Thursday, April 28, 2011
Book Review: Asian Fusion
Thanks again to Book Publishing Company for sending me a review copy of "Asian Fusion: A Culinary Odyssey of Vegan Recipes". If you want to win some awesome books during their Live Delicious, Eat Vegan campaign, click here!
The Book: "Asian Fusion: A Culinary Odyssey of Vegan Recipes" by Chat Mingkwan.
What a great idea for a book! I love Asian food, and often, it can be veganized easily. This book covers various parts of Asia, from Burma to Vietnam:
The first part of the book explains all the "special ingredients" used, like bean sauce/paste, herbs like galangal and fenugreek, Asian vegetables, and rices. Once again, you really need to have access to an Asian supermarket if you're going to follow these recipes exactly. I did, however, leave some out, as I just didn't have them.
The first recipe I made was the Tomato Salad, which was delicious! Very refreshing on a hot summer day (ok, it's already hot down here where I live) and I actually had all of the ingredients. Here is the recipe, with permission from Book Publishing Company:
Chung Sik Faan ke Sa Leut (from China)
3 large, rip tomatoes
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion, both green and white parts
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar, more or less to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Slice the tomatoes thinly and arrange them on a serving platter. Refrigerate to chill.
To make the dressing, combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir to mix well. To serve, sprinkle the dressing evenly over the tomatoes.
The next recipe I made was also from China: Fried Rice with Vegetable Fu Yang. I always have cooked brown rice around, so this was a great way to use it.I left out vegetables I didn't have and added others I did have. And it seemed to call for this "vegetarian stir fry sauce" but I just couldn't get myself to buy the stuff at the grocery store. There were just too many ingredients and it just didn't look healthy. So I added in some extra soy sauce. It was very good though and I'd make it again. Pretty simple dish to make.
And the last recipe I made was the Sweet and Sour Plate from Singapore. I happened to have some leftover pineapple so this worked out great. I cut down on the sugar and added too much Sambal Oelek! It was quite spicy, so I had to serve it over brown rice. S didn't like all the pineapple (but he really doesn't like this kind of "sweet and sour" dish). So maybe next time I'll puree the pineapple first, so you don't get all the extra sweetness in each bite. Again, I added the vegetables I had and omitted the ones I didn't have.
I'm excited to try some of the other recipes in this book. I do see that it does call for a lot of sugar and that "vegetarian stir fry sauce". I'll probably end up omitting the latter and really cutting down on the sugar part. I will have to see what I can get at my Asian supermarket. Not sure they have kaffir lime leaves, fresh curry leaves, abalone and oyster mushrooms, or fresh lemongrass.......
Overall, it's a great book if you want to cook up some good Asian food, vegan style. There are tons of different types of recipes to choose from. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure 90% of the recipes call for sugar. But, you can probably leave it out or replace it with something else. So go on over to Book Publishing Company and order yourself a copy! And don't forget to enter to win some cool free books too :)
......On another note, I still need your help on my upcoming trip. I need as many suggestions (foodwise) as you can give me, either on the places I'm going, or stuff to bring with me, so please check out my trip post and help a girl out!