Pesco-vegetarian dishes to try this Lenten Season

    Santol with laing

    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.

    Vegan Bicol Express

    The secret lies in the use of fresh coconut milk. When cooked expertly, it creates a rich, creamy sauce that gives dishes a decadent feel even without animal fat.

    Start with the 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. There are also new varieties like Laing with Shrimps for those who need protein in their meals, and Laing Lasagna.

    Another must-try is the Sinantolan. It is minced and stewed in coconut milk, shrimp paste, and aromatics to create a creamy, tangy side dish that goes well with fried, grilled and even dried fish. It can be paired with Abo Dried Fish (Tiger-Toothed Croaker) and Biti Dried Fish (dried, salted Abo bladder), or used as a dip for crackers and chips.

    Bottled vegetarian laing

    Originating from the town of Camalig in Albay, Pinangat is a rustic dish is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It had shrimp, smoked fish, coconut meat, coconut milk, lemongrass, and aromatics which we cook for hours over low heat. This results in a smoky, fork-tender dish that goes well in rice or grains like adlai and quinoa.

    Sinanglay is another Bicolano favorite that also follows the cooked-inside-leaves technique.

    This dish swaps out the gabi leaves for pechay, the smoked fish for tilapia fillets, and adds onions, ginger, garlic, kamias and tomatoes for aromatics. It’s a lighter option for those who prefer gentler, brighter flavors.