Every year, it seems like a new world cuisine comes to the forefront of the food world. What flavors are going to be on everyone’s radars in 2017? Several trend-spotting sources have identified African, Filipino, and Korean food as the cuisines whose flavors will influence the food world in 2017. While traditionally, none of these cuisines are vegan of vegetarian-friendly, we can easily make vegan versions of even the meat-heavy dishes. This Korean BBQ Tofu takes the flavors that meat is traditionally cooked in and it tastes amazing. These Filippino Breakfast Sausages are made with mushrooms and tofu instead of meat and this Seitan Tagine With Apricots and Dates, a North African stew, replaced meat with wheat protein.
To show you just how easy it is to make delicious vegan food using the flavors of these cuisines, we have 15 vegan recipes for you: five African recipes, five Filipino recipes, and five Korean recipes. Get ready, because you’re going to be hungry once you’re done reading this.
1. Piri-Piri Tofu
If you haven’t tried it yet, Piri-Piri sauce is a popular African sauce made from a combination of African bird’s eye chilis blended with spices, lemons, onion, and garlic. While this Piri-Piri Tofu isn’t super spicy, it has a sour-spicy type taste and works well with kale and mustard seeds. Easy to make, it makes a great weeknight dinner or post-workout meal.
2. Red Bean Patty Wraps With North African Chermoula Sauce
These savory Red Bean Patty Wraps With North African Chermoula Sauce combine the flavors of a traditional North African spice mixture with a gluten-free red bean patty. It combines the flavors of a traditional North African spice mixture with a vegan and gluten-free cakes. Herbs are the main ingredient of chermoula, a marinade used prominently in Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria. Parsley, cilantro, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemon, and other seasonings bring a fresh flavor, making chermoula the perfect marinade for warmer weather.
3. Chachouka Chow Chow: North African Tomato and Pepper Stew
Warming spices, tender, juicy peppers, this North African Tomato and Pepper Stew brings the colors and flavors of North Africa to your plate. This richly spiced Algerian stew consists of peppers, tomatoes, and shredded flat bread that are cooked in warming spices. Your house will smell of cumin for hours after you’ve had the last bite of your chachouka.
4. Plantain Dumpling Soup
While this Plantain Dumpling Soup isn’t traditional, it incorporates flavors and ingredients found in a majority of African cuisine, like plantains, scotch bonnet, bell peppers, and tomato. The flavors are perfectly balanced — a bit of heat from fiery green chiles, sweetness from the plantains, a delicate aroma from fresh lemongrass… Need we go on?
5. Bunny Chow: South African Curry in a Bread Bowl
Bunny chow is a South African street food that traditionally consists of a meat-based curry served in bread. This completely plant-based version of Bunny Chow is made with hearty spiced chickpeas and potatoes instead. As for the name, it has nothing to do bunnies or rabbits. It originated in Durban, South Africa and is said to have been made by the Indian banias who migrated there. This is the perfect, comforting meal on a budget to keep you warm during the colder months.
6. Pancit: Filipino One-Pan Noodles
Pancit, the Filipino word for “noodles,” is a stir-fry dish that can be made with any variety of noodle. In this Pancit, rice noodles are stir-fried with vegetables and tofu. As they cook, they’re seasoned with tamari, fresh ginger, and vegetable broth until fragrant and flavorful. This simple dish makes a great weeknight dinner.
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7. Grilled Tempeh With Filipino BBQ Sauce
The sauce in this Grilled Tempeh With Filipino BBQ Sauce is inspired by what you’d find brushed on grilled foods by street vendors in the Philippines. It’s sweet, smoky, and perfect for grilling tempeh. You could smother the sauce on anything that has that “meaty” texture — tofu, mushrooms, seitan, etc, and serve with your favorite starch and favorite salad for a well-balanced meal.
8. Lumpiang Shanghai: Filipino Fried Spring Rolls
Traditional Filipino spring rolls, or vegetable Lumpiang Shanghai, as they are called, are usually filled with pork. Here, we have kept the essence of the Asian dish but replaced the filling with vegetables! Carrots, sweet potatoes, jicama, and kabocha squash come together in this snack. They’re crispy, savory, and best served with a sweet dip like ketchup.
9. Tortang Alimasag: Filipino ‘Crab’ Cake Omelet
Neither just crab cakes nor just crab omelet, the Filipino crab cake omelet or Tortang Alimasag is the best of both worlds, plus more. By substituting the usual ingredients for ground soybeans or artichoke hearts and by using the right seasoning, you can enjoy this crispy Filipino dish. Serve it on a bun like you would a slider with a side of fries and ketchup.
10. Kare-Kare: Filipino ‘Oxtail’ Stew
Kare-kare is a Filipino stew traditionally made with oxtail, tripe, and vegetables in a thick peanut sauce. It’s usually served during special occasions, perhaps because the procedure is painstakingly delicate. In this meat-free Kare-Kare, mushrooms stand in for meat. Its rich, umami flavor (thanks to fermented black bean garlic sauce) makes this dish a must-try.
11. Japchae: Korean Sweet Potato Noodles With Tofu
Grab a big bowl of Japchae! This Korean dish is made by sautéeing clear noodles made from sweet potato starch in a sweet soy sauce with vegetables. Each bite is packed with healthy vegetables and plant protein for a delicious gluten-free meal.
12. Cast-Iron Skillet Bibimbap
Bibimbap is traditional Korean dish which consists of cooked rice and varied toppings, traditionally served in a hot stone pot called a dolsot. This Cast-Iron Skillet Bibimbap is made with carrots, red cabbage, mung bean sprouts, cucumbers, pan-fried mushrooms, and spicy tofu. A cast-iron skillet is used in place of a dolsot, making the rice crispy.
13. Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers
Traditional Korean food is wonderful, but it is also fun to experiment with combining the best of Korean cuisine with American food. These Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers combine the signature sweet Korean BBQ sauce with a “beefy” veggie burger and spicy kimchi to create a dinner to rival anything you’ll get in a restaurant. Plus, you’ll hopefully have some leftover kimchi as a side for lunch the next day.
14. Vegetable Protein Bulgogi
Bulgogi is a Korean dish that usually consists of thinly-sliced, grilled marinated beef. In this vegan Bulgogi, beef is replaced with textured vegetable protein. The marinade is a mixture of savory and sweet, with ingredients like tamari, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, garlic, and grated ginger. Serve over a bed of rice for a filling and flavorful meal.
15. Korean-Style Spicy Tofu and Sesame Cucumbers
Tofu triangles sizzling in a flavorful spicy hot pepper sauce … who wouldn’t want that for dinner? You can, with this Korean-Style Spicy Tofu and Sesame Cucumbers. Cool it down with a side of fresh and crunchy sesame cucumbers and some steamed rice and you’ve got yourself a Korean-inspired feast that couldn’t be easier to make!
Lead image source: Cast-Iron Skillet Bibimbap