A small bunch of string beans and fresh button mushrooms were cooked Filipino adobo style. I made this for Sam a couple of weekends ago. Instead of plain rice, I served the string beans and mushrooms adobo with a simple quinoa salad. And because Sam is ovo-lacto vegetarian (and occasionally, a pescatarian), I put in a fried egg too.
Yep, it’s the kind of vegetarian meal that even I could eat. So much flavor, so many textures and the colors are just wonderful! And because there is no meat to cook to tenderness, the string beans and mushrooms adobo was done in under 10 minutes.
A couple of tips when cooking adobo without meat. Choose a mild vinegar. If the vinegar is too strong, the acidity will define the dish. You want the sourness to be pronounced (this is adobo, after all) but not overwhelmingly so. Rice vinegar is just right for meatless adobo.
Now, the mushrooms… Does it have to be button mushrooms? No, shiitake is a better choice, really. But Sam likes button mushrooms better than shiitake so I set aside the urge to cook the adobo with shiitake.
Do the mushrooms have to be fresh? Ahhhh, yes. Canned won’t do at all. Canned mushrooms are already cooked and, in that state, the seasonings will simply coat them. What you want is for the mushrooms to soak up some of the lovely adobo flavors. So, use fresh.
Vegan String Beans and Mushrooms Adobo
Trim and discard the ends of the string beans. Cut the beans into two-inch lengths.
Smash the garlic and shake off the skins. Mince (or chop, if you prefer) the garlic.
Peel and finely slice the shallot.
Slice the button mushrooms. Thin or thick, that is entirely up to you.
Heat the cooking oil in a small frying pan. Saute the garlic and shallot for about half a minute.
Add the string beans and bay leaf to the pan. Sprinkle in the pepper. Continue sauteeing for another half a minute.
Pour in the vinegar and rice wine. Cover the pan. Set the heat to low. Cook the string beans for five to six minutes.
Turn up the heat to medium. Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring, for about a minute or until the mushrooms are just starting to brown.
Drizzle in the soy sauce. Cook, stirring often, for another minute.
Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving you vegan string beans and mushrooms adobo.
What about the quinoa salad?
Easy Simple Quinoa Salad
Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Cool.
Peel and grate the garlic.
Peel and roughly chop the shallot.
Roughly chop the tomato and bell pepper.
Toss the quinoa with the grated garlic, chopped shallot, tomato and bell pepper.
In a small bowl, make the dressing by stirring together the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa salad and toss to blend.
Sprinkle sliced scallions over the quinoa salad before serving.
And what did us omnivores eat on the day that Sam had her string beans and mushrooms adobo with quinoa salad?
We had sushi.
Alex made the sushi. Strips of SPAM dredged in corn starch and fried until crisp, chunky omelet and cucumber were rolled with sushi rice. Delicious!