With loads of vegetables and a variety of powerhouse flavors, this Filipino recipe for veggies in coconut cream is a weeknight game changer!
This Reader Recipe comes from Marika in the Philippines! When I saw her recipe for vegetables cooked in coconut cream pop into our recipe submissions, I was instantly drawn to the flavors happening in this dish.
As Marika explains it, this recipe has a bit of sour (vinegar), a bit of savory (mushrooms), a bit of heat (chilis), and some sweetness (pineapples). She says it’s like having a party in your mouth! I love when dishes balance lots of flavors like this, so I obviously had to cook it up and was floored by how delicious it was!
Not only that, but its incredible flexible to whatever you have in your pantry. Even Marika rarely uses measurements for it – just use what you have in your fridge!
So let’s make this gulay na ginataan sa luyang dilaw (vegetables cooked in coconut milk with turmeric), shall we?!
Here’s what you’ll need
- Flavor Base: The base flavors here are onion, (white or yellow), turmeric, ginger, and green chilis. I prefer fresh turmeric and ginger (over powdered), but use whatever you can get your hands on!
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas add a welcomed boost of protein and fiber to this recipe. You can use canned or cook them yourself!
- Mushrooms: I used shiitake mushrooms here for their delicious savory flavor. Marika uses enoki mushrooms, which can sometimes be harder to find in western supermarkets (but if you have access to them, use them!)
- Coconut Cream: Canned coconut cream or milk add major decadence to this dish. You can use low fat if you prefer, but avoid using cartoned coconut milk (the kind found near the refrigerated almond milks), which is far more watered down.
- Pineapple: The sweetness of the pineapple balances out the savory, salty flavors!
- Rice Vinegar: Just a tablespoon of rice vinegar adds the perfect amount of sourness to this dish. Don’t have rice vinegar? You can use white, wine, or apple cider vinegar (or even a splash of lime juice).
- Bok Choy: Finally, bok choy ups the veggie content and gives this dish a pop of color! Feel free to use spinach if you can’t find bok choy.
How to Make Filipino Veggies in Coconut Cream
Step 1: Prep Rice
I love serving this with rice! If you’ll be serving with rice, go ahead and start cooking that now.
Step 2: Flavor Base
Heat oil in a large wok or saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and chili. Cook until onion is soft and a bit translucent, about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Add Protein
Add chickpeas and mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms have sweat out their moisture and it evaporates, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 4: Tasty Extras
Stir in coconut cream, pineapple, and vinegar. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes to infuse all the flavors of the ingredients together.
Step 5: Veggie Up!
Stir in chopped bok choy, cooking just a few minutes until it wilts down.
As Marika mentioned, this dish is incredibly versatile to whatever you have in your pantry. Here are some possible variations!
- Flavor Base: This recipe tastes great with just turmeric or just ginger – we just included both for maximum flavor!
- Mushrooms: Shiitake have a great savory taste, but you can also use button, oyster, portobello, or enoki mushrooms.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas contribute more to the nutritional profile than to the flavor, so feel free to replace them with another neutral legume (like navy or cannellini beans!)
- Coconut: I love the richness of full-fat coconut milk or cream here, but you can use a loer fat alternative.
Pair these veggies with
- Filipino Eggplant Omelet for a full on Philippines-inspired meal
- Vietnamese Spring Rolls for a colorful table spread
- Veggie Lettuce Wraps for an easy side dish
- Cucumber Sushi Rolls for an Insta-worthy meal
- 1 Tbsp oil 15 mL
- ½ medium yellow or white onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh turmeric minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 green chilis finely chopped, can use any spicy green pepper
- 1 14-oz can chickpeas drained
- 8 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms* 226 g
- 1 13.5-oz can coconut cream or milk 400 mL
- ½ cup chopped pineapple 100 g
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar 15 mL
- 1 small bunch bok choy roughly chopped
- To Serve: Rice or flatbread for dipping
- Rice: If serving with rice, prepare that now.
- Flavor Base: Heat oil in a large wok or saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and chili. Cook until onion is soft and a bit translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add Protein: Add chickpeas and mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms have sweat out their moisture, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Tasty Extras: Stir in coconut cream, pineapple, and vinegar. Cover and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
- Veggie Power: Stir in chopped bok choy, cooking just a few minutes until it wilts down.
- Serve: Ladle into bowls, optionally serving with rice or dippy bread (a flatbread like naan would be great!)