Salpicao was one of my favourite dishes growing up. This is of course a vegan version of the Filipino classic.
WHAT IS SALPICAO?
Filipino Salpicao traditionally made with beef cubes cooked down in a savoury sauce with lots of garlic! Salpicao is also one of those Filipino dishes heavily influenced by Spanish cuisine since the country was under Spanish rule for over 3 centuries.
TWO VERSIONS FOR THIS VEGAN SALPICAO:
For this vegan version, I made 2 kinds:
- Version 1: vegan soy “meat” or chunks
- Version 2: Extra firm tofu!
I cooked both down with some sliced button mushrooms in the really tasty, and savoury sauce.
Version 1: using soy “meat” or chunks
Here’s the exact soy meat I used! PS. Link is not an affiliate link. I purchased these from Shopee and can be shipped in the Philippines.
For my US-based friends, here are similar meat substitutes that you can find on Amazon:
(these affiliate links)
Version 2: Using extra firm tofu
WHICH SHOULD I MAKE?
It’s totally a personal preference. I enjoy both, but I find that the soy chunks yield a much meatier experience since they’re of course textured.
I soak my soy chunks to rehydrate them. This is best to do overnight!
As for the tofu, I just simply pan-fry them.
Both versions use mushrooms and I just used some sliced button mushrooms from a can.
The aromatics: Lots of ONION AND GARLIC!
It’s really the garlic that adds to the flavour of this dish. Especially since we’ll cook them to a crisp later on!
AND YOU’LL WANT THE GARLIC REALLY, REALLY CRISPY.
Cooking everything down in the sauce.
The soy chunks absorb much more sauce compared to tofu, so I found that the version using soy chunks had less sauce after cooking.
ENJOY YOUR SALPICAO WITH:
Turmeric adlai (or your grain of choice)
For this version, I made turmeric garlic rice and paired it with my salpicao!
Plain rice is perfect, too!
Seen below is some plain adlai (locally grown Philippine barley or Job’s Tears)
You might enjoy these recipes:
- Filipino-Style Vegan “Pork” Barbecue
- Filipino Kaldereta or ‘Meat’ Stew
- Filipino Lumpiang Gulay or Fried Vegetable Spring Rolls
- Japanese Chahan or Fried Rice
- Chinese-Style Bolognese
- Ginger and Scallion Noodles
- Chili Garlic Oil Noodles
- Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)
Filipino Tofu and Mushroom Salpicao (Vegan)
Protein (Pick one!)
- 2 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil (I recommed butter more!)
- 12 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small red onion diced
- 200 g button mushrooms or other mushrooms of choice, sliced
- Salt or pepper to taste if needed
Protein (if using Tofu)
- IF USING TOFU, Press the tofu or tokwa for 10 minutes to drain out excess liquid. I like to wrap mine in a towel and place a chopping board and plate on top. Afterwards, slice the tofu into 1” (2.5 cm) thick pieces or cubes.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over high heat.
- Add in the oil or butter for the tofu.
- Once hot, place the pieces of tofu on the pan. Pan-fry over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until lightly brown, around 10 minutes in total. Remove the tofu from the pan then set side.
Protein (if using Soy Chunks)
- IF USING SOY CHUNKS, place the chunks in a large heat proof bowl.
- Pour boiling hot water and leave the chunks to soak and rehydrate for around 12 to 15 minutes until doubled in size. You can cover the bowl to retain the steam.
- Carefully squeeze out the liquid from the soy chunks and then set aside.
- While the tofu is pressing/soy chunks are soaking, mix all the sauce ingredients together.
- Note: You can double the sauce recipe if you'd like it with extra sauce after cooking–this is especially for the soy chunks version since soy chunks absorb more liquid.Feel free to adjust the sauce measurements to your taste.
- For the Salpicao, heat 2 tbsp butter or olive in the pan over medium high heat. I've tried this with both oil and butter, and would definitely recommend to use vegan butter for more flavour.
- Once hot, add in the minced garlic.
- Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, moving around every 30 seconds, until golden brown and crisp.
- You can remove some garlic to set aside for topping later on.
- Add in the onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add in the button mushrooms and then sauté over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add in the pan-fried tofu OR soy chunks into th pan.
- Pour in the sauce. Turn up the heat to medium high heat and leave everything to cook until the sauce starts to thicken and is absorbed by the tofu.
- Taste the salpicao and feel free to season it with some salt or pepper to taste, if needed.
- Turn off the heat and then serve the Salpicao with steamed adlai or your grain of choice.
- For the turmeric adlai, I simple pan-fried lefotver adlai (or your choice of grain) with sme garlic and turmeric powder in the same pan. You can find my garlic turmeric fried rice recipe here.
- You can also have this with some singangag or fried garlic rice. See my sinangag recipe here.
- Top with more toasted garlic and chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy!