Vegan arroz valenciana is a plant-based twist on the classic hearty Filipino dish using rice, coconut milk, jackfruit confit, and saffron! Full of flavor and vegetables, it tastes healthy yet creamy and decadent!
What is Arroz Valenciana?
Arroz valenciana or arroz a la valenciana is an example of the influence the Spanish colonization had on Filipino cuisine. Its main ingredients are rice, chicken, chorizo de Bilbao, peas, coconut milk, and spice.
I first had it in 2006 when a Filipino family friend brought us some arroz valenciana in a tupperware. Her version didn't have a lot of spices, and also included corn, shrimp, and boiled eggs. It was coconutty comfort food that made me feel at home even though I'd never had it before.
How to make vegan arroz valenciana
Because the creamy and rich flavor of arroz valenciana comes from coconut milk, which is already vegan, I thought this would be relatively easy dish to veganize!
To substitute the chicken, I used my favorite meat substitute product: Nature's Charm jackfruit confit! I could eat this straight out of the can. It's already seasoned so all I needed to do was crisp up the edges in a pan. I decided against adding a second meat substitute for the chorizo de Bilbao, and added a touch of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to the dish instead.
The first step is to wash the rice. Using a combination of both long-grain rice and glutinous rice, you get a combination of textures. If you don't have glutinous rice or you're not a fan of sticky rice, you could use sushi rice instead and it'll come out less sticky but still delicious!
Sautée the onions and garlic until soft and add the spices and tomato paste. Although many arroz valenciana recipes use either tomato paste or fresh tomatoes, the recipe our family friend used didn't include either. That said, I wanted to add a little tomato paste for an umami kick to compensate for the lack of meat in this vegan rice dish!
Add the vegetable stock, Chef's Choice coconut milk (my fav), and let it boil. Add the washed rice, let it boil, then cover the pot and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and bell peppers, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on.
I'll be honest, I'm REALLY happy with how this turned out! Maybe it's not as visually pleasing as this, but it's so delicious! Although it's traditionally eaten during the holiday season, I could have a bowl or plate of this plant-based deliciousness any day of the week!
It's creamy but the rice isn't mush, the saffron provides an amazing aroma, and the whole dish tastes healthy but decadent. Even Tristan was blown away and get me a 10/10!! He had given the jackfruit stuffing a 9/10, so that should tell you how amazing this was!
- 1 cup jasmine rice (regular long-grain rice works too)
- ½ cup glutinous rice (can substitute with sushi rice for a less sticky texture)
- 2 cans Nature's Charm jackfruit confit
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch of saffron (double if you like it strong)
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1⅓ cup vegetable stock
- 1 can (400ml) Chef's Choice coconut milk
- 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Wash the rice and set aside.
- Heat a pan and add the can of jackfruit confit, including the oil. Cook on medium heat until the edges of the jackfruit gets crispy. Take the jackfruit out on a plate and set aside.
- Wipe the pan clean and heat again with the olive oil. Sautée the onions and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, saffron, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, and stir.
- Once the spices and tomato paste have coated the onions, add the vegetable stock and coconut milk. When the mixture reaches a boil, add the washed rice and let it boil. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the peas and bell peppers and stir. Cover again and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it sit for an additional 5 minutes with the lid on. Taste for seasoning and add extra salt and pepper if necessary. Add the jackfruit and serve while hot.
SAVE THE RECIPE ON PINTEREST FOR LATER!