Tag Archives: mama sita

Tofucino: Kid-Approved!

Tocino is a really quick and easy Filipino recipe. The vegan version is even easier… and healthier and less gross. Pork is used in traditional Filipino-style tocino. It’s a perfect sweet and savory blend that has a red/pink glow from the annatto. Thankfully, the key to tocino lies more in the spices than in the meat fat/flavor, so I knew it would work well with tofu.

Only two ingredients were needed for this recipe: extra firm tofu and Mama Sita’s Tocino marinating mix. Guys, Mama Sita is Filipino food gospel. You do need a bit of oil for frying, so I guess three ingredients are needed.

After slicing and drying out my tofu, I covered it with the tocino mix and let it sit for about 10 minutes while I cut up some tomatoes.

I fried the tofu in some safflower oil until cooked.

My niece was over and was adventurous enough to try it. She liked it! “It’s kind of like eggs,” she said. She even asked for more. Thankfully, the three slices along with some rice and tomatoes were enough to fill both our tummies.

Have a great weekend! –Melissa

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Soy Curl-dereta

I decided to add a new item to my Veganized Filipino Dishes collection: Caldereta. I think of caldereta as a Filipino pot roast or beef stew of sorts. The traditional dish is made with goat meat, however, beef is usually used. In general, the meat is cooked in a tomato sauce with potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, peas, and green olives. A lot of people add liver or liver paste, or raisins; my family doesn’t. (Side note: raisins in my food? *gag*)

I was originally going to make the caldereta the usual way but with no meat, but then I remembered that I had a bag of soy curls. This is my first time making anything with (or eating) soy curls, so there was a bit of an unknown here. I’ll admit that I worried that the soy curls would ruin the whole thing, but I decided to take the risk.

Soy Curl Caldereta

1 cup soy curls
2 gloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, cut into chunks (or 1 cup whole baby carrots)
1 cup potatoes cut into chunks
1/2 to 1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup peas
handful green olives (add as little or as many as you’d like)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1/2 packet Mama Sita’s Caldereta Spice Mix (yeah, yeah… I’m lazy)

First, I prepped all my veggies. Then I threw some olive oil into a medium pot, browned the garlic, and then added the water over medium heat. When the water started to boil, I added the potatoes, carrots, and the seasoning and covered until it started to simmer.

I uncovered the pot and added the tomato sauce. I mixed it around a bit and then lowered the heat and covered the pot. While that was simmering, I took my cup of soy curls and rehydrated them in a bowl of water.

By the time the dish was simmering nicely, the soy curls were ready. I don’t know what I was expecting when it came to the soy curls. I knew they would be soft, but I wasn’t prepared for the smell. It was as if I had been instantly transported to a grocery store in Argyle.

After the soy curls were heated, I topped off the pot with the rest of the ingredients, covered the pot, and let it sit over low heat for about 5 minutes. You can leave over the heat for longer; I like wanted my peppers to retain some of their crunch.

Serve the dish over rice. Some things to note:

  • The Mama Sita mix contains garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices; it’s vegan.
  • This turned out very sweet. I”m not sure if it’s because of the tomato sauce, the amount of carrots I used, or what. It’s sweet.
  • Red peppers are usually used. I happened to have green in the fridge.
  • Because the traditional version uses meat, this tends to simmer for much longer with the meat, which I’m sure has a lot to do with the flavoring and the final texture of the dish. I might add some beef broth next time I make this.

This was a fun experiment! –Melissa

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