Guam Vegan Survival Guide: 15 Accidentally Plant-Based Dishes

Guam Vegan Survival Guide: 15 Accidentally Plant-Based Dishes

Finding vegan food on the island of Guam doesn't have to be a painful experience. With our vegan guide to Guam, we'll tell you about all the accidentally vegan food you can find on the island so you can get your fix of islander food.

Since Guamanians usually rely on staples such as coconut, rice flour, and cassava, a lot of their food items are naturally vegan and gluten-free. I'll go through a list of what Chamorro food is naturally vegan, what it tastes like, what ingredients are used to make the dish and where to find them on the island.

The best thing about all these food items listed below is that they are usually really cheap to purchase and are made locally (so are always fresh).

1) Potu (Rice Cake Made with Coconut)

potu chamorro healthy guam food

Potu is a steamed rice cake made from fermented coconut meat (called tuba). The combination of starchy rice flour, sugar, and fermented coconut results in a tangy-sweet bread that is super fluffy like air.

Potu is traditionally eaten for breakfast but it can also be a healthy dessert.

Potu tastes best when it's eaten after being freshly steamed but if you buy them pre-made you can just warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it a bit. If you're a fan of coconut, I recommend giving potu bread a try (it's also 100% naturally gluten-free).

Price

Cheap! A plate of about 10 potu rolls can be purchased for as little as $2.50 and can store well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Where to find it

Potu can be found all around the island at local convenience stores (try Chode's mart) or at Payless Supermarket. If you're lucky, you might be able to stumble upon some fresh potu at a farmers market.

2) Manha Apigigie (Tapioca Tamal made with coconut)

manha apigigie

Apigigie is a sweet tamal made from a mixture of freshly grated tapioca and coconut milk grilled inside of a banana leaf.

This dish comes from the island of Saipan (neighbors of Guam). This specialty item is loved by locals and is especially cherished by Chamorros who move away from the island.

The dessert item is naturally vegan because the only ingredients are cassava, coconut milk, and sugar. If you're lucky, you'll stumble upon taro filled Apigigie which is my absolute favorite. Taro is another root vegetable that has a magical purple color to it and has a nutty vanilla flavor.

Price:

Cheap! $3 for a bundle of 4 at the local market

Where to find it:

Tokyo Mart at 1:30 pm when they get a delivery (not sure about the price)
Mangilao Thursday Night Market, look for the lady selling them out of a crockpot.

3) Ahu (Coconut Water Dessert)

ahu guam coconut dessert

Ahu is a sweet coconut dessert that is a mix between a drink and pudding. It's made from the juice of a young coconut, cut up pieces of fresh coconut, sugar, and some tapioca starch. Ahu is served hot and comes in two flavors (regular and caramelized).

I recommend going for the classic white version. Ahu is kind of goopy-and clumpy due to the starch. If you are a coconut fanatic, this is a great vegan dessert to try in Guam.

Price

Cheap! $4 for about 20 ounces

Where to find it

You can usually find Ahu at farmer's markets, but it's also being sold at the Chamorro Village (in the food stalls area outside).

4) Taho (Steamed Tofu)

tapioca dessert tahu soy pudding

Although this isn't traditionally Chamorro I'm including this here because the island of Guam is becoming a mix of cultures. Guam Vegan Food now includes the influence of Koreans, Taiwanese and Philippinos moving to the island. Taho is a freshly-made tofu dessert that can be eaten for breakfast or as a snack. It is also available throughout the island and is quite popular among the locals and tourists alike!

The Taho is spooned into a container, usually in many layers and the silken tofu is topped off with sweet sugar syrup as well as boba (tapioca balls). This can be found all around the city at Tapioca shops, or local farmers market.

Price

Cheap! A small container costs about $2.

Where to get it

Dededo Flea Market on Saturdays (tons of booths selling this)

5) Tamales Mendioka (Tapioca Tamales)

apigigie vegan guam desserts

Tapioca Tamales is another accidentally vegan dish you can try on the island of Guam. These are made by combining finely grated cassava and coconut milk with sugar.

These seem very similar to apigigi but they are steamed instead of grilled so I have been told they are different.

Price

Cheap! $2-3 each

Where to find it:

Mangilao Thursday Night Market or Chode's Mart

6) Denance (Spicy Eggplant Spread)

Denance is a blend of eggplant with coconut milk and hot chili peppers. This is known as a delicacy on Guam, but it can be found sold in small jars at local supermarkets.

Price:

Affordable! $3.99 for a small jar

Where to find it

Chode's Mart (in the refrigerated section across from the cash register)

7) Gollai Appan Aga (Banana with Coconut Milk)

gollai appan aga banana coconut milk

This dish can be found at local farmer's markets. It's a pretty simple sweet dish consisting of a ripe plantain banana covered in coconut cream. The bananas cut and then simmered in coconut milk until it comes to a boil and then left out to sit so the coconut cream hardens around it. This is nice and sweet if you use ripe plantain but it can also be not so sweet if the plantain is not ripe, and is more starchy.

Price

Cheap! $2

Where to find it

Mangilao Thursday Night Market

8) Finadenne sauce (Spicy Soy Sauce with Peppers)

finadenne sauce guam spicy sauce

Finadenne is a typical Chamorro condiment that is made with soy sauce, red peppers, onions, and either lemon juice or vinegar. It's used to top off freshly steamed rice but can be thrown onto pretty much anything savory like mung beans or coconut spinach.

It's very spicy because of the fresh peppers and has a fancy citrus flavor from the lemon juice. There is a balance between the sweetness of the soy sauce and the acid.

Where to get it

Normally not for sale, but made at home. It is usually available at most restaurants as a condiment you can request. You can also find it at a local fiesta.

9) Spinach with Coconut Milk

spinach with coconut milk guam food

Spinach with coconut milk is a traditional Guamanian food that is always made vegan. The creamy texture of the coconut milk adds a nice sweetness to the spinach leaves.

Traditionally this dish is made with taro leaves, but these days spinach is the go-to option. This recipe includes turmeric which gives the stewed greens a yellow-colored sauce.

Most people add a little onion powder and lemon powder for seasoning as well as some fresh hot peppers to make it a little spicy. You'll often see this dish at fiesta (local parties).

Where to get it

Heavenly Veggies (check their weekly menu)

10) Golfan Apai Lemmar (Breadfruit in coconut)

breadfruit guam fruit

Breadfruit is an exotic fruit that grows only in Southeast Asia as well as in the islands of the Pacific. This starchy fruit is stewed together with coconut milk and sugar.

It's brought to a boil in a pot until the liquid reduces and thickens into the coconut cream. Once the breadfruit is cooked thoroughly, it's ready to serve.

Price

Cheap! $2-5

Where to get it

You can find this at local farmer's markets.

11) Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad is the perfect side dish to eat if you're visiting Guam and looking for some plant-based healthy food. Cucumber salad is normally not spicy.

I particularly like the fusion version served at Jamaican grill which is fiercely hot and drowned in a liquid of kimchi base with freshly crushed red peppers.

Typical cucumber salad is made with lemon juice, salt, onions, and white vinegar which gives it a tangy, refreshing flavor.

Price

Cheap! $2-5

Where to get it

Jamaican Grill - Tamuning, it comes as a side dish to most of their entrees (ask for the “spicy salad”)

12) Pickled Veggies

daigot daikon radish pickled veggies guam

Pickled Papaya or Pickled Daigot (daikon radish) might sound odd at first but it's tasty! If you are a fan of kimchi or sauerkraut then you'll like this Chamorro dish.

Pickled papaya can be found around the island at local convenient stores. It's usually a cheap snack to get and will only set you back a buck or two.

Look for the giant pickle jars located near the cash register at any quickie mart on Guam. These pickled items are usually home-made, and so each store tastes different. Pickled mango is available seasonally during May.

Price

$1 for 10-15 pieces

Where to get it

New Nana Market, 210 Joseph Cruz Ave, Tutuhan, 96910, Guam

13) Fresh Young Coconut

young coconuts guam vegan food

You just can't visit Guam without drinking and eating a fresh young coconut! You'll see them on the road, fallen on the beach, just about everywhere you look!

That's why most of the recipes for Chamorro food include this as their staple ingredient. If you have your machete, feel free to open one up and have a sip.

Otherwise, you can find plenty of vendors selling fresh young coconuts at the Chamorro Village on Wednesday nights when they have their outdoor market event.

Price

Cheap! $2-5

Where to get it

Chamorro Village on Wednesday Night

14) SourSop

sour sop plant based guam

Soursop is one of my favorite exotic fruits to buy on the island of Guam. Also known as Guanoabana in South America, Soursop is a bumpy green fruit the size of a small soccer bowl and looks sort of like a dinosaur egg.

When you cut the fruit in half, the inside should have a soft white yogurt flesh that tastes like Starburst candy. When shopping for soursop at local farmer's markets, make sure not to buy any that have large black spots because this means the fruit has most likely rotted and is black inside.

Price

Affordable! $3.50 - $5 for a medium size SourSop

Where to find it

Dededo Flea Market

15) Tropical Fruit Juices & Smoothie

guam fresh fruit juices

You can often find tropical smoothies being blended at local farmer's markets which can be found all around the island. Vendors will have a display of tropical fruit you can choose from and will blend your choice in front of you.

Most tropical smoothies in guam are made by blending fresh fruit with ice. Vendors will sometimes use fresh coconut water as their base, but just make sure to let them know you don't want any dairy milk.

Flavors to avoid include green tea and ube (purple yam) as they tend to use dairy powders. Great vegan options to choose from include fresh young coconut blended with mango, pineapple or papaya.

Price

Affordable! $4-5

Where to find it

Dededo Flea Market or Chamorro Village

Conclusion

We hope you've enjoyed our Guam vegan food survival guide. We've tried to round up some our favorite things to eat on this beautiful island. If you have any questions or recommendations about Guam vegan food, feel free to leave a comment down below.

Here's a question for you: What Chamorro dish listed above sounds the best to you?

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