Born and raised in a Filipino household in Phoenix, I grew up eating my grandma’s delicious traditional Filipino dishes. From adobo to lechon and pancit—you name it, I ate it. As a second-generation Filipina-American in a meat-eating family, I saw cows, chickens, and pigs as food—that is, until I started learning about animal rights and vegan living through literature and documentaries.

piglets

Piglets | Photo by: Meneer Zjeroen | CC by 2.0 

The more I educated myself on animal rights issues, the more motivated I became to change the way that I ate for my health, the planet, and, of course, animals. In September 2015, I finally decided to go vegan. And after discovering delicious meat alternatives, I learned that I didn’t have to sacrifice my favorite childhood foods, flavor, or nutrition to go vegan!

There are plenty of ways to “veganize” traditional Filipino dishes. Here are some of my favorite vegan versions, which are actually more satisfying and healthful:

Vegetable Lumpia

This vegan recipe is super-easy! Not all lumpia wrappers are vegan, though, so remember to check the ingredients on the package.

Vegan Pancit Palabok

Where there’s a will, there’s a way to eat pancit! This vegan version of the Filipino noodle dish is more mouthwatering than the traditional recipe.

Vegan Lechon Paksiw

Vegan lechon does exist. Masarap! (“Delicious!”)

There are also lots of restaurants that serve vegan versions of traditional Filipino food—here are a few located in California:

Tribal Cafe in Los Angeles

Tribal Cafe offers a vegan chicken adobo sandwich, known as the “Coral Bleaching,” which is absolutely delicious and packed with a variety of nutritious veggies.

Crème Caramel in Los Angeles

 This bakeshop in Sherman Oaks custom-makes vegan custards that feature the popular Filipino ingredient “ube” (purple yam).

No Worries Cuisine in San Francisco

This fully vegan food truck brings its Filipino flavors all over the Bay Area.

We all have the power to help animals.

People from all cultures can be animal rights and vegan activists simply by making the switch to plant-based eating. And given the variety of vegan Filipino food options out there, being a vegan Filipina-American is indeed awesome!

Need help getting started? Check out our Guide to Going Vegan!