Pesco-Vegetarian Dishes from Que Rica to Try This Lenten Season
It’s Lenten season once again. For many of us, this is a time to take a break from meat and explore new seafood and vegetable-based alternatives. Thankfully, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean putting up with just salads or steamed fish anymore.
With Que Rica’s lent-friendly offerings, you can still enjoy big, hearty flavors while following a pesco-vegetarian diet. These dishes are prepared in small batches in our kitchen by an all-Bicolana team, and they showcase the region’s expertise in cooking seafood and vegetables.
The "Not-So-Secret" Ingredient: Fresh Coconut Milk
Our not-so-secret ingredient? Fresh coconut milk. When cooked expertly, it creates a rich, creamy sauce that gives dishes a decadent feel even without animal fat.
It’s no wonder three of Bicol’s most iconic dishes, namely laing, pinangat, and sinantolan feature coconut milk as the main ingredient. Gata is inseparable from our heritage cuisine, as it gives Bicolano food their distinct flavor profiles.
Pesco-Vegetarian Que Rica Essentials
So, which of our lent essentials should you try first? Start with our Vegetarian Laing. It’s available in frozen and bottled versions, and is a great option for those looking for a low-carb, high-fat meal. We also have new varieties like Laing with Shrimps for those who need protein in their meals, and Laing Lasagna (layered with our homemade tomato concasse) for cheese-loving pasta fans.
Another must-try is our Sinantolan. As the name implies, its main ingredient is santol, or cotton fruit. We mince it, then stew it in coconut milk, shrimp paste, and aromatics to create a creamy, tangy side dish that goes well with fried, grilled and even dried fish. You can pair it with our Abo Dried Fish (Tiger-Toothed Croaker) and Biti Dried Fish (dried, salted Abo bladder), or use it as a dip for crackers and chips.
Sinanglay is another Bicolano favorite that’s great for Lent. To make it, we wrap tilapia fillets in pechay leaves together with onions, ginger, garlic, kamias and tomatoes, then slowly poach it in coconut milk. It’s a lighter ulam option for those who prefer gentler, brighter flavors.
And if these are still a bit too exotic for non-adventurous eaters like kids, you can always go with a safe pick like our Vegan Bicol Express (made with unripe Jackfruit and miso) for your everyday meals. Meanwhile, our Rakenrol Chips (Rainbow Cassava Chips) paired with Santol with Laing works great as a hearty snack.
Que Rica is a brand of fine tasting products crafted in Bicol for Filipinos in the world. The brainchild of the Le Cordon Bleu Paris-trained Ched Rica Buenaflor, it takes pride in our culinary traditions while continuing to push the boundaries of what delights the Filipino palate. Local, healthy, and proud will be forever in its DNA. It is owned and managed by Phenomenon Group Inc.
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