Vegan Crispy Bicol Express
Chef Will Mahusay
Chef Will Mahusay
About Chef Will
My parents (Fred & Fely Mahusay) are the pioneers of Cebu Lechon, they started Cebu Lechon in Sydney in the late 80’s and became mainstream within the Filipino Community in 1991.
In 2016 I took over the catering business and expanded that operations and in 2019 I opened up Sydney Cebu Lechon Native Filipino Restaurant.
(Prior to taking over the family catering business back in 2016 I was working in the corporate world for over 16 years in Sydney)
More than 30 years later we have become the oldest purveyor of our traditional Cebu Lechon, and I’m also honoured to be part of the many FilOz (Filipino-Aussies) unapologetically promoting Filipino Food so that one day Filipino cuisine will become part of mainstream Australia.
This is a dream that I passionately share with my good friends here in Sydney Yasmin Newman author of 7000 Islands Cookbook and Under Coconut Skies and James Beard Award Nominee Celebrity Food & Lifestyle Photographer Luisa Brimble.
Down in Melbourne Victoria we also share this vision with our dear friends The.Entree.Pinays who are doing an amazing work when it comes to bringing Filipino cuisine, culture and community to the hearts, minds and tastebuds of Australians in Wurundjeri Country.
Luisa Brimble and I started a Kitchen Incubator (called Ang Tahanan) our aim is to provide aspiring restaurateurs a platform to give them a kickstart on their dream, we do this by offering them a temporary residency and operate as a pop-up at Sydney Cebu Lechon restaurant at no cost.
We also offer mentoring throughout the process and practical assistance in areas where we are needed. The other projects Luisa and I are planning to develop on is our Filipino Food focused podcast and a Cookbook from a second generation Filipino-Australian perspective.
The year 2021 has been a hectic but a productive one in getting Filipino Food out to different mainstream Australian media (Online/Digital and National TV), I’ve filmed and contributed to 4 Episodes on Australia’s biggest cooking production TV Show called The Cook Up, hosted by the winner of the second season of Australian MasterChef Adam Liaw; on Australia’s top cooking channel the SBS Food Channel. The Cook Up airs weeknights during prime time at 7pm.
On all 4 Episodes I cooked and served different dishes, and I also speak about my culture & cuisine, the first dish I made was Chicken Humba (braised soy chicken), the second is Banana cue (banana toffee), the third was my Turon (banana & jackfruit spring rolls) and the last one was my Puto Maya & Sikwate (coconut & ginger sticky rice with hot chocolate).
In October 2021, Channel 10, one of the major Australian TV network; aired Season 4, Episode 6 of the show Taste Of Australia hosted by Australian MasterChef alumni Hayden Quinn. This episode features Western Sydney and Filipino Cuisine. Part of the episode I taught Hayden Quinn how to prepare our traditional Cebu Lechon.
Sydney Cebu Lechon is featured in the December 2021 issue of The Good Food Guide List by The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide. This is a milestone for us as well as for the Filipino Community and It’s history in the making; the first time Filipino Cuisine has appeared on The Good Food Guide List; and for us to be able to have that opportunity to carry the Filipino Flag; has and will always be an honour and a blessing.
200 grams of Fried Tofu Cubes
(1.5 Cup of Canola Oil for depp frying the Tofu)
6 Cloves of Garlic, coarsely chopped (or 2 Tablespoon of Crushed Garlic from a Jar).
80 grams of chopped/diced Shiitake Mushrooms
1 cup of Coconut Cream
1 Red Onion, coarsely chopped (50 grams)
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon of Black Bean Sauce/Paste
(add more or less out of personal preference)
3 Teaspoon of Canola or Coconut Oil
Crispy Tofu –
In a deep frying pan add your 1.5 cup of Canola Oil and bring heat to high.
Once deep frying temperature is reached (around 175C) add your diced Tofu and flash fry for a minute or until golden brown, then remove and place in a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil, repeat process for the remaining Tofu Cubes.
Vegan Bicol Xpress Sauce –
Add 3 teaspoons of Canola or Coconut Oil in a deep sauce pan on a medium-high heat for half a minute.
Add your chopped Shiitake Mushrooms and saute for a couple of minutes and then add your coarsely chopped Garlic & Red Onion and saute for another 2 minutes on a medium heat.
Add 1 cup of Coconut Cream, 1 Tablespoon of the Black Bean Sauce or Paste (add more or less of the Black Bean Sauce depending on your personal flavour preference).
Stir all inredients for a couple of minutes and then add 1 Tablespoon of Honey (you can add more or less Honey depending on your personal preference).
Place all your golden brown/crispy Tofu Cubes in a baking dish (or dinner plate), stir your Vegan Bicol Xpress Sauce from your Pan and generously ladle your sauce over your Crispy Tofu and garnish with chopped scallions, and serve right away for all to enjoy (highly recommended to consume with boiled rice).
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