When I went vegan in 2016, I found myself at a difficult intersection between Western and Filipino values. On one hand, you are expected to refuse food that doesn’t conform to your values. On the other, refusing food is considered a grave insult in Filipino culture. It has been a goal of mine to create a plant-based version of my family favorites that I could bring to holiday gatherings.
Filipinos will laugh at you for being a vegan. They won’t be laughing for long when you serve them a pancit that puts tradition to bed. Shiitake broth and red miso help make up a more complex umami flavor profile than its traditional counterpart. Before you ask where the shrimp is, take one bite and you will find your answer. Lion’s mane mushrooms and kelp pack a seafood flavor unlike any other. Every bite is full of meaty, savory mushrooms and crisp vegetables. You’ll probably want to double this recipe; it’s simply irresistible to constant “quality control” testing while cooking!
Pancit Guisado 2.0
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms (about 8-10 pieces)
- 3 cups of boiling water
- 4 ounces brown button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
- 8 ounces lion’s mane mushrooms, sliced into 1/2” bite-sized squares
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 ounces cabbage, sliced into 1/2” wide strips
- 4 ounces broccoli, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 ounces shredded carrots
- 4 ounces green beans, ends cut and sliced into 1” pieces
- 1 bouillon cube of vegetarian chicken stock or 1 tablespoon vegetarian chicken stock concentrate, Better Than Bouillon
- 1 tablespoon kelp seasoning (I used Bragg’s)
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon red miso paste
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon finely-ground black pepper
*This is meant to be very salty
- lemon slices
- green onions
- soy sauce
- black pepper
PREPARE TOFU, NOODLES, AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS
- Soak noodles in lukewarm water until soft and workable. If the noodles are too long, feel free to cut them.
- EXTRACT WATER FROM YOUR TOFU: Wrap the tofu block in a paper towel or a rag and place between two plates. Place a heavy weight (such as books) on top for 10-20 minutes. When the block is dry, cut into 1-inch cubes.
- SOFTEN MUSHROOMS: Soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 3 cups of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in warm water. Set aside.
- Once the shiitakes are soft, slice into strips. Keep the broth; this is very important.
- Add stock concentrate (or bouillon cube) to the shiitake broth. Stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, add miso paste and stir until incorporated. Add in soy sauce, lemon juice, kelp seasoning, and pepper into the broth. Add 1/2 cup of water. This will have a very strong, salty taste.
PREPARE TOFU AND VEGETABLES
- Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a heavy pot. Fry tofu until golden on all sides. Set aside on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Heat oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Sauté the sliced onions until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add in shiitake and brown mushrooms along with a dash of salt. Stir until mushrooms are browne on all sides.
- Add in green beans and broccoli. Cook until softened slightly. Add in cabbage and carrots. Stir frequently until the cabbage has softened slightly.
- Add in the broth. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat.
- Slowly incorporate rice noodles by adding a little at a time. Toss the noodles in the pan until coated in the broth. Repeat this process until all the noodles are incorporated.
- Stir noodles until liquid has cooked off. Add fried tofu and incorporate thoroughly.
- Garnish with green onions and more ground pepper. Serve with a lemon slice and soy sauce on the side.
Mia Matlock is a non-binary Filipino-American artist based in Omaha, NE. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2017 with a focus in 2-Dimensional Art. Her work explores life as a second-generation Filipino, namely through gender politics and intergenerational trauma. When Matlock isn’t making art, she is studying wild edibles in the hope of creating a native, Midwestern expression of plant-based Filipino cuisine. Matlock works in a variety of media but specializes in marker illustrations and screen printing. Instagram @goose_queen