It looks like real tapsilog but it isn’t. This is vegetarian tapsilog. The tapa is soy-based mock beef that was fried, shredded then stir fried with garlic, onion, chilies, paprika, salt, pepper and sugar.
For Filipinos who know what a comfort food tapsilog is, and knowing how hard it is to turn one’s back on comfort food, well, here is a way to go meatless and still enjoy tapsilog. How? Soy-based vegetarian “beef”, lightly pan-fried, shredded, then cooked with seasonings and aromatics. Serve with egg (Sam is ovo-lacto vegetarian so eggs are not a problem) and rice and enjoy.
How to cook vegetarian tapsilog
- Heat 2 tbsps. of cooking oil in a pan.
- Add the vegetarian “beef” chunks in a single layer. Cook just until lightly browned, flipping them over to brown evenly.
- Cool until you can handle them without hurting your hands.
- Shred the “beef” chunks. How small or how large you want the shredded pieces to be is entirely up to you.
- Heat the remaining cooking oil in a pan. Add the garlic, onion and chili flakes. Saute for a few minutes.
- Add the shredded vegetarian “beef”. Stir in the paprika. Season with salt (the vegetarian “beef” is already seasoned so go easy on the salt) and a bit of sugar for balance. Sweet and spicy really go together well. If the vegetarian “beef” appears dry (it is fatless, after all), add about 2 tbsps. of water to moisten it and to make the blending of flavors easier.
- Serve the vegetarian tapa with rice and egg.