

vegan lechon paksiw recipe med shot

For the longest time, I thought Lechon Paksiw is impossible to veganize. After all, how do you veganize roasted pork? I guess there’s always mock pork and wheat gluten, but mock pork is usually sold pre-seasoned and wheat gluten or seitan sometimes doesn’t have the right texture. Not to mention, both mock pork and wheat gluten are heavily processed products.

vegan lechon paksiw recipe close up

Enter the jackfruit. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but all of a sudden the vegan world starts buzzing about jackfruit and how it could veganize pulled pork. Genius! I wonder why I never thought of it considering I’ve been familiar with jackfruit all my life.  Jackfruit is a native fruit of Southeast Asia and a specialty in the Philippine province, Davao. But never mind that I found about it rather late, the important thing is I did and now I could re-invent more Filipino dishes and veganize them including Lechon Paksiw.

It’s good to point out that this recipe is simple, easy, cruelty-free, very inexpensive, and much healthier than the traditional version. So go ahead and feel free to try and share this recipe with family and friends.

vegan lechon paksiw recipe wide shot

Vegan Lechon Paksiw Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 3

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
  • 1 10oz. can of green, unripe jackfruit in brine (NOT in syrup), chopped and shredded
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce (or coconut aminos for a soy-free option)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 3-4 pieces bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar (or stevia for a low glycemic option)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat a small pan over medium heat. Once it's hot enough, add the cooking oil.
  2. Saute the garlic until it's fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic).
  3. Add the jackfruit and mix well.
  4. Pour the soy sauce and vinegar. Mix well.
  5. Follow up with the sugar, bay leaves, and black pepper.
  6. Let it simmer for 15 minutes without a cover or lid. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  7. Serve hot with rice (or brown rice, red rice, quinoa, or farro, for a low-sugar option).

Notes

I prefer raw instead of ripe jackfruit because ripe jackfruit will have more of a barbecue flavor that we don't want for this recipe.

If you have access to fresh raw jackfruit, by all means use it instead of canned. Otherwise, you could get canned raw jackfruit in brine at Asian grocery stores.

http://www.astigvegan.com/vegan-lechon-paksiw-recipe/

Admittedly, I wasn’t even planning on making Lechon Paksiw. I was recipe testing for a vegan pork adobo recipe using unripe jackfruit when I realized that it’s more suitable for a Lechon Paksiw version. I guess the failed recipe test wasn’t a failure after all!

 

titlecardYardlong beans and squash close up copy

Squash and Yardlong Beans in Coconut Milk

Every time my sister is in town, she has only one request for me to make her. She would always ask for my “Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw“, or “Squash and Yardlong Beans in Coconut Milk”. It’s almost a no-brainer. I don’t even bother to ask her sometimes. We recently celebrated her birthday and sure enough, it was the vegan dish on the table for the birthday girl.

“Squash and Yardlong Beans in Coconut Milk” is a popular Filipino dish often enjoyed with rice -make it a garlic fried rice for an even more enjoyable experience. Sometimes, it’s cooked with shrimp or pork, or shrimp paste. But my sister likes it simple -just with squash, yardlong beans, and coconut milk as the main ingredients. I like it simple too. It cooks faster with less mess. It’s rich, savory, and comforting.

I do have a special way of making it though. I would mash half of the squash so it will blend into the soup. My version also has more soup than the traditional kind. I like it when I could taste the squash in every bite and in every sip.

Squash and Yardlong Beans in Coconut Stew

 

squash and yardlong beans closeup1

 

Yardlong beans and squash close up

SQUASH AND YARDLONG BEANS IN COCONUT MILK 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil (I used Nuco‘s garlic liquid coconut oil)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • one small bowl of yardlong beans
  • 3 cups of coconut milk
  • one small bowl of chopped kabocha squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)

NOTES:

  • Yardlong beans are different from green beans. Yardlong beans stay firm even when cooked. You could find yardlong beans at Asian markets and grocery stores. They’re usually sold and tied with a rubber band in big bunches, but I like to take what I could only consume (I know, I’m such a rebel).
  • Yardlong beans may not be gout-friendly. Feel free to replace them with bok choy, as what I would do when I cook for my parents.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a medium-size pan over medium heat.
  2. When the pan is hot enough, pour the coconut oil.
  3. Saute the onions until tender then add the garlic and saute for another minute (the saute will give a wonderful aroma from the coconut oil, garlic, and onions).
  4. Add the yardlong beans and stir around for another five minutes or until the yardlong beans have absorbed some of the flavors of the saute.
  5. Pour the coconut oil and add the squash. Simmer for 15-20 minutes under low heat.
  6. Using a fork, poke to see if the squash are soft enough. At this time, you could crush and mash some of the squash by using the back of the ladle and the side of the pan. You could use potato masher, immersion blender, or blender but then you’ll have more to clean up.
  7. Season with sea salt. If you are going to eat this with a side dish like rice, add more salt to make it more savory than desired. If you are going to eat this on its own, adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Put everything to a boil then turn off the heat. Serve hot with rice or garlic fried rice.

 

squash and yardlong beans med shot

 

Following suit to my previous post,  this dish is also incredibly easy and simple to make. Who knows, now that the recipe is out maybe my sister will try to make this one herself! After all, she lives far from me and could find herself craving for it. Or she could always drive to the Bay Area to see me, and I’d be more than happy to cook it for her again.

Note: The awesome folks at Nuco Coconuts sent me their coconut products to try them in my dishes. All views are my own. Nuco sources its coconuts from the Philippines and are sustainably-grown, organic, and fair-trade, improving the livelihood of Philippine coconut farmers. Learn more about Nuco’s products and its story on: nucoconut.com/nuco-story

roasted tomatoes titlecard

Roasted Tomatoes with Coconut Vinegar

Sometimes people ask me, “Is it hard to go vegan?”. They seemed baffled and amazed, presuming veganism is challenging and daunting at the same time. They would admire my work as “going the extra mile” to sustain my lifestyle. I was once in their shoes, so I rather not give them attitude and feel offended. Instead, I like to clarify that vegan cooking is not complicated.

One example showing vegan cooking is simple, is a dish called roasted tomatoes. All you need are tomatoes and some condiments and spices. To make the process even simpler, you could use a toaster oven instead of an oven and use only three pieces of tomatoes. After all, it’s not practical to use the oven and bake a whole bunch of tomatoes when you’re not feeding a party.

Just because it’s simple, it doesn’t have to be boring. My recipe calls for coconut vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar to change things a bit. Coconut vinegar has less sugar than balsamic so the recipe is good for those watching their sugar intake. The result is reminiscent to the Filipino tomato dish called “Pinangat“.

roasted tomatoes wide shot

 

roasted tomatoes med side shot

 

roasted tomatoes med close up

 

ROASTED TOMATOES WITH COCONUT VINEGAR:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced horizontally
  • drizzle of Nuco coconut vinegar
  • drizzle of Nuco liquid coconut oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • few sprigs of rosemary leaves (you may also use thyme, bay leaves or basil)

tomato prep

 

roasted tomato prep sliced tomatoes

 

roasted tomatoes prep before the oven

 

roasted tomatoes with nuco

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the tomatoes on a baking dish and drizzle with oil and vinegar.
  2. Sprinkle the garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the rosemary leaves.
  3. Bake in a toaster oven at its highest setting (usually 450F) for 30-40 minutes. Be careful of drips. I usually use foil for an easy clean up.

roasted tomato wide shot

roasted tomatoes close up

You could enjoy the roasted tomatoes as side dish, snack, or appetizer. You could also chop the tomatoes to top on pasta and other noodle dishes. If you have tomatoes already in your pantry, this dish is incredibly simple and easy to make for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Note: The awesome folks at Nuco Coconuts sent me their coconut products to try in my dishes. All views are my own. Nuco sources their coconuts from the Philippines and are sustainably-grown, organic, and fair-trade, improving the livelihood of Philippine coconut farmers. Learn more about Nuco’s products and its story on: nucoconut.com/nuco-story

 

titlecard jasmine lemonade calamansi juice

Jasmine Ginger Lemonade & Calamansi Juice with Basil

Easter is almost here and if you are hosting a party, I’m sure you have your dishes already set. But what about drinks? Perhaps you got your cocktails planned out, your mimosas and white wine. And for the kiddos and those who don’t drink alcohol? In case you need more ideas for non-alcoholic drinks, I hope this post will help you. Here are two simple recipes using two of my favorite citrus: lemon and calamansi.

Lemons are sprouting in the Bay Area like crazy! I don’t even need to buy them at the store. I just get them from my backyard, or gifts from my family, friends, and their co-workers. A sprinkle of lemon in a cup of hot water in the morning could be so good and cleansing for the body. You could also make granitas, lemon sorbet, lemon pie, and many more. There are so many ways you could use lemons so I hope you don’t neglect and let them rot on your kitchen counter. Another way you could use lemons is to make lemonade. To add a twist to the usual recipe, I suggest adding jasmine green tea, ginger, and a bit of mint as garnish.

ginger jasmine lemonde calamansi basil

I used to work at a tea place called Samovar and one of my main tasks was to make jasmine tea lemonade. The combination of jasmine tea and lemonade was a big hit among our customers. Every once in a while, I would experiment and add ginger in it too. Lo and behold, the jasmine tea tasted even more amazing.

 

JASMINE GINGER LEMONADE

jasmine ginger lemonade with pitcher

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons loose leaf jasmine green tea
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 big chunks of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 3 1/2 quarts of cold water
  • 4 ounces lemon juice
  • mint leaves (for garnish)
  • lemon slices (for garnish)

NOTE:

  • Beware of cheap jasmine teas from tea bags that have a strong jasmine scent. Most likely, they were sprayed by fake jasmine scent. I rather use loose leaf teas from a trusted brand and a small tea strainer for steeping.
  • I suggest to steep the tea first, then prepare the lemons while you’re waiting for the tea.
  • White sugar is not vegan so feel free to use your favorite vegan sweetener. I like to use evaporated cane sugar or agave for this recipe.

slicing lemons

jasmine tea with ginger

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Using a big mug, add hot water, ginger, and sugar. You may gradually add the sugar so the hot water won’t pour over. If it does, carefully pour half of the water to another mug. Mix everything with a spoon.
  2. Steep the jasmine tea for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the lemons. Slice them in half and squeeze out the juice until you have about 4 ounces.
  4. After 15 minutes of steeping, remove the tea leaves and pour the liquid with ginger to the pitcher of cold water. Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly using a ladle or spatula. Taste and adjust to your liking,
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with mint and lemon slices.

jasmine ginger lemonade close up

 

If you’re outside of the Bay Area (or California for that matter), and lemons are out of reach, you may use whatever citrus you have available at the moment. In the Philippines, I used to know only one main citrus to use for juices, sauces, and marinades. Calamansi or in English, Calamondin, looks like a cumquat but tastes like a cross between orangs and lemon. It’s sweeter than lemon but tangier than orange.

Filipinos would usually sprinkle calamansi juice on top of pancit noodles, lugaw porridge, and other savory dishes. We also love to make calamansi juice. Lucky me, my sister has a calamansi tree so I simply go there and harvest ripe calamansi. Yes, calamansi trees also grow in the Bay Area! As for the calamansi juice, I’ve done a simple twist by adding Italian basil leaves. The result gave a much more complex and full-bodied calamansi juice. Feel free to give it a shot!

 

CALAMANSI JUICE WITH BASIL

calamansi juice

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 1/4 quarts of water
  • 2 ounces calamansi juice
  • 5 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 6-8 basil leaves (Italian)

NOTE:

  • Some Filipino grocery stores may carry calamansi. Feel free to check with a staff member.
  • For a low glycemic option, use stevia or coco palm sugar.

DIRECTIONS: 

  1. Mix everything using a long ladle or spatula. Taste and adjust to your liking.
  2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  3. Garnish with sliced calamansi and basil leaves.

 

calamansi juice medium shot

ginger jasmine lemonde calamansi basil You may also add vodka to the drinks to create cocktails, or add club soda for some fizz. These drinks are easy to make and fun to serve to family and friends, or to yourself. Keep a whole pitcher in the fridge and you’ll have a fun drink every time you need it.

If you still have tons of lemons or calamansi left, extract its juice and put it in the freezer. The strength and flavor of the citrus concentrate will deteriorate almost instantly if you keep it at room temperature or in the fridge. It’s best to preserve the juice in the freezer for later use.

Another quick way to make an interesting drink with almost no effort is to freeze some herbs in your ice cubes. Here, I’ve put mint leaves in an ice-cube tray, filled the cubes with water, and froze them for at least an hour. It’s a major upgrade to a plain glass of water!

mint ice cubes

mint ice cubes cu

These are just some of the simple ways you could create fun drinks for Easter or for any springtime occasion. I hope you give them a try and let me know what you think. Cheers!

asian greens soup tofu mushroom squash title card

Asian Greens Soup with Squash, Tofu, & Enoki Mushrooms

Living in San Francisco, I feel lucky for having many vegan options when dining out. One of these options is my favorite soup called “Braised Pea Leaves” with pumpkin, pressed tofu, and salted chili broth served at a restaurant called Mission Chinese.

Mission Chinese is a quaint restaurant in the Mission district. Some people frown upon this place, calling it too “hipster” because of its quirky decor and pricey menu items. But I didn’t mind the decor nor the price of the soup. I was more than willing to pay its deserving price for a bowl of its nourishing and delicious soup, with a side of white rice. I don’t mind who dines in there and whether I am indeed among the presence of “hipsters”. I simply enjoy the soup.

But I crave the soup too much that I just had to recreate it so I could have it any time, anywhere. Well, anywhere that has a kitchen. My version is not an exact replication but a personal rendition, an interpretation that has become my new favorite. I’ve added other ingredients such as enoki mushrooms and used a variation of Asian Greens -sometimes snow pea leaves, sometimes yu choy, and sometimes even kale. Basically any greens that have sweet stalk and tender leaves. I don’t braise them, I would just add them to the pot as one of the last steps. I also like to use regular, firm tofu instead of pressed, chewy tofu.

As for the seasoning, I kept the roasted garlic, chili pepper, and sesame oil. I think Mission Chinese uses mushroom broth so that’s what I use too. Anyway, I am completely satisfied and happy with my version that I am excited to share it with you. I think you’ll be pleased to know that it’s not only delicious, it’s easy and quick to cook too.

 

ASIAN GREENS SOUP WITH SQUASH, TOFU, AND ENOKI MUSHROOMS

Serves 4

Cooking time: 20 minutes

asian greens soup wide

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 quarts water
  • mushroom broth to taste (see note below)
  • 1/4 of small kabocha squash, thinly sliced with skin intact
  • 4-6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2-3 Thai chili pepper, minced (see note below)
  • drizzle of sesame oil
  • pinch of salt
  • a bunch of Asian greens (see note below)
  • a bunch of Enoki mushrooms, roots cut and removed
  • a block of firm tofu, thinly sliced
  • 3-5 tablespoons of cooking oil to fry the tofu

NOTES: 

  • Every brand of mushroom broth is different. They vary in form and strength. Start small and gradually add more until you’ve achieved your desired amount of savoriness. I like to use the brand “Po Lo Ku Mushroom Seasoning” that I got at my local Asian grocery store. I start with about three tablespoons, adding more to taste.
  • I like my soup mildly spicy. You may use more chili pepper if you want more kick. You may use chili oil or sambal olek in addition to or in replacement for the chili pepper. If you don’t want it to be spicy at all, you may de-seed the pepper before adding to the pot or skip them altogether.
  • You may use any greens that have firm, sweet stalk and tender leaves. Ideally, I like to use snow pea leaves but I’ve also used yu choy, sometimes even kale.
  • While you’re waiting for your soup to simmer and cook, you could also fry the tofu on another pan to cut down your cooking time.
  • Growing up, I was always told to remove the skin off the kabocha squash before cooking it. As it turns out, the skin is also edible! So feel free to keep the skin intact; it doesn’t have any prominent flavor and it does give nutritious fiber.

asian greens close up shot

asian greens med shot

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add water to a medium-size pot and heat it over medium heat.
  2. Pour the mushroom broth and a pinch of salt and mix to fully incorporate. Cover and put to simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  3. While you’re waiting for your broth to simmer, put the garlic cloves a the toaster oven and toast for 5 minutes or until they have brown and black toasted spots.
  4. During this time, you could also fry your tofu on a separate pan, preferably next to your soup so you could watch both.
  5. Once your soup is simmering, add kabocha squash and let it cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the squash has slightly softened.
  6. Adjust the seasoning to taste. You may add more mushroom broth, salt, or water. Then drizzle some sesame oil.
  7. Put the broth to a boil and turn down the heat to a low simmer. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and greens. Cover the pot with lid and let the greens and mushroom absorb the flavors for another 3 minutes. You may finish up frying your tofu at this time.
  8. Lastly, add the fried tofu to the pot.
  9. Turn off the heat and serve the soup hot, preferably with a side of rice (or farro for a no-sugar option).

 

This soup is my go-to when I run out of time to cook and have only 20 minutes to spare and few ingredients to use. It’s extremely simple, versatile, and delicious. Even though the weather is warming up in San Francisco, it’s never a bad time for some Asian greens soup with a mild kick. Feel free to try it and share with family and friends. This soup is best enjoyed when shared. Thanks to Mission Chinese Restaurant for the inspiration!

 

 

I submitted this recipe to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.

 

virtual vegan linky potluck