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Going Vegan

27 December 2018

By Cherry Cheng  
From Domestic Workers Corner, It’s All About Food

Most Filipinos love meat, so coming up with vegan or all-vegetable dishes can prove challenging to many of us who find it difficult getting our dishes flavored without the token pork or chicken slices, or powder and bouillon. Even if we forego meat during the Lenten season we would still eat seafood because having nothing but vegetables for the whole day is seen by many as not fortifying enough.

But it really is all in the mind, because all-vegetable dishes could taste as delicious, if not more so, than meat or seafood. As many studies show, eating vegetables and fruits is also far better for our health than stroke-inducing pork and beef dishes.

When we venture out into the world and wean ourselves from our traditional way of cooking, we will also find that vegetables can be cooked in so many other ways, instead of just sautéing or steaming, or adding to a meat soup to enhance flavor.

Cherry Cheng posted the delectable dishes below in the DWC’s food page, and very generously shared her recipes. Why not try some of them this Christmas season?

(Korean Eggplants)

1 pound Korean eggplants (2  big pieces with tops removed)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce (omit if vegan)
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, crushed

1. Prep your steamer by adding 2 cups of water to it. Set heat to medium-high for it to boil, which should take about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cut eggplants crosswise into 2½ inch pieces. Cut the thicker pieces in half lengthwise.
3. When the water starts to boil put the eggplants on the steamer rack and cover. Steam for 5 minutes over medium high heat.
4. Remove from the heat. Take out the steamed eggplants and transfer to a cutting board. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes until you can easily handle them.
5. Tear each piece into bite-size pieces.

Seasoning mixture:
1. Combine garlic, green onion, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, sesame oil in a mixing bowl. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
2. Add the steamed eggplant to the bowl and mix well by hand or with the wooden spoon.
3. Sprinkle with the crushed sesame seeds and serve

Chinese Onion Pancake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of garlic and onion powder
2 bunches of scallions (green onions / salad onions)
oil - for cooking

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, water, sesame oil and salt, garlic and onion powder using a whisk until smooth. Set aside.
2. Wash and chop the scallions into 1-inch size and mix into the batter
3. Take 1/2 cup of batter and form into pancake size, then fry in medium hot pan with oil.
4. Fry until crisp, then serve hot.

Vegan Curry
2 blocks tofu (can be substituted with 400 gm minced chicken)
1 big potato, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups coconut milk1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tsp fish sauce (omit if vegan )
1-2 tbsp palm sugar
salt to taste

If using tofu:
1. Pan fry tofu until golden brown, then set aside.
2. Put 1 cup of coconut milk into the pan, then wait until bubbly and oily.
3. Add curry paste, curry powder and turmeric, then mix till well blended.
4. Add onion and garlic, then sauté until translucent

If using minced chicken:
1. Go ahead and add into the mixture until the meat turns whitish.
2. Add potato and carrots, then the remaining 2 cups of coconut milk.
3. If sauce becomes too thick, add a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

AFTER 20mins : 
***(If using tofu, add into the mixture, then season with fish sauce, palm sugar and salt. Mix and adjust to taste. Turn off fire and cover. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Beans soup
1 can black beans
1 can chick peas
1 can kidney beans
2 cups mixed vegetables (corn,peas, carrot) better if fresh but frozen is also ok
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
4 cups vegetables broth (chicken broth if not vegan)
1 big yellow onion.
minced garlic 3cloves
1tbsp smoked paprika
1tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
salt to taste (chicken powder if using chicken broth)

Saute onion and garlic, then add all the beans and the other ingredients. Let it boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Serve

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