The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East: 150 Asian-Inspired Recipes - from Soba Noodles to Summer Rolls Paperback – Jul 6 2010
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Library Journal, 6/25/10
“The vegan's answer to Rachael Ray and Mr. Food, this is recommended for anyone wishing to re-create their favorite Asian restaurant dishes without the meat.”
The Hungry Vegan blog, 7/9/10
“Like accelerated culinary nirvana…Whether you want to impress your friends and family with your cooking prowess or you just enjoy eating great Asian cuisine, get yourself a copy of The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. It will inspire and delight you and awaken the creative culinary genius within you.”
Chicago Vegan Restaurant Examiner, 8/19/10
“The recipes pop with bright flavors, like their Panang Curry and Tofu Tikka Masala and luscious textures, like the silky Mango Custard Pudding and Coconut Spinach Rice. Not only do the recipes emphasize fresh, healthy preparations, but they are a breeze to put together, most clocking in at thirty minutes or less with prep and cooking time included unless otherwise indicated…This cookbook is for anyone from the novice to the experienced home cook: anyone who loves the bold, satisfying aromas and flavors at the Indian buffet or wonders how much she could improve on the sesame tofu at the local Chinese restaurant should run out and get this gem of a cookbook. I've only had it for a few weeks and it has already found its way into my top ten cookbook rotation. Very impressive!”
“A new recipe book that will inspire you to cook…Will be useful for those wanting to try new flavors or improve their health through diet.”
White Pumpkin Seeds Blog, 10/07/10
San Francisco Book Review, October 2010
“A great way to introduce vegan cooking to your kitchen…The kick of hot peppers, blends of exotic spices, and the crispness of fresh vegetables await you inside the covers of this must-try cookbook.”
“Mark and Jennifer are on the cutting edge of healthy dining. This is vegan cuisine at its finest.”
Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Local Flavors
“Whether you are vegan or not, this is a very appealing collection of recipes. I know they’re going to become part of my culinary life.”
“With wonderful recipes on every page, this book takes you on a culinary journey through India, China, and Japan imparting all you need to know to recreate the flavors of the east.”
About the Author
Mark Reinfeld is founding chef of the celebrated Blossoming Lotus restaurant. His cookbook, 'Vegan Fusion World Cuisine', won a Gourmand Award for Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the USA. Along with Reinfeld, Jennifer Murray is the coauthor of 'The 30-Minute Vegan' and 'The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw'. She teaches vegan cooking, baking, and raw food preparation classes internationally. They live in Kaua'i, Hawaii.
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Top Customer Reviews
As background, I am a bit of a nut when it comes to vegan cookbooks and probably own about 20 of them. I cook often and have a reputatuon with my friends and family for being a good cook, so I don't think the issue is me, although I guess it can't be ruled out.
Anyway, because I hadn't enjoyed much from this book it was just collecting dust, so i pulled it out and decided to try it again this past week. I made three recipes - the lemon tofu, chow mein, and spicy green beans. All three were pretty underwhelming, with flavours anywhere from bland to one-dimensional. And, it was a lot more time consuming than 30 minutes, but then again I was making more than one item.
With so many truly amazing vegan cookbooks out there I'd save your money and give this one a pass. I'm taking mine over to the used bookstore this week.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I am already a huge fan of the authors' best-selling book, The 30 Minute Vegan. So I wondered if they could they possibly outdo themselves with another collection of 30-minute recipes? As soon as I honed in on the recipe for Vanilla Cardamom Rose Lassi on page 38, I quickly realized they had.
The most enticing ingredients combine to create a romantic beverage that is intoxicatingly fragrant. I felt at ease substituting coconut milk kefir for the coconut milk yogurt suggested in this recipe, with palate-pleasing results. "Suggested" really is the key word in all of this book's wonderful recipes. In both 30-Minute Vegan books, authors Reinfeld and Murray encourage readers to experiment and have fun playing with the recipes. While many authors invite readers to create their own variations, in an almost magical way, Reinfeld and Murray truly inspire such creativity.
Like a mystery novel page-turner just waiting to be devoured, Taste of the East excited both my curiosity and my taste buds. With dishes like Tibetan Dumplings, Tempeh Vegetable Korma, and Arame Lotus Root Sauté, it was agonizingly difficult choosing the next recipe to sink my teeth into. Thoughtfully, Taste of the East is organized by country of origin, so you don't have to wait to get to the end of the book to get to the dessert recipes. Within each section, the recipes are listed in the order you'd find them on a menu, from appetizers to desserts. Each section starts with a glossary of ingredients unique to the country's cuisine, and sprinkled throughout the book are helpful boxes with Thoughtful Chef's Tips and Tricks. (What do you do if you tear your nori in the middle of making a sushi roll?) Highly useful appendixes include Preparation Basics for everything from toasting spices, nuts, and seeds to roasting tofu and tempeh.
In the spirit of sweetness, (and because I have absolutely no problem with eating dessert first), I dove straight ahead into two enticing recipes--Mango Custard Pudding from China and Black Rice Pudding from Thailand. Both desserts were decadently rich, creamy, and sweet.
After satisfying my sweet tooth, it was time to explore more serious fare. Inspired by the red lentil dal I enjoyed recently on a trip to Ananda Village, I decided to try the Indian Dhal and paired it with the recipe for Coconut Spinach Rice. True to the book's promise, once I had all of the ingredients assembled, both dishes went from stove to table in no more than thirty minutes and were as tasty as any dish it might take hours to prepare.
Next, I wanted to become reacquainted with a dish I'd only eaten once many years ago. Indonesian Gado Gado is a delightful medley of both raw and cooked vegetables served with a sassy peanut sauce dressing. Although the dish is traditionally made with cooked potatoes, I used yams instead, which together with roasted tempeh, red cabbage, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers created a vibrantly delectable fusion of flavors. The dressing blended peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, garlic, jalapeño, maple syrup, and tamarind paste together and was the perfect accompaniment.
Before writing this review, I last tried the recipe for Sweet Soybean Sauce with Noodles, better known as Pad Siew. This simple dish, made with a soy-sauce marinade and stir-fried vegetables, is surprisingly tasty. Among the ingredients is a fish-free sauce (the recipe is in the book!) which substitutes for the traditional fish sauce used in many Thai dishes. It's an optional ingredient in this recipe, but it added a little pizazz to my Pad Siew. And I appreciate having an alternative to fish sauce on hand for all of my other Thai cooking.
Whether you want to impress your friends and family with your cooking prowess or you just enjoy eating great Asian cuisine, I highly recommend The 30 Minute Vegan's Taste of the East. This jewel of a book will inspire and delight you and awaken the creative culinary genius within you.
Plus, the writers seem to have ignored some really basic cooking techniques. The dhal on page 5 called for 8 1/2 cups of water. I knew that would be too much, so I reduced it to 6 and it was still way too much. You shouldn't be bale to shoot dhal out of a hose to water your plants with; you should be able to eat it with a fork. The coconut spinach rice on page 10 is the blandest, most tasteless imitation of paste I've ever made out of a cookbook. I tried to spice it up afterwards, but nothing could save it. Worst of all, the cauliflower chickpea subji on page 19 was absolutely inedible. Anyone who cooks with cardamom should know that 1/2 teaspooon is total overkill, but I followed their directions. It turned out exactly like I guessed; bitterly awful. I couldn't eat a single bite. You owe me a medium carrot and half a head of cauliflower dudes.
I have been a huge fan of Indian food for over a decade and been a vegan for the last five years, so I was excited to get this cookbook. I have been adapting recipes from vegetarian Indian cookbooks for awhile and have eaten at almost every Indian restaurant on the famous Devon Avenue here in Chicago, so I'd like to think I know what I'm talking about when I judge Indian food. It's sad, because there are a few good things in here (the mulligatawny, for one), but overall this is money poorly spent. There are other vegan Indian cookbooks out there; my advice is to try any besides this one.
These Asian inspired creations explode with taste and leave us and our friends wanting more. Luckily there are 150 gems in this latest cookbook, so we'll be busy indulging our own palettes and inspiring others' till the last dish has been made...
Lisa and Joe Rich