A few weeks ago, an acquaintance of mine named Michael sent me a message asking if we could get together and cook.
He wrote, “One of my favorite ways to get to know someone is to learn how to cook something.”
It was an unexpected and lovely invitation to connect.
My friend Helen, who is vegan, and I like to joke that Filipino food—the food that I grew up eating—is the least vegan cuisine out there. It’s meat with a side of meat and some rice.
However, Helen remained curious about Filipino food and is a perseverant cook. She surprised me by making her own karioka, which is essentially a set of Filipino doughnuts on a stick. It turns out that karioka is vegan.
That piqued my interest, and I started wondering if there were other vegan Filipino foods. One day Helen and I were chatting on Twitter about a recipe by Astig Vegan for vegan lumpia, one of the quintessential Filipino foods.
I was surprised to find that lumpia wrappers are vegan. I had been sure that there they were made with eggs, but they aren’t. This revelation opened up a world of possibilities.