Design by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist
Braised Tofu and Mushrooms in a Jeeca Uy’s Ginger-Shallot Sauce Asian Vegan is a recipe so full of umami you’ll forget everything from fried rice to meat. At Edgar Castrejón’s Provecho, which features 100 vegan Mexican recipes, the mushrooms from its vegan pozole rojo, a dish traditionally made with pork and chili peppers, lend an earthy touch to this classic dish.
Over the past year, several new cookbooks written by people of color, from cultures and cuisines known for their beautiful meat dishes, feature all-vegan recipes. “Veganism is growing because people are more and more aware of what animal agriculture does to our planet and primarily to animals, and they are curious about where their food comes from,” says Castrejón.
First-time author Priyanka Naik, whose cookbook The modern Tiffin is filled with global vegan recipes inspired by India, agrees. “Through several documentaries and research released over the past decade, we have come to realize the health benefits of a plant-based diet,” she says. And so, there is an audience that wants to cook healthy plant-based meals, which go beyond a bowl of lettuce and avocado, which brings regional vegan cookbooks to the fore.
These new cookbooks draw on Korean, Japanese, Mexican, African, Caribbean and Cajun cuisine, to present a meatless version of traditional recipes, but also feature intrinsic vegan dishes found in the respective cuisines. Take for example Naik’s book which contains spicy chickpea bhel puri (mixed puffed rice) and okra stuffed with coconut masala. In the same way, The vegan Japanese cookbook from Asuka Atushi offers miso-glazed eggplant and nanocha no kimono, a Japanese-style simmered squash that isn’t purposely vegetated.
“The biggest stereotype I’m trying to deconstruct is that plant-based foods can’t be ‘authentic,’ says Joanne Molinaro, author of Korean vegan. She says that “a lot of vegan chefs, including myself, are accused of watering down traditional foods and my goal is to show how to modify Korean cuisine for a plant-based diet, as well as highlight the traditionally vegan Korean food dating back over a thousand. year.”
Besides the cookbook, she is particularly inspiring on Instagram. Her beautiful cathartic cooking videos immerse you in vegan cuisine far from stereotypes of Korean cuisine. Popular K-Dramas often feature bowls of jjamppong, tteokbokki, and samgyeopsal, all of which are mostly meat-based. But Molinaro’s book features his mother’s Korean barbecue sauce which is traditionally vegan, cucumber muchim or kimchi, dooboo jorim or braised tofu and tteok, as well as rice cakes that are both vegan and free. gluten.
For many of these chefs, veganism is not a trend, but in fact the most traditional aspect of their cultural cuisine that they can adopt.
“I’m Maharashtrian, so our cooking style reflects that,” says Naik. “We use vegetables, grains, pulses, literally anything plant-based. It’s vegetable-focused cuisine with so many options for people to plant and most not indulgent at all. In the West Indian food is generally considered “forgiving” or “heavy” or “creamy” and I find that incredibly funny. For the kind of Indian food that she grew up eating, she is vegan by default.
Whether you want to try their recipes for dietary or ethical reasons, or just out of curiosity, we’ve got three ideas to get you started.
Edgar Castrejón’s Coconut Aguachile
“Aguachile is like this friend who is always extra. As the name suggests, it marinates in a mixture of peppers mixed with water, so aguachile is spicier than ceviche, which may or may not contain peppers. The idea for this recipe came to me while digging up the flesh of a young coconut in a Thai restaurant. Coconut flesh has a succulent texture that resembles fish and can absorb flavors as well. It also has a richness that makes it as satisfying as shrimp or scallops.
• 3-4 young Thai coconuts
• 1 red onion (thinly sliced)
• 2 limes (juice)
• 2½ cups of Persian cucumbers (cut into 1 ¼ inch strips)
• 3 cups of cilantro (chopped)
• 2 serrano peppers (hulled)
• 1 jalapeño (hulled)
• ¼ white onion (finely chopped)
• 3 cloves of garlic
• ½ cup of fresh lime juice (from about 5 limes)
• 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt
• ¼ cup of fresh coconut water
• 1 packet of tortilla chips
• a handful of tostadas
• ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
• 1 avocado (sliced)
• cilantro and freshly ground black pepper for serving
1. Cut off the top of a coconut with a knife. The outer shell should come off easily to expose the coconut shell. Gently tap the shell with a cleaver to create an opening and remove the shell.
2. Filter the coconut water through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl; reserve and refrigerate ¼ cup of coconut water and save the rest for another use.
3. Throw the chips through the sieve. Gently scrape the coconut flesh with the back of a spoon. Set the flesh aside. Repeat with the remaining coconuts.
4. Cut the coconut flesh into 1 ¼ inch strips and transfer to an airtight container. Add the red onion and lime juice. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight for best results.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the aguachile sauce. Combine ingredients and blend until smooth, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Reserve the sauce until ready to use.
6. When the lime-cooked coconut is ready, toss with the cucumbers and aguachile sauce in a large bowl. Mix well.
7. Serve the coconut aguachile with tortilla chips, or spread vegan mayonnaise over the tostadas and garnish with coconut aguachile, avocado, a little cilantro and black pepper. Refrigerate leftover coconut aguachile for up to 1 week.
Pacan Paht by Joanne Molinaro
“I wanted to make a pecan pie that my family would actually eat. We’re not fans of overly sweet desserts, but my dad loves pecans. The answer to creating a less cloying topping was simple: paht! Not only was the red bean paste much less sweet than the typical custard filling of a traditional pecan pie, but I knew my family would instantly appreciate the familiar flavor.
• 1½ cup (210g) all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• ⅔ cup cold vegan butter (cut into ½ inch cubes)
• 3 to 4 tablespoons of ice water
• ¾ cup of brown rice syrup
• 6 tablespoons of oat milk
• 1 cup of paht (red bean paste)
• ¼ cup light brown sugar
• 4 tablespoons of vegan butter (melted and cooled)
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
• 2 cups of pecans (chopped)
• 3 ½ tablespoons of potato starch
• 1 cup of pecan halves
1. To make the pie crust, in a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt and mix, adding the butter, a few pieces at a time. Add ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, until a paste begins to form.
2. Shape the dough into a ball. Do not handle more than necessary. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
4. To prepare the pie filling and filling, in a medium bowl, combine the brown rice syrup, oat milk, paht, brown sugar, melted butter, salt, vanilla, chopped pecans and potato starch.
5. Place the pie crust between two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the pie crust until it is large enough to line a 9-inch pie plate.
6. Pour the crust into the pan and cut off any excess dough around the edges with kitchen scissors or a sharp paring knife. Pour the garnish. Garnish with pecan halves.
7. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the pie filling is hard (ie it does not shake too much). These should take around 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool the pie on a wire rack for 2 hours before serving.
Indian homemade fries from Priyanka Naik
“Sweet, crunchy, spicy, everything you need in a well-balanced dish. They are perfect to accompany your savory brunches, sweet pancakes, or even in a warm salad. Plus, it’s perfect for making with a variety of potatoes. Don’t have sweet potatoes on hand? No worries, the roux work very well. And even the fry are a great choice! Funny anecdote: I concocted an interpretation of this dish on Food Network’s Cooks vs Cons show in 2017 and I won! “
• 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or neutral oil
• ¼ heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
• 2 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into ⅛ inch thick slices)
• 2 Indian green peppers (cut in half lengthwise)
• 3 tablespoons dry roasted unsalted peanuts
• 3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
• 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
• ¼ fresh lemon wedge
1. In a large non-stick skillet, pour oil to coat the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for 30 seconds. They will become fragrant and pop.
2. Add the grilled potatoes to the cumin seeds. After about 60 seconds, add the chili peppers, 2 tablespoons of peanuts and 2 tablespoons of cilantro.
3. Cook, about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through, turning them halfway through cooking. They should have been golden on each side, like homemade fries! Do not cover at any time, otherwise the potatoes will steam and not char.
4. Make sure to evenly distribute the potatoes in the pan so that each touches the pan for even cooking.
5. Add salt, making sure to sprinkle it over all the potatoes.
6. At the very end, squeeze the lemon juice from the quarter, add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of coriander according to your taste and mix. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of peanuts.