Going meatless doesn’t mean having to give up menudo. Amigos this vegan menudo recipe is way better than the yucky tripe version. You’re going to love this!
Table of Contents
What Is Menudo
Menudo, or pancita, is what we in Mexico call tripe soup.
Blah! I know pretty gross.
But don’t worry because I’m going to be showing you how to make a delectable vegan menudo that you’re absolutely going to love — yes, even those that love the classic version will devour this vegan twist!
How is Traditional Mexican Menudo Made
The chiles are boiled with onion and garlic until everything is soft. Then they are blended with some of the boiling liquid to make a smooth chile sauce.
As previously mentioned, tripe is the meat used in traditional menudo. It’s washed, boiled with other ingredients then cut up before being combined with the chile sauce, herbs and spice and broth to make the menudo.
We, of course, won’t be using tripe here. My recipe uses oyster mushrooms as the meat substitute. They work incredibly well in adding not only great flavor, but a nice texture too.
Another mushroom that would resemble the tripe would be dried white fungus mushrooms. If you have access to them.
The menudo is allowed to simmer until ready to eat. To serve typically chopped onion, cilantro, dried crushed Mexican oregano, lime juice are used as toppings.
I always also liked some fresh warm corn tortillas on the side. And depending on my mood I may drizzle some spicy sauce into the menudo.
Does Menudo Have Hominy
Typically when you think of a Mexican stew with hominy you think pozole.
Growing up I can remember the menudo we ate didn’t have hominy. Or if it did it was very few grains here and there.
It really depends on the region in Mexico you’re from or even your family’s recipe. Some like to use hominy and others don’t.
For me it depends on my mood — mostly how hungry I am. If I want a heartier menudo I’ll add hominy. I actually did so for my Instant Pot Menudo.
Some vegans like to add cooked garbanzos. As always, there are many variations to this dish. So feel free to adjust to your personal taste.
Menudo is a Sunday Meal in Mexico
Growing up my parents would buy menudo for our Sunday meal and I was never happy with the choice, just the thought of the…ummm…meat…disgusted me!
Much to the dismay of my parents, I would only eat the broth and push the tripe out of my bowl. Anyone else do this too?
All I’m going to say now is, Thank goodness for vegan menudo!!
I’d like to give my sister a special thank you for sharing her vegan menudo tips with me, gracias hermanita, you helped my menudo taste so delish!
Vegan Menudo Recipe
Now you’re going to see just how easy vegan menudo is to make. Same great taste to the broth, minus the tripe!! (lol)
Vegan Mexican Menudo Recipe
- 8 oz oyster mushrooms, chopped roughly it's one small pack
- 8 cups or 1.8 liters low-sodium vegetable broth
- 5 guajillo chiles desseded & stem removed
- 3 chiles de arbol stem removed & for milder taste seeds removed if desired
- 6 large cloves of garlic
- half large white onion
- 4 cups water for boiling
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 5 leaves of fresh epazote can substitute with 1 Tablespoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano to start & adjust to taste
- 2 dried bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seed adjust to taste
- chopped onion
- chopped cilantro
- Mexican oregano
- In a small pot bring plenty of water to boil. While you wait for it wipe the chiles clean with a damp paper towel, remove the stems and the seeds. Also prepare the garlic cloves and onion. Once the water is at a soft boil add all of the chiles, the onion and the garlic and simmer until everything is soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending the chiles, onion and garlic with once cup of the boiling broth. Blend until you have a smooth sauce, set aside.
- In a large pot heat the oil then add the chopped mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt, then sauté until they begin to brown a bit. Place a colander over the pot and very carefully pour in your chile sauce. Then add the epazote, half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of dried Mexican oregano, quarter teaspoon of ground cumin and two bay leaves. Give the ingredients a good stir and cook for 5 minutes before pouring in all of the vegetable broth. Stir again, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes, taste the broth and if needed add more seasoning if needed or desired — I added half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of ground cumin. After adding more seasoning simmer for 10 more minutes.
- Serve each bowl with freshly chopped cilantro, white onion, a sprinkling of dried Mexican oregano, lots of limes and plenty of warm corn tortillas. If you’d like you can also serve with some chopped raw chilies or your favourite spicy salsa.
- The traditional way of eating is to roll up a tortilla and dip it into the broth. The taste is fantastic!
Amigos let me tell you, this vegan menudo tastes so similar to the classic version that it’s going to blow your mind that there was no yucky tripe involved in this recipe.
The broth is super flavorful and has just a touch of heat. The vibrant broth with the tender oyster mushrooms, the crunch of the onion the burst of the cilantro and oregano and the tartness of the lime — yum the tastes and textures are amazing together.
Let’s not forget a rolled up tortilla to dip into the broth before taking a bite. Amigos, I’m talking toe-curling foodie heaven!
I really hope you make this menudo and see how fantastic it tastes!
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Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…