I have not returned to Venezuela since my parents and I left in 2002, escaping a worsening political and economic crisis that has only recently received more International attention. Sadly, the time and distance has often made me feel disconnected from my country of origin. While I have fully embraced the United States, Spain, and Mexico as my new homes since then, I find my connection to Venezuelan culture strengthens through food. Pabellon Criollo is a traditional Venezuelan dish, which has shredded meat. Last week I tried recreating Pabellon using vegan ingredients, and replacing the shredded meat with enoki mushrooms! I am happy to report the results did not disappoint! While this can be a time consuming dish as you will be cooking many different things in different pots and pans, it will certainly create interesting conversation at the dinner table. To save you time, I recommend prepping all the ingredients the day before.
Vegan Venezuelan Pabellon Criollo
- 1/2 cup Black beans
- 1 cup White rice
- 150 grams Enoki mushrooms
- 2 cups Sliced plantain
- 1 cup Diced red pepper
- 1 cup Diced red onion
- 1 cup Diced scallions
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon Coriander
1. Leave black beans soaking in water overnight for faster cooking.
2. Rinse rice.
3. Add 3 cups of water to the rice and cook in medium heat for about 20-25 minutes.
4. Rinse black beans.
5. Add 3 cups of water to black beans and cook in medium heat for about 60 minutes or until soft. Do not let them dry. Add water as needed.
5. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in frying pan.
6. Fry plantain slices for 15 minutes on each side in low heat (these can burn fast so keep an eye on them. Add water if needed).
7. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in pan, and mix in the tiny diced onions, scallions, and peppers.
8. Simmer the veggies for 10 minutes.
9. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper to veggies.
10. Stir veggies for 10 minutes.
11. Mix half the veggie mixture into the black beans.
12. Add enoki mushrooms to the rest of the veggie mixture in the pan.
13. Stir mushrooms and veggies for 10 minutes.
14. Add coriander to taste once the veggies and mushrooms are finished.
15. Serve black beans, rice, plantains, and mushrooms onto a plate without mixing them.
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Photo: Vanessa Uzcategui