• Chef Shares Meat-Free Recipes of Nuggets, Picadillo, and More!

    Chef Florabel Co-Yatco shares recipes without using any meat, from nuggets to crispy wanton.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
  • Chef Shares Meat-Free Recipes of Nuggets, Picadillo, and More!
  • Yes, the giniling meat you see above isn't meat, but your kids will probably not even notice it. The giniling is Quorn, a range of meat-free protein that comes as minced or ground, nuggets, or chunks. The “meat” in Quorn comes from its main ingredient, mycoprotein, a member of the fungi/mold family (fusarium venenatum), which is fermented and mixed with binders like egg whites and wheat protein. 

    If you've been thinking you need to cut down the family's intake of meat, Quorn is an alternative you may want to consider without overhauling the family meals (and, if we may add, ruining everyone's mood). It is low in salt and low in fat including saturated fat. Your husband will probably know it isn't meat from the texture, but we don't think it's a deal-breaker especially with the recipes below. 

    Yes, one of the people who has found a love for Quorn is Chef Florabel Co-Yatco, who is well-known for her Florabel restaurants. She has developed the following dishes using the meat substitute. If you want to try this meat-free alternative, you might as well do it with these recipes.

    1. Quorn Meat-Free Chicken-Style Popcorn



    Start with something quick and easy. This recipe makes great merienda for kiddos coming home from school. We bet they won’t even be able to tell it’s not chicken! Don’t forget to serve with BBQ sauce on the side. 

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 20 minutes
    Yield: 4 servings

    250 g Quorn Chunks
    2 tbsp cornstarch
    1 large egg
    1 cup breadcrumbs
    Salt & pepper to taste
    Oil for deep frying

    1. In a mixing bowl, put Quorn Chunks, egg and cornstarch. Mix everything well.
    2. Pour the breadcrumbs, mix well and set aside for 5 minutes. You can also pick up each piece and roll in breadcrumbs. Rest for 10 to 15 minutes for the breadcrumbs to stick well. 
    3. Heat oil at 150°C and deep fry evenly till golden brown. Keep stirring for even frying. 
    4. Drain popcorn on a kitchen tissue and serve hot with sweet chili or BBQ sauce.

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    2. Quorn Meat-Free Picadillo


    A family favorite especially with a steaming bowl of rice! Picadillo pairs well with saging na saba so serve those on the side, morning, noon or night!

    Preparation time: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: 45 minutes
    Yield: 4 servings

    500 g Quorn grounds
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    1 med. onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 med. red bell pepper, diced
    1 med. green bell pepper, diced
    1 small carrot, diced
    100 g green peas
    salt & pepper to taste
    200 g tomato Sauce
    2 bay leaves
    1/4 cup raisins

    1. Put the oil in a large pan set over a medium-high flame and heat until it begins to simmer then add onion, garlic, pepper, carrots and green peas. Stir to combine and cook until the onions are translucent and the peppers, carrots and green peas softened, approximately 10 minutes.
    2. Add the Quorn Grounds and allow it to brown. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
    3. Add tomato sauce and bay leaf and stir to combine. Lower the heat, cover the pan and let it simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
    4. Uncover the pan and add the raisins. Allow the stew to cook for another 15 minutes. Then serve with rice or banana (saba). 

    3. Quorn Meat-Free Pasta Alfredo



    Pasta Alfredo makes for a fuss-free dinner when you don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen. Bonus, kids like it, too. This one only takes less than a half hour to whip up. 

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes
    Yield: 3 servings

    1 cup Quorn Chunks
    2 tbsp. cooking oil
    100 g onion, chopped
    50 g garlic, minced
    1/2 cup button mushroom, quartered
    100 g red bell pepper, diced
    100 g green bell pepper, diced
    1/2 cup whipping cream
    Salt & pepper to taste
    300 g cooked pasta (rigatoni)

    1. Pre-heat cooking oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. 
    2. Sauté onion and garlic for about 1 minute then add the Quorn Chunks and cook it for about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
    3. Put in the mushroom and the peppers, mix well then season with salt and pepper. 
    4. Pour in the whipping cream. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. 
    5. Toss it with your favorite pasta.

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    4. Quorn Meat-Free Crispy Wanton


    It’s no secret that kids love food with a crunch! Get them in the kitchen, and see how well they can wrap a wanton. They’ll be more willing to finish their plate when they’ve had a hand in cooking the meal. 

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: 10 minutes
    Yield: 3 servings 

    250 g Quorn Grounds
    1/4 cup green onions
    1/2 tsp soy sauce
    1/3 tsp sesame oil
    3 dashes white pepper powder
    1 pack wanton wrapper
    Water for sealing
    Cooking oil for deep frying

    1. In a bowl, mix the Quorn Grounds, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil and white pepper together. Stir well to form a sticky filling. 
    2. To wrap the wanton, lay a piece of wanton wrapper on your palm and add ½ tbsp of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. 
    3. Dip your index finger in water and trace it on the outer edges of the wanton wrapper. Pinch and seal
    4. Heat oil for deep frying. Deep fry the wanton until golden brown. Serve hot with sweet chili sauce.

    Note: 
    You can also make a triangle wanton, just fold it up to form a triangle. Pinch the edges to seal tight. To make them into a pretty shape, just pull the 2 corners of the triangle down so one overlaps the other. Pinch and seal with water.


    5. Quorn Meat-Free Binakol



    Have you had binakol? It's similar to tinola soup, but it's made with coconut meat and water, and lemongrass. It's definitely a must-try.

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 40 minutes
    Yield: 4 servings

    250 g Quorn Chunks
    2 tbsp cooking oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 pc med. onion, sliced
    1 tsp ginger, sliced
    4 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1 inch length and pounded 
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 tbsp fish sauce
    1/4 cup coconut meat
    2 cups coconut water
    2 cups rice wash (water used for rinsing rice)
    1 pc med. sayote, sliced
    1/4 cup malunggay Leaves 

    1. Heat cooking pot and pour in cooking oil.
    2. Sauté garlic when the oil is hot.
    3. Put in onion, ginger, and lemongrass. Cook for 1 minute.
    4. Add the Quorn Chunks. Stir and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
    5. Add ground black pepper and fish sauce. Stir.
    6. Put in the coconut meat, coconut water, and rice wash. Allow to boil and then simmer for 15 to 30 minutes.
    7. Add the sayote. Cook for 5 minutes.
    8. Put in the malunggay leaves and cook for a minute or more.
    9. Turn the heat off and then transfer to a soup bowl (optional to transfer to a coconut shell).

    Quorn Grounds and Chunks are P99 a pack. Quorn Nuggets is P119 a pack. It is available in leading supermarkets.

    Take note: Certain Quorn products have eggs, gluten (grounds and chunks are gluten-free), and milk, which are allergens. Those who have an intolerance for food high in protein and fiber should eat dishes with Quorn in small amounts first to make sure there are no adverse effects.

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    This story was updated on August 29 at 5 p.m. 

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