Tuesday, November 09, 2010

November 3, 2010: Menudo

Menudo (no, not the Puerto Rican boy band) is a traditional Mexican soup, commonly made with cow's stomach. Which is gross. Luckily Chow Vegan has invented a wacky vegan version, which we were determined to replicate.

Vegan Menudo required trips to two of our favourite specialty grocers: Casa Iberica for hominy and Minh Phat for yuba sticks.

The yuba sticks (which are made of dried bean curd) fill in for tripe, providing at least something texturally appropriate - I'm pretty sure bean curd tastes nothing like cow's stomach but I wouldn't actually know.

This is a spicy and hearty stew rich with vegies. The interest comes from the slightly nutty hominy and the chewy bean curd, both of which make this more interesting than your average soup. It packs a bit of a punch (even more the day after) and is best eaten with a tortilla or two torn up and dunked in it.

Vegetarian menudo (recipe courtesy of Chow Vegan)

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
1 small white onion, diced
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 x 400g can crushed tomatoes
1/2 x 800g can hominy drained and rinsed (or 1 x 400g can if you can find it)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup 'chicken' stock
3 cups water
100 grams yuba sticks, soaked to rehydrate and cut into 3 cm pieces

Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the garlic and onions for about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add in the potatoes, carrot and celery and fry for a couple of minutes.

Pour in the tomato and the hominy and stir through the spices, making sure everything is mixed well.

Add the stock and the water, along with the drained yuba sticks. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 40-50 minutes, until everything is nice and soft.


  1. Quite right, yuba tastes nothing like tripe... The texture would be totally different as well. In fact, I think the only similarity would be the colour!

    It's quite interesting, the Filipino version of menudo replaces the tripe with pork belly, and chickpeas for hominy. It also doesn't have any chilli in it at all, but has green capscicum. Hmm.

  2. Hominy? It's possible to get hominy in Australia? Best discovery of 3-4pm on November 9 ever! :P

  3. Fascinating! I must try hominy - but vegetarian tripe??? Not for me - though if I just think bean curd I would probably happily eat it - like the innards of the bean :-)

  4. Hi Sefie! Thanks for telling us more about the Filipino version, it's totally new to us. We'll have to work on a vegetarian alternative to pork belly for that one. :-D

    Yes, Hannah, who'd've thunk it? I suspect Casa Iberica is damn near one of a kind in Australia.

    Johanna, rest assured I bookmarked this recipe before reading the tripe bit - bean curd skin is actually lovely. :-)