Vegan menudo, this spicy, comforting, and delicious soup is made by simmering snow and oyster mushrooms and hominy in a dried chile broth seasoned with epazote and oregano. I was never a big fan of menudo when I was an omnivore, but this vegan version I love and I hope you do too!
Why this recipe Works
The snow mushrooms or fungus mimic the texture of tripe so much so that this recipe could fool any menudo lover. I would also argue that this version is much better since it is so much easier to make and lacks that characteristic funkiness of menudo. Plus it is vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Menudo has long been known for being a hangover cure. Traditionally it is made with cow’s tripe and versions of it can be found in Spain, and the Philippines. In Mexico, it is known as menudo or pancita, but in other countries it is known as callos, guatitas or mondongo.
Nobody knows its true origins, but it is thought to be an adaptation of the Spanish version of this dish known as mondongo. Though in central Mexico some argue that the indigenous Purépechas were the ones who created this dish when the Spaniards refused to sell them cuts of meat, and instead offer them offal. Since then it has become a very popular dish for Sunday mornings and special occasions like Christmas.
Snow Mushroom: A dried mushroom used in Asian cooking. I purchased mine online.
King oyster mushrooms: A large tubular-shaped mushroom that can be found at Asian grocery stores, if you can’t find it substitute with your favorite mushroom.
Chile Ancho: A dark, wide, dried chile, medium in heat. Should be easy to find in Mexican markets or the grocery store. It is also available online.
Chile Guajillo: The most commonly found dry chile, it is a reddish elongated chile that is milk. It is sometimes mislabeled New Mexico chile.
Chile Pasilla: A smoky elongated dry chile with medium spice. Easily found at Mexican markets or you can purchase online.
Chile Morita: Small dry chile similar to chipotle. If you don’t eat spicy food I recommend you omit this. If you can't find it, you can substitute for dry chipotle. I get mine online.
Step by Step Instructions
- Soak snow mushrooms and dried chiles in boiling hot water for 30 minutes.
- Cut KIng Oyster mushrooms into squares.
- Roast tomatoes, onion, and garlic under your oven broiler set to HI until charred.
- Blend roasted vegetables, dried chiles, and some of the chile soaking water.
5. Blend until smooth and strain.
6. Saute oyster mushrooms until golden brown,
7. Pour in chile puree and simmer for 5 minutes.
8. Add snow mushrooms, hominy, broth, epazote, and bay leaf and simmer for 25 min.
Tips and Tricks
Make this in an instant pot at high pressure for 12 minutes. Soak your dried chiles and snow mushrooms at the same time to save time and dishes. Make sure you use a heat-proof bowl and place a heatproof plate on top to keep the chiles submerged.
Serve hot topped with minced onion and dry oregano. In Northern Mexico, it is served with bolillo but in the southern states, it is served with tostadas.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer
Vegan menudo can be made with a variety of mushrooms used to substitute the tripe in the soup.
Menudo mix is a spice blend sold that contains a blend of onion, garlic, chili peppers, coriander seed, cumin, and oregano. You could use it to make this recipe, but I highly recommend using dried peppers instead.
- 1.3 oz dried snow mushrooms (about 3 cups)
- 1 - 2 morita chiles, dried
- 1 ancho chiles, dried
- 3 guajillo chiles, dried
- 1 pasilla chile, dried
- ½ white onion,
- 3 plum tomatoes, large
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp. Avocado oil
- 8 oz King Oyster mushrooms, sliced and cut into squares
- 1 can (30 oz.) white hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1 sprig fresh epazote or ½ tsp. dried
- 2 Bay leaves
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ½ white onion minced
- ¼ cup Oregano dried
- 3 Limes
- Tostadas or bolillo
- Remove the veins and seeds from all of the dried chiles except the morita and place in a heat proof bowl with the snow mushrooms. Pour boiling water over them and let the chiles soak for 10 minutes and the mushrooms for 30 minutes.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or comal to medium-high heat and place the tomatoes, half an onion and two garlic cloves on it. Let them char on all sides. Be careful with the garlic, because it burns fast. Remove from the pan and set aside. You can also do this by placing the vegetables under the oven broiler set to high.
- Drain the soaked chiles, but reserve the water. Place them in the blender with the charred tomatoes onion, and garlic. Add 1 ½ cups of the chile soaking water and blend until smooth. Strain and set aside.
- Remove the snow mushrooms from the water, and cut them into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot set to medium heat. Add the oyster mushrooms and cook until golden brown. Pour in the chile sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, hominy, snow mushrooms, bay leaf, and epazote. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 25- 30 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve hot topped with minced onion, dry oregano, and limes. In Northern Mexico it is served with bolillo but in the southern states it is served with tostadas.
- Store in an air tight container for up to three days in the fridge or up to 6 months in the freezer
- Snow Mushroom is a dried mushroom used in Asian cooking. I purchased mine online.
- If you don’t eat spicy food omit the morita and pasilla chiles.
- Recipe Adapted from Angelica Martinez’s contribution to the ebook Our Vegan Mexico. You can find her @veganaalamexicana
Although dorastable.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.