Full disclosure: My dinner wasn’t totally vegan because it was cooked with pork, which I did not eat. I could not resist being a vegetarian for one meal because this is one of my favorite dishes that I don’t often get to have (maraming salamat to my Aunt who brought it over). I’m extra excited because it’s a dish that can easily be veganized simply by not cooking it with meat.
The beans are kadios or pigeon peas. The meaty-lookimg stuff is langka or jackfruit. For real! I’ve seen jackfruit used in many interesting ways in the vegan blogosphere. This jackfruit is unripe. You should be able to find it in an Asian grocery store labeled as “young green jackfruit.” It’s hearty, picks up flavors nicely, and has a good texture to it. (In case you’re wondering, the green stuff is bok choy. My mom added it so there was more non-meaty stuff.)
What’s great about this dish is that the meat is almost an accessory. This is in comparison to other Filipino dishes where meat takes center stage and the veggies are for decoration. The flavor and color comes in large part from the kadios, which is the real star of the dish.
For dessert, I had ripe jackfruit, which was bought frozen:
This is a definite notch above the canned ripe jackfruit that I’m used to. Hmm… if only I could travel to a place where I can get fresh jackfruit… I will say that jackfruit is not for everyone. When I was little, the smell was a turnoff. It still is a bit of a turnoff, but the taste of the fruit more than makes up for it. Take this with a grain of salt; no one else I know has an issue with how jackfruit smells.
In other news, I just took some vegan spinach artichoke dip out of the oven. I followed Christie’s recipe. Yay! Time to nosh! –Melissa