cover image East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing

East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing

Meera Sodha. Flatiron, $35 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-75073-0

Sodha, a vegan columnist at the Guardian, delivers a cheery compendium of Asian dishes. Many recipes from her column appear here among dozens more; all are either vegan or vegetarian and marked as such. A healthy selection of snacks includes Japanese onigiri rice balls with dabs of a walnut miso mixture, and noodle dishes feature Singapore-style rice vermicelli. Sodha has a relaxed tone and a firm grasp on fundamentals, and her playful voice shines: among the curries on offer is a version of her mother’s subji—a stir-fry of “whatever’s lurking in the fridge in a game we call ‘fridge bingo’.” An entire chapter is dedicated to tofu dishes, including silken tofu with pine nuts and pickled chiles, and tempeh with bok choy and tomato sambal. Sodha offers encouragement and plenty of ingredient substitutes (can’t find fresh silken tofu? Buy it prepackaged, but “make sure you cut carefully along the edges of the carton and open the pack gently so as not to break it up”). While many dishes are familiar, there are a few surprises, such as a loaf of Korean cheddar cheese bread with eggs running end-to-end down the middle, and a vegan semolina pineapple cake from Sri Lanka. Sodha’s generous spirit permeates these enticing and accessible recipes. (Aug.)