News flash! My make-believe food truck, Chow Vegan, has added a new item to its pretend Asian Mexican fusion menu – vegan menudo. Should go well with the veggie duck taco, don’t you think?
Menudo is a traditional Mexican stew whose main ingredients include tripe and hominy in a spicy broth. I subbed out the tripe for dried yuba (bean curd) sticks. The yuba doesn’t taste anything at all like tripe, instead it adds a chewy texture. Some Cantonese dishes are very big on texture, adding certain ingredients just to have the texture.
Having grown up on California’s Central Coast, where most cities have Spanish names, Asian Mexican fusion was inevitable. I can’t claim my version is authentic and I’m sure someone’s grandma somewhere is turning over in her grave.
But it’s so good. It’s flavorful and hardy. The flavor becomes more concentrated after a night in the fridge, perfect for a cold day standing outside of a food truck window.
Two bucks a cup; four bucks a bowl. Seating is curbside only. Thank you and please come again.
Makes about 8 cups (4-6 servings)
3 ounces dried yuba (bean curd) sticks, soaked to rehydrate, cut into 1 1/2″ rectangular pieces
2 medium red potatoes, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 small white onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
14.5 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes plus the juice
15 oz. can hominy, drained and rinsed
4 cups water
1 tablespoon vegan chicken base bouillon
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
A few sprigs of cilantro for garnish, chopped
Dissolve the bouillon in one cup of boiling water, set aside.
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until translucent. Add the potatoes, carrots and celery, sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the can of tomatoes and its juices, hominy and spices. Stir to mix well.
Add the bouillon broth, the rest of the water and the yuba sticks. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. To serve, garnish with the cilantro.
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