We all know that Hari Raya Aidilfitri (or honestly, on any occasion if you’re a spice-loving Malaysian) is the perfect time to enjoy tender dishes such as beef rendang and ayam masak merah- but what if you’re vegan? Could you possibly find or stir up a meatless dish that’s equally hearty and satisfying?
Thanks to vegan culinary artist Aisya Jabaruddin, you definitely can.
Aisya and her husband, Akmal Hakim Ali, a vegan fitness coach, launched their vegan mushroom line called Mushroom Lah during the early bouts of the MCO. She simply watched her mother making rendang, and decided to add her own twist to it.
The recipe for her mushroom rendang consists of using shiitake mushrooms as a substitute for meat. The rendang is slow-cooked to perfection, making for a meal just as tantalising as classic rendang, if not more.
Last year, she told The Sun that she found it difficult to source for flavourful vegan rendang, and she kicked off her food entrepreneurship with the intention of proving that incorporating actual meat into rendang was actually unnecessary.
The business began with a rocky start, with many people hesitant to the idea of altered traditional rendang, but today she boasts immense support from food lovers nationwide, including non-vegans who claim that her rendang dishes are just as pleasing to the eye as they are to the mouth.
Some have even adorned traditional meals with her rendang, such as this appetising take on rendang-filled bao buns:
Mushroom Lah (@mushroom.lah) also highlighted several alternative ways to enjoy the rendang, including alongside nasi lemak, bread, wraps and porridge.
Her recent business venture presents a 250g mushroom rendang travel pack, available on Shopee. Nearly 500 packs have been sold to date.
Aisya has been vegan for 7 years and counting. The main factor behind her choice of lifestyle was to act against animal cruelty. She believes that we can all play a part in conserving the planet.
In conjunction with Hari Raya this year, the multitalented digital food blogger also showcased a series she calls Ramadhan Special, where she provides bite-sized vegan recipes for 30 consecutive days.
Besides Malay food, the inventive beauty also publishes cooking techniques and tips to craft other innovative feasts like chickpea cookies, vegan pad thai and miso ice cream. My personal favourite is the vegan mozzarella.
She says that she hopes her recipes will continue to inspire netizens, as well as shut down common misconceptions about veganism.
“Vegan food doesn’t have to be tasteless, or boring. With the right recipe, any dish can ooze flavour and finesse,” she stated.
Aisya’s mushroom rendang is also available at restaurants across the Klang Valley; namely at Sala, Hijau KL, PC Studio and Vicked Good.