The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma’s Kitchen

Joanne Lee Molinaro. Avery, $35 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-08427-4
In this touching and transportive debut, TikTok creator Molinaro reinterprets the Korean classics she grew up with as vegan fare. She swaps out the beef used in bulgogi for soy curls (cooked and dehydrated soy beans) to recreate its meaty texture, and makes a vegan “fishy sauce” with a variety of mushrooms and dashima (dried kelp) for umami flavor. Throughout, Molinaro’s dishes are enriched with wistful anecdotes about cooking with her omma (grandmother) and stories from her parents’ youths in Korea: The chocolate sweet potato cake, for instance, is inspired by the two foods that saved her mother’s life when she fled from North Korea to South Korea as a little girl. Molinaro also adapts Western dishes for the vegan Korean kitchen, such as Angry Penne Pasta, a riff on pasta arrabbiata prepared with gochugaru and gochujang. Each recipe is categorized by difficulty level, ranging from “easy” dishes like dooboo jorim (braised tofu) to “practice makes perfect” choices such as kkanpoongi (spicy crunchy garlic “wings” made with tofu and jackfruit). Though some ingredients may prove difficult to source (such as jjajang, a fermented black soybean paste), Molinaro’s assured guidance simplifies everything else. This tasty tribute is full of heart and flavor. Agent: Charlie Brotherstone, Brotherstone Creative Management. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/28/2021
Release date: 10/12/2021
Genre: Lifestyle
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