Whenever I don’t travel for a while, one of the aspects I miss most is trying new food. I tend to visit Canada multiple times a year, as it’s a quick weekend getaway from Seattle, so I’ve really taken it for granted lately with the borders being closed.
I love nothing more than going to a sports bar in Canada and watching a hockey game while ordering poutine. I have fond memories of doing this during my first trip to Banff.
However, I do have some food intolerances, and the dairy in regular poutine hurts my stomach. Since I’ve been home for several months now, I decided to find a vegan poutine recipe I could make.
What is Poutine?
Poutine is essentially French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This is the perfect snack to share with friends when you’re on vacation in Canada. You can find it in the United States at some restaurants, but it’s pretty rare.
The rumor is poutine was created at a small town in Quebec when a customer asked a restaurant owner to combine French fries and cheese. When he looked at it, he said it was “poutine,” which is Quebec slang for “a mess.” This combo began being served in other restaurants, and customers requested a side of gravy to go with it.
While most Americans pronounce poutine as “poo-teen,” the correct pronunciation is “poo-tin.” You’ll want to remember that if you order it in Canada, such as visiting Whistler.
How to Make Vegan Poutine
The first time I had poutine was during a trip in the winter in Calgary and I fell in love with it. I’ve also had it repeatedly at restaurants during trips to Vancouver Island, as nothing goes better with a local beer.
I wanted to be able to enjoy poutine without dairy or animal products, and this recipe is amazing for that.
You can use the gravy recipe to top pretty much anything: roasted sweet potatoes, chickpea hamburger patties… anything!
I love the little pieces of caramelized shallots and minced mushrooms, but if you want your gravy to be silkier, you can blend it after it’s cooked.
You can also top your poutine with vegan cheese, such as the Daiya brand.
- 2 Russet potatoes, peeled
- ¼ cup oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1 cup mushrooms, minced
- 2 Tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tsp cornstarch
- 4 Tbsp vegetable broth
- ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened plain
Directions for Vegan Poutine
Cut potatoes into matchsticks and set aside to prep for your vegan poutine. Heat the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Add potatoes and fry for around 2 minutes per side or until evenly golden brown. Transfer from the pan to a dish lined with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Next, prepare the gravy and heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté for 3 minutes, until slightly transparent. After that, add the mushrooms and cook until crispy and browned.
When you’re done, add the cornstarch and stir to combine. Incorporate the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. Slowly mix in the stock and cook for 1 minute. Add the almond milk and cook, stirring constantly for 4 minutes or until thick and creamy. Remove from fire.
Top the fries with the gravy and sprinkle with more salt and pepper if needed.