Pic of Vegan Bigos (Polish stew)

Vegan Bigos (Polish stew)

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Vegetarian mains

Vegan Bigos (Polish stew)

Serves 2 1h
Bigos, also known as a hunter’s stew, is a traditional Polish dish with a base of white cabbage, onions, mushrooms, and sauerkraut. Smoked meats are also a popular addition, bringing strong flavours that complement the sharp nature of the dish. In this meatless version, we achieve those smoked, salty flavours using tofu “lardons”: crispy, tasty, and healthier too. This recipe is perfect for those people who don’t have much experience in the kitchen; it’s simple to make, with honest ingredients combining in a beautifully warming pot of comfort food.

Cook's notes

This dish can be prepared in advance, as the flavours will improve with time.


  • 8g dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 1 white onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 50g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp juniper berries or caraway seeds, crushed
  • 100ml red wine
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 dried prunes, pitted and chopped
  • ½ small Savoy cabbage, finely sliced
  • 100g smoked tofu, cut into small pieces (lardon size)
  • 2 tbs tamari (gluten free) or soya sauce
  • 100g sauerkraut, drained
Image of Vegan Bigos (Polish stew)


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 45 min
  • Step 1

    Put the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour 500ml of boiling water over them.
  • Step 2

    Heat a little olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until they turn golden-brown. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, keeping the water, drain the dried mushrooms and finely chop them. Set aside.
  • Step 4

    Add the bay leaf, juniper berries, and wine. Let it all boil for a couple of minutes to burn off some of the alcohol. Stir in the smoked paprika, tomato purée, dried prunes, and dried mushrooms. Add the cabbage and mix well.
  • Step 5

    Run the water you soaked the dried mushrooms in through a very fine sieve to remove any grit if necessary, and add it to the saucepan. Over a low heat, stirring occasionally, cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cabbage is soft.
  • Step 6

    Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a thin layer of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and drizzle tamari/soya sauce over. Fry for 5 minutes, or until all the sides are golden and crispy.
  • Step 7

    Add the sauerkraut and fried tofu to the saucepan and mix everything well. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if needs be.

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