We’ve only just vegan…
Meatless Mondays, going vegetarian, or going the whole length and becoming a vegan, is taking the world by storm for several years now. As someone who loves meat, eggs, and dairy, and hates putting a lot of limitations on how I live my life (yeah, rulebreaker!), I couldn’t imagine even trying to do it for a day. Even with all the benefits, health-wise and economically, I avoided the idea.
Then, one day, I had to challenge myself and try out plant-based food. I didn’t actually become vegetarian or vegan, but I dipped my toes in their world. For starters, vegetarians don’t eat meat but vegans don’t consume anything that comes from animals— including eggs and dairy.
I was hesitant at first but I would want to know if it’s something that I can do long-term or even just for one day every week. I gave it a shot by trying the plant-based food from Vutcher.
Vutcher is a two-year-old “pop-up plant-based carinderia” as described on their Facebook Page.
For someone new in the world of vegetarian and vegan food, what I really liked about Vutcher is how they vegetarianize or veganize simple Filipino dishes. Therefore, their dishes aren’t intimidating.
How it all vegan?
“I became vegetarian at the age of 16 since then my mom learned how to veganize Filipino dishes,” Ross from Vutcher told When In Manila. “My mom’s cooking has been impressing my vegan and non-vegan friends, and with their encouragement, Vutcher officially opened in February 2018.”
“All of our products are original recipes and we try to be innovative with our ingredients to deliver products that are close to the one we grew up eating,” he added.
“Our mission is to provide affordable vegan food that is convenient to prepare at home that so it’s easier for people to enjoy their food without [the] guilt!”
What to try?
Unpork Bopis is Pork Bopis, veganized. The ingredients include shiitake mushrooms, carrots, radish, red bell pepper, atsuete, vinegar, laurel leaves, and black pepper. It comes in a pack of 250 grams of vegan bopis that is best served toasted, airfried, fried, or microwaved.
Just when you thought dishes like sisig will never work without meat, Vutcher surprises with the Unpork Sisig. This plant-based sisig is made with soy meat, shiitake mushroom, kalamansi, onion, ginger, green chilis, vegetable oil, and soy milk. I’m not pulling your leg but it really works. If you want that extra crunch, I recommend frying it.
Best served with rice. Or beer. There’s no meat in beer, right?
Vacon is what you’d definitely want to start a plant-based day with. It is made from tofu skin, coconut sugar, coconut oil, liquid smoke flavor, spices, and salt. You can fry it, airfry it, or cook it in the oven. Like a regular Pinoy breakfast, it is best eaten with rice, pandesal, or toast. It can also be used as a topping for salads.
Looks like dinuguan and kinda tastes like dinuguan, Beanuguan is made with shiitake mushroom, soy meat, black beans, green chili, garlic, brown sugar, and vinegar.
Aside from this Filipino dishes, Vutcher has surprisingly tasty plant-based empanadas.
Peach Mango Pie
Vutcher has both savory and sweet empanadas— so you have options as a snack or dessert. Some of their variants include the Classic, Chickun Pastel, Buko Pie, and Peach Mango Pie.
Although I’m nowhere near to switching to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, I think Vutcher’s food is proof that there are good vegetarian/vegan options out there. Also, as a beginner, their dishes are enticing enough to make you go for a day or two without meat.
To be honest, Vutcher seems to use some magic— feels like it’s a trick on getting me to eat plant-based food… And it worked.
Anything to add to this story? Share your thoughts with us.
Do you have a story for the WhenInManila.com Team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a direct message at WhenInManila.com Facebook Page. Interact with the team and join the WhenInManila.com Community at WIM Squad! Join our Viber group to be updated with the latest news!