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Creating a healthy and satisfying vegan menu

Date : 2022/02/23Category : News

Pizza 4P’s is carrying out environmentally-conscious projects step by step in order to achieve the vision “Make the World Smile for Peace”. We started our original article series “Peace for Earth” focusing on such sustainable projects in our company.

The topic of this article will focus on vegan food, and share the real-life situation of a company engaged in sustainable action in Vietnam. Veganism is spreading rapidly around the world from the perspective of animal welfare. The movement is gaining momentum as people recognize the overly industrialized meat industry and the huge impact meat itself has on climate change. Veganism is also gaining attention in Vietnam, and Pizza 4P’s has started to serve a vegan menu.

Develop a limited vegan menu

In addition to the grand menu, Pizza 4P’s also offers a seasonal limited menu. In March 2021, Pizza 4P’s launched a vegan seasonal menu that is exclusive to the Xuan Thuy branch in Ho Chi Minh City.

The menu consists of four items: salad, dumplings, curry, and burger. The menu has been designed so that it can be adapted to a variety of dining situations, but also can be satisfying even as a single dish.

Cashews make a creamy dressing. Vegan salad for a hearty meal

This salad was inspired by the kind of a big volume salad often eaten in Europe or the US. The most important point is the homemade “Green Goddess” dressing. We made a paste of cashews to give it a rich flavor while still being vegan. We used a lot of herbs to make it fragrant, and the vegetables were chosen to be fresh and nutritious.

The mushroom broth gives it a comforting taste. A vegan safe dumpling soup

The soup is made with mushroom soup stock extracted at low temperature. No animal meat was used to make the dumplings, which can be enjoyed by vegans.

The head chef of 4P’s shares about the menu, “I created this menu in hope that people will start to  appreciate each selected ingredient and gradually embrace the vegan menu in Vietnam. Not only for our Guests, but also 4P’s employees working at Xuan Thuy, other restaurants in Vietnam, and people who are involved in the food industry to feel that 4P’s has started to take a different approach, and I’d be happy if people think this is simply delicious”.

Vegan but satisfying. Vegan green curry filled with vegetables and herbs

This is a dish that places importance on how to make up for the “lack of substance” and “lack of richness” that is often associated with vegan dishes, and how to create a taste that will make people feel satisfied. The recipe itself is a very simple green curry, but in order to express the vivid green color, we combined various vegetables such as zucchini, okra, and pickled kohlrabi with herbs to create a clear presentation. In fact, miso is also added to supplement the richness of the dish.

Future prospects for Insect food. Cricket burgers are great for Entovegan to gobble up!

This burger is Pizza 4P’s first insect menu. According to the chef, he had initially made the patties with “tofu” and “some beans”, but was still struggling with the texture. Then he met an alternative meat producer who used Vietnamese crickets, and after testing, he was able to create a volume and taste that satisfied even vegans. By using a lot of spices, we have created complexity in the patties so that guests can think excitedly, “What’s in it? This is a dish that can be eaten with a little excitement”.

Cricket Farming Startup from Vietnam

The crickets used in this pate were edible cricket powder from Cricket One, a company founded in 2017. Based in Binh Phuoc Province in southern Vietnam, Cricket One is a cricket farming startup that is involved in everything from production to processing of edible crickets. The company sells various raw materials such as powder and oil processed from crickets, and has already exported its products to 15 countries including Japan, Europe and the United States.

Crickets are rich in protein and are an eco-friendly protein source with a much lower environmental impact than livestock production. Compared to beef, crickets require only about 7% of the feed, 0.01% of the water, and only about 35 days to harvest.

The company not only cultivates its own crickets, but also trains local small-scale farmers in cricket farming. By purchasing the crickets produced on consignment, the company aims to increase the income of farmers in the local community.

What are the sales and guest responses to the vegan menu?

This vegan menu, which is exclusive to the Xuan Thuy branch, started in March 2021. At the time of writing this article (end of April 2021), the number of orders per month for each menu item is around 100 orders. Incidentally, only the vegan salad is served in all the restaurants, and the Xuan Thuy restaurant has two to three times as many orders of this salad compared to the other restaurants, indicating the high level of interest in veganism among expats living in this district.

The vegan menu tends to taste light, but the four dishes we developed this time are all vegan dishes that can be eaten with a lot of gusto and makes you feel satisfied. As a result, not only vegan guests but also non-vegan guests have commented positively on how healthy they are and how light they feel after eating.

The cricket burger was Pizza 4P’s first insect-eating menu item, so we were nervous about the reaction, but the response was generally positive. Some people commented, “It’s still a little different from meat, but it tastes really good,” which made the challenge worthwhile.

The vegan menu was actually launched as a limited time menu for three months. However, the response was so positive that we decided internally to extend the period. If we continue to receive good feedback, there is a possibility that it will be included in other restaurants or on the grand menu in the future.

Plant-based lifestyle in Vietnam

This time, we offered a vegan menu at a restaurant in an expats residential area where there are many vegans, so most of the guests were Westerners. On the other hand, compared to Western countries, the percentage of Vietnamese who are vegan is still not that high, but it is gradually spreading, especially among young people. There are a certain number of people who eat vegetarian food for religious reasons. We at Pizza 4P’s would like to continue to find good local ingredients and create delicious vegan menus in hope that more and more people would try vegan meals. Eating more vegan meals and less meat would make a positive impact on our environment. This would in turn help us achieve our mission to ‘Make the World Smile for Peace’.

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