Top Delicious Vegetarian Filipino Dishes 2024

Vegetarian Filipino Dishes

Vegetarian dishes must be a significant part of Filipino cuisine . It may come as a surprise, but vegetarian Filipino dishes offer a diverse and delicious range of options for those following a plant-based diet. From traditional favorites to innovative creations, Filipino cuisine is a treasure trove of meatless recipes packed with flavor and cultural heritage.

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As Filipino food gains popularity worldwide, exploring the vegetarian side of this vibrant culinary tradition is essential. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking to incorporate Filipino flavors into your meals or someone who simply wants to explore different cuisines, this guide will take you on a journey through the world of vegetarian Filipino dishes. Get ready to discover mouthwatering recipes, unique ingredients, and the rich cultural heritage behind these meatless delights.

Throughout this article, we will delve into the richness of vegetarian Filipino cuisine, explore the essentials of vegetarian cooking in Filipino food culture, and provide a guide to creating meatless meal ideas with Filipino flavors. We will also dive into healthy vegetarian dishes that blend the goodness of Filipino superfoods with delicious flavors, share easy plant-based recipes inspired by Filipino cuisine, and discuss the art of vegetarian meal prep with Filipino dishes. In addition, we will highlight some of the must-try vegetarian-friendly Filipino specialties and discuss the future of vegetarian Filipino cuisine.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a culinary enthusiast, vegetarian Filipino dishes offer a new world of culinary possibilities. So, let’s embark on this flavorful journey and discover the exciting and delicious world of vegetarian Filipino cuisine!

Essential Points:

  • Vegetarian dishes are a significant part of Filipino cuisine, offering various flavors and options for plant-based eaters.
  • Filipino cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique ingredient combinations, which translate beautifully into vegetarian recipes .
  • Tofu, tempeh, and coconut milk are essential ingredients in vegetarian Filipino cooking, providing protein, texture, and richness to dishes.
  • From traditional favorites to modern creations, Filipino cuisine offers a variety of meatless meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Incorporating Filipino superfoods into vegetarian dishes can elevate nutritional value while adding a distinct Filipino taste.

Exploring the Richness of Vegetarian Filipino Cuisine

Filipino cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique combinations of ingredients. In this section, we will delve into the richness of vegetarian Filipino cuisine and discover how traditional flavors are incorporated into meatless dishes. From savory adobo to tangy sinigang, Filipino cuisine offers a wide array of signature flavors that can be enjoyed in vegetarian form.

When exploring vegetarian Filipino cuisine, it’s essential to understand the traditional flavors that form the foundation of these meatless dishes. Filipino cuisine is known for using ingredients such as soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, and an array of herbs and spices. These ingredients add depth and complexity to vegetarian recipes, creating flavorful and satisfying meals.

One iconic dish of vegetarian Filipino cuisine is adobo. Traditionally made with meat, adobo showcases the bold flavors of soy sauce, vinegar, and garlic. In vegetarian versions, these flavors are retained, with ingredients such as tofu or mushrooms replacing the meat. The result is a deliciously tangy and savory dish that captures the essence of Filipino flavors.

Filipino cuisine has a rich variety of flavors that lend themselves well to vegetarian cooking. By understanding the traditional flavors and ingredients, we can create meatless versions of classic Filipino dishes without losing any of the authentic taste.” – Chef Maria Santos.

Sinigang is another popular Filipino dish that is easily adapted to a vegetarian diet. This tangy soup typically features meat or seafood, but using vegetable broth and adding various vegetables becomes a satisfying and flavorful vegetarian option. The sour notes from tamarind or other souring agents add a unique taste to the dish.

Exploring vegetarian Filipino cuisine allows us to appreciate the diverse range of flavors that Filipino culture has to offer. By embracing vegetarianism, we can enjoy the traditional flavors of Filipino cuisine in a way that aligns with our dietary choices and preferences. Filipino cuisine has many options, whether you have been a vegetarian for years or simply want to incorporate more meatless meals into your diet.

So, let’s embark on a culinary journey and discover the richness of vegetarian Filipino cuisine. From the comforting flavors of Kare-Kare to the delightful sweetness of Halo-Halo, countless dishes showcase the vibrant and diverse flavors of the Philippines.

The Essentials of Vegetarian Cooking in Filipino Food Culture

In Filipino food culture, vegetarian cooking is integral, offering a diverse array of delicious dishes catering to plant-based diets. This section will explore the essentials of vegetarian cooking in Filipino cuisine, highlighting key ingredients such as tofu, tempeh, and coconut milk.

The Use of Tofu and Tempeh in Traditional Dishes

Tofu and tempeh are versatile ingredients used in Filipino cuisine to create meatless versions of traditional dishes. Tofu, made from soybeans, has a soft texture and mild taste, making it an excellent protein substitute. It can be stir-fried with vegetables, marinated in flavorful sauces, or even deep-fried to add a crispy element to dishes.

On the other hand, tempeh is created by fermenting soybeans, offering a nuttier flavor and firmer texture compared to tofu. It is often used as a meat substitute in dishes like adobo, where it absorbs the savory flavors of the marinade, resulting in a hearty and satisfying meal.

Coconut Milk: A Cornerstone of Creamy Filipino Recipes

Coconut milk is a staple ingredient in Filipino cuisine, adding richness and creaminess to various dishes. It is extracted from the grated flesh of mature coconuts and is a critical component in Filipino curries, soups, and stews.

The luscious texture and subtle sweetness of coconut milk elevate the flavors of Filipino recipes, bringing a delightful tropical twist to vegetarian dishes. Its creamy nature is a foundation for creating mouthwatering curries, such as the famous Filipino dish Kare-Kare, which features a peanut-based sauce. Coconut milk enhances the flavors, creating a silky sauce complements vegetables and tofu beautifully.

Additionally, coconut milk is used in desserts such as halo-halo and coconut-based rice cakes, showcasing its versatility beyond savory dishes.

By incorporating tofu, tempeh, and coconut milk into vegetarian cooking, Filipino cuisine offers a delicious and satisfying array of meatless options that embrace the flavors and traditions of the culture. Whether you’re a vegetarian looking to explore new culinary horizons or simply want to enjoy the vibrant flavors of Filipino cuisine, these essential ingredients provide a wealth of possibilities for creating flavorful and nourishing vegetarian meals.

A Guide to Meatless Meal Ideas with Filipino Flavors

Incorporating meatless meals into your diet doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. Filipino cuisine offers many delicious vegetarian dishes that showcase the country’s vibrant flavors. This guide will provide meatless meal ideas inspired by Filipino flavors, perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

1. Hearty Breakfast: Start your day with a filling and nourishing vegetarian breakfast inspired by Filipino cuisine. Opt for a classic silog combo using vegetarian alternatives such as tofu or tempeh. Enjoy a serving of garlic fried rice (sinangag) topped with a sunny-side-up egg substitute. Pair it with tocino made from plant-based protein or a side of sautéed vegetables.

2. Satisfying Lunch: Consider a comforting bowl of sinigang without meat for a satisfying vegetarian lunch. This sour soup combines taro root, green beans, and spinach medley. Enhance the flavors with tamarind paste or calamansi juice for that signature tang. Serve it alongside steamed white rice, or enjoy it with a crusty bread roll.

3. Flavorful Dinner: When it comes to dinner, Filipino cuisine offers a plethora of vegetarian options. Prepare a savory vegetable stir-fry (ginisang gulay) featuring an assortment of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and snap peas. Season it with soy sauce and garlic for an umami-packed dish. Pair it with steamed jasmine rice, or enjoy it with crispy tofu.

By incorporating these meatless meal ideas into your cooking repertoire, you can savor the distinct flavors of Filipino cuisine while following a vegetarian diet. Experiment with different combinations of vegetables, herbs, and spices to create unique and flavorful dishes.

Quote: “Vegetarian Filipino cuisine offers a delightful variety of dishes that highlight the bold and complex flavors of the Philippines. With creativity and a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, you can enjoy a meatless twist on classic Filipino recipes.” – Chef Maria Santos.

Public Opinion: Many individuals who have transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle have expressed their love for Filipino-inspired meatless dishes. Social media platforms are filled with mouthwatering photos of vegetarian adobo, kare-kare, and pansit, showcasing the growing popularity of these flavorful alternatives.

More Recommendations: To further explore meatless meal ideas with Filipino flavors, consider incorporating traditional Filipino ingredients like jackfruit, malunggay, and kamote tops into your dishes. These ingredients add unique flavors and textures to your vegetarian creations, infusing them with Filipino flair.

Healthy Vegetarian Dish: A Blend of Nutrients and Filipino Taste

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Filipino cuisine is not only renowned for its vibrant flavors but also its nutritional richness. In this section, we will explore the art of creating healthy vegetarian dishes that combine the goodness of Filipino superfoods with the delectable taste of traditional Filipino cuisine. You can savor delicious plant-based meals that nourish your body and satisfy your palate by incorporating nutrient-dense ingredients and expertly balancing flavors.

Incorporating Filipino Superfoods into Vegetarian Meals

One critical aspect of healthy vegetarian cooking is the inclusion of superfoods. Filipino cuisine has abundant nutrient-packed ingredients that can elevate your vegetarian dishes to a whole new level. From the fiber-rich malunggay leaves to the protein-packed kamote (sweet potato), these superfoods provide essential nutrients and unique flavors to your meals. By incorporating these Filipino superfoods into your vegetarian recipes, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-rounded diet while indulging in Filipino cuisine’s diverse and exciting flavors.

Let’s take a closer look at some popular Filipino superfoods:


Nutritional Benefits

Malunggay leaves

It is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Kamote (sweet potato)

A good source of dietary fiber and vitamin A. Provides slow-release energy.


Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. It can help boost immunity and promote healthy digestion.

Ube (purple yam)

It contains antioxidants and is a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

Expert Opinions on Balancing Diet with Flavor

“Creating healthy vegetarian dishes that reflect the essence of Filipino cuisine is all about striking the right balance between nutrition and flavor. You can ensure that your meals are nutrient-dense and satisfying by incorporating colorful vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different herbs and spices to add depth and complexity to your dishes. Remember, a successful vegetarian meal is good for your body and a delight to your taste buds.” – Chef Maria Santos, renowned Filipino vegetarian chef.

“Regarding vegetarian cooking, it’s essential to focus on the quality and diversity of ingredients. Filipino cuisine offers many plant-based options that can provide all the essential nutrients needed for a well-balanced diet. Incorporating Filipino superfoods into vegetarian meals adds nutritional value and enhances the authentic flavors of Filipino cuisine. By understanding the principles of flavor pairing and utilizing cooking techniques such as sautéing, grilling, and steaming, you can create healthy vegetarian dishes that are bursting with flavor.” – Dr. Carla Reyes, nutrition expert and author of “The Plant-Based Plate: Nourishing Filipino Recipes.”

By following the guidance of experts like Chef Maria Santos and Dr. Carla Reyes, you can create healthy vegetarian dishes that celebrate the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this fusion of nutrients and Filipino taste will provide you with a fulfilling culinary experience.

Easy Vegetarian Recipe: Filipino Edition

Are you searching for quick and straightforward plant-based recipes with a Filipino twist? Look no further! In this section, we will share some easy vegetarian recipes inspired by Filipino cuisine. These recipes are perfect for busy days when you want to whip up something delicious without spending hours in the kitchen. From flavorful breakfast options to satisfying dinner ideas, you’ll find inspiration to create mouthwatering meals that are easy to make and packed with the vibrant flavors of Filipino cuisine.

Quick and Simple Plant-Based Recipes for Busy Days

When life gets hectic, it’s essential to have a repertoire of quick and easy recipes that can be prepared quickly. Here are a few plant-based Filipino recipes that are perfect for busy days:

  1. Tofu Sisig: This vegetarian version of the popular Filipino dish replaces the traditional pork with tofu for a healthier twist. Simply sauté tofu with onions, garlic, and soy sauce, and add a squeeze of calamansi juice for that authentic Filipino flavor.
  2. Vegetable Pancit: Pancit is a Filipino noodle dish easily customized with your favorite vegetables. Sauté a medley of colorful veggies, such as bell peppers, carrots, and cabbage, and toss them with rice noodles and a flavorful sauce. It’s a complete meal in one dish!
  3. Adobong Kangkong: Kangkong, or water spinach, is a popular leafy green vegetable in Filipino cuisine. Make a simple adobo sauce with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spices, and cook the kangkong until tender. Serve it as a side dish, or add tofu or tempeh for a heartier meal.

These quick and easy recipes burst with the unique flavors of Filipino cuisine. They are sure to satisfy your cravings without compromising on taste or nutrition.

Vegetarian Dinner Ideas to Impress

If you’re looking to impress your guests or simply want to elevate your dinner routine, try these vegetarian dinner ideas inspired by Filipino flavors:

  1. Vegan Kare-kare: Kare-kare is a traditional Filipino stew with peanut sauce and vegetables. The meat is replaced with tofu or tempeh in this vegan version, but the rich and creamy peanut sauce is still the dish’s star. Serve it with steamed rice and bagoong, a fermented shrimp paste, for a truly authentic experience.
  2. Ginataang Kalabasa: This creamy and comforting dish features squash simmered in coconut milk with spices and aromatics. Add some green beans, tofu, or chickpeas for added protein, and serve it over steamed rice for a satisfying and flavorful dinner.
  3. Pansit Malabon: Pansit Malabon is a unique noodle dish from the province of Malabon in the Philippines. It’s made with thick rice noodles, topped with a rich and savory sauce, and garnished with an array of seafood and vegetables. For a vegetarian twist, omit the seafood and load up on veggies like carrots, cabbage, and green beans.

These vegetarian dinner ideas are visually stunning and burst with the bold and enticing flavors Filipino cuisine is known for. They will impress your family and friends while keeping them satisfied and nourished.

With these easy vegetarian recipes inspired by Filipino cuisine, you can enjoy the vibrant flavors of the Philippines while embracing a plant-based lifestyle. Whether you’re looking for quick and simple dishes for busy days or impressive dinner ideas, there’s something here to suit every taste and occasion. So, grab your apron, head to the kitchen, and prepare delicious vegetarian meals that will transport you to the tropical paradise of Filipino flavors.

Vegetarian Meal Prep: Filipino Dishes That Last

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Meal prepping is an excellent strategy for busy individuals who want to maintain a healthy and balanced diet throughout the week. By preparing meals in advance, you can save time and ensure you have nutritious and delicious options readily available. In this section, we will explore the concept of vegetarian meal prep and discover Filipino dishes perfect for make-ahead recipes.

Filipino cuisine offers many flavors and ingredients, making it an excellent choice for meal prepping. From hearty casseroles to comforting one-pot dishes, there are endless possibilities to satisfy your taste buds while incorporating vegetarian ingredients. By planning and preparing your meals in advance, you can enjoy the convenience of having ready-to-eat Filipino dishes while maintaining a vegetarian lifestyle.

To help you get started with vegetarian meal prep using Filipino flavors, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Vegetable Adobo: This classic Filipino dish can easily be adapted to a vegetarian version by substituting meat with your favorite vegetables. The combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and spices creates a savory and tangy flavor that intensifies over time, making it ideal for meal prepping.
  2. Ginisang Monggo: This hearty and nutritious mung bean stew is a staple in Filipino cuisine. Packed with protein and fiber, it can be prepared in large batches and refrigerated or frozen for later consumption. Enjoy it with steamed rice or as a standalone dish.
  3. Kare-Kareng Gulay: Kare-Kare is a traditional Filipino stew usually made with meat, but you can easily create a vegetarian version by using an array of vegetables like eggplant, bok choy, and string beans. The rich peanut sauce and earthy flavors make it a satisfying meal that can be enjoyed throughout the week.

These are just a few examples of vegetarian Filipino dishes that lend themselves well to meal prepping. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of vegetables, sauces, and spices to create personalized make-ahead recipes that suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.

With vegetarian meal prep and Filipino dishes, you can indulge in the vibrant flavors of Filipino cuisine while staying on track with your vegetarian lifestyle. Whether you’re a busy professional, a student, or simply seeking convenience without compromising taste, meal planning and prepping can be a game-changer. Enjoy the convenience of having delicious meals and take the stress out of cooking during hectic weekdays.

Food Recipe for Vegetarian: Filipino Specialties You Can’t-Miss

Filipino cuisine is full of flavorful specialties loved by many. For vegetarian food enthusiasts, there are plenty of options to explore Filipino culinary traditions. This section will highlight some vegetarian-friendly Filipino dishes you can’t miss. From classic favorites to lesser-known gems, these recipes will allow you to experience the vibrant flavors of Filipino cuisine without compromising your dietary choices.

Classic Filipino Vegetarian Recipes

1. Pancit: A staple in Filipino cuisine, Pancit is a delicious noodle dish that can easily be made vegetarian-friendly. Swap the meat with tofu or tempeh and load it with fresh vegetables for a nutritious and satisfying meal. Enjoy the savory flavors and the variety of textures in each bite.

2. Kare-Kare: This traditional Filipino stew is typically made with oxtail and tripe, but it can be easily adapted for vegetarians. Replace the meat with tofu or seitan and let the rich peanut sauce and tender vegetables create a flavorful dish that will transport you to the streets of Manila.

3. Adobong Kangkong: Kangkong, also known as water spinach, is a leafy green vegetable commonly used in Filipino cuisine. This dish is cooked in tangy and savory vinegar and soy sauce. It is a simple yet delicious vegetarian dish that pairs well with steamed rice.

Hidden Vegetarian Gems

4. Ukoy: Ukoy is a popular Filipino appetizer with crispy shrimp fritters. For a vegetarian version, replace the shrimp with diced vegetables like carrots, green beans, and sweet potatoes. Dip these crispy vegetable fritters into a spicy vinegar dip for a delightful and satisfying snack.

5. Ginataang Kalabasa: This creamy, comforting stew is made with squash, coconut milk, and spices. Enjoy the squash’s smooth texture and sweetness as it simmers in a rich and fragrant coconut milk broth. This vegetarian-friendly dish is perfect for colder days.

6. Turon: Turon is a popular Filipino dessert made with banana and jackfruit wrapped in spring roll wrappers and fried until golden and crispy. This sweet treat can easily be adapted to a vegetarian version by omitting the jackfruit or replacing it with other fruits like mango or pineapple. Serve it with a drizzle of caramel sauce for a delectable dessert.

Experience the Flavors of Filipino Cuisine

These vegetarian-friendly Filipino specialties are just a taste of the diverse and delicious options that await you in Filipino cuisine. Exploring these recipes allows you to experience the vibrant flavors and unique combinations that make Filipino food special. Whether you’re a seasoned vegetarian or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based options into your diet, these dishes satisfy your cravings and ignite your love for Filipino food.

“Filipino cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and textures, and there is a growing appreciation for vegetarian-friendly options in the Filipino food scene. These recipes allow us to enjoy traditional Filipino dishes’ bold and exciting flavors while catering to our dietary preferences. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the rich culinary heritage of the Philippines.” – Chef Maria Santos, Filipino Cuisine Expert.

“As a vegetarian, I’ve always loved Filipino cuisine and its abundance of fresh vegetables and aromatic spices. These vegetarian-friendly Filipino specialties offer a taste of home for those who have grown up enjoying these dishes and present an opportunity for others to discover the unique flavors and vibrant culture of the Philippines.” – Emily Reyes, Filipino Food Enthusiast.


In conclusion, vegetarian Filipino cuisine offers a diverse and flavorful array of dishes that cater to those following a meatless diet. From traditional favorites to modern creations, Filipino cuisine embraces plant-based ingredients and inventive cooking techniques to deliver bold flavors and unique combinations.

What Vegetarian Filipino Dishes to Try Next

Suppose you’re looking to try more vegetarian Filipino dishes. We recommend exploring dishes such as Vegetable Kare-Kare, a savory stew made with fresh vegetables and a creamy peanut sauce. Another must-try is Laing, a spicy taro leaf dish cooked in coconut milk that showcases the rich flavors of Filipino cuisine. Lastly, Sinigang, a tangy and sour soup made with various vegetables, is a delightful dish that perfectly balances flavors.

The Future of Vegetarian Filipino Cuisine

The future of vegetarian Filipino cuisine looks promising as the popularity of plant-based eating continues to grow worldwide. With a focus on health, sustainability, and culinary innovation, more restaurants and home cooks are experimenting with vegetarian Filipino dishes, introducing new ingredients and techniques to create exciting and delicious options. As Filipino food culture evolves, we can expect to see an even greater variety of vegetarian dishes that showcase Filipino cuisine’s vibrant flavors and diverse traditions.


What types of vegetarian dishes can I find in Filipino cuisine?

Filipino cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian dishes, including vegetable stir-fries, tofu adobo, sinigang with vegetables, pancit (noodle dishes), and kare-kare (mixed vegetable stew). These dishes showcase the vibrant flavors and unique combinations of ingredients in Filipino cooking.

How can I incorporate traditional Filipino flavors into meatless dishes?

You can use ingredients like soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and calamansi (Philippine lime) to incorporate traditional Filipino flavors into meatless dishes. These ingredients are commonly used in Filipino cooking and can add signature tangy, savory, and umami flavors to your vegetarian dishes.

What are some essential ingredients for vegetarian cooking in Filipino cuisine?

Tofu and tempeh are widely used in vegetarian Filipino dishes as a substitute for meat. They provide protein and a meaty texture. Coconut milk is another essential ingredient that adds creaminess and richness to Filipino recipes. It is often used in curries and stews.

Can I create healthy vegetarian dishes with Filipino flavors?

Yes, you can create healthy vegetarian dishes while incorporating Filipino flavors. You can make nutritious meals with Filipino tastes using fresh vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based proteins like tofu and tempeh. You can also incorporate Filipino superfoods like malunggay (moringa), kamote (sweet potato), and talbos ng kamote (sweet potato leaves) for added nutrition.

Do you have any quick and easy plant-based Filipino recipes?

Yes! For busy days, you can try simple plant-based recipes like ginisang gulay (sauteed vegetables), mongo guisado (mung bean stew), or pinakbet (mixed vegetable dish). These dishes are easy to prepare and full of Filipino flavors. You can make vegetarian versions of classic dishes like tofu sisig, adobo mushroom, or vegetable kare-kare for dinner ideas.

How can I prep vegetarian Filipino dishes for meals?

Meal-prepping vegetarian Filipino dishes can be done by making large batches of dishes like vegetable stir-fries, adobo, or curry and storing them in individual containers. You can also prepare essential ingredients in advance, like chopping vegetables, cooking rice, or marinating tofu, making it easier to assemble meals during the week.

Are there any Filipino specialties that are vegetarian-friendly?

Yes! There are Filipino specialties that are vegetarian-friendly and worth trying. Some examples include vegetable pancit (noodles), ginataang langka (unripe jackfruit cooked in coconut milk), and Laing (taro leaves cooked in coconut milk). These dishes offer unique flavors and are enjoyed by both vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

What vegetarian Filipino dishes should I try next?

Suppose you’re looking to explore more vegetarian Filipino dishes. You can try sinigang sa miso (tamarind soup with vegetables and miso), pinakbet with tofu (mixed vegetables with tofu), and vegetable adobo. These dishes offer a range of flavors and showcase the variety of vegetarian options in Filipino cuisine.

What does the future hold for vegetarian Filipino cuisine?

As plant-based eating grows popular, we expect to see more innovation and creativity in vegetarian Filipino cuisine. Chefs and home cooks are experimenting with new ingredients and techniques to create exciting meatless versions of traditional Filipino dishes. The future of vegetarian Filipino cuisine is bright, focusing on sustainability, health, and delicious flavors.

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