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  • Writer's pictureSavory Sojourns

The Korean Vegan Cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro: A Delicious Exploration of Korean Cuisine in a Veg

Plant-Based Alternatives to Classic Korean Dishes, Beautifully Presented with Detailed Instructions and Stunning Photographs

The Korean vegan cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro is a must-have for anyone looking to explore Korean cuisine in a vegan and plant-based way. Molinaro is a Korean-American food blogger and lawyer who writes about food on her popular blog, The Korean Vegan. Her cookbook is a compilation of some of her most popular vegan recipes that have been tried and tested by her followers.

The book is divided into five chapters, each focusing on a different type of dish: appetizers and snacks, soups and stews, mains, sides, and desserts. The recipes are written in a clear and concise manner, with detailed instructions and ingredient lists. The book also includes beautiful photographs of each dish, which will make your mouth water and inspire you to get cooking.

One of the things that sets this cookbook apart from other Korean cookbooks is the fact that it is entirely vegan. Korean cuisine is known for its meat-based dishes, so it's refreshing to see a cookbook that offers vegan alternatives to some of these classic dishes. Molinaro does a great job of replicating the flavors and textures of traditional Korean dishes using plant-based ingredients.

One of the standout recipes in the book is the vegan bulgogi. Bulgogi is a classic Korean dish made with thinly sliced beef that has been marinated in a sweet and savory sauce. Molinaro's vegan version uses tofu as a replacement for the meat and is just as flavorful and satisfying as the original. The marinade is made with soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger, and gives the tofu a delicious umami flavor.

Another recipe that caught my eye was the vegan dakgalbi, a spicy Korean stir-fry made with chicken, vegetables, and gochujang (a spicy Korean paste). Molinaro's vegan version uses mushrooms and seitan instead of chicken, and it's just as delicious and satisfying as the original. The dish is spicy and flavorful, with a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.

The book also includes a great selection of vegan side dishes, or banchan, which are a staple of Korean cuisine. One of my favorites is the vegan japchae, a dish made with sweet potato noodles, vegetables, and a sweet and savory soy sauce-based dressing. The noodles have a wonderful chewy texture, and the dish is loaded with flavor and nutrients.

One thing I appreciated about this cookbook is the fact that Molinaro doesn't shy away from using traditional Korean ingredients like gochujang, doenjang (a Korean soybean paste), and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes). These ingredients may be unfamiliar to some readers, but Molinaro does a great job of explaining what they are and how to use them in her recipes. I also appreciated the fact that she offers substitutions for some of the harder-to-find ingredients, so readers can still make the recipes even if they don't have access to a Korean grocery store.

The book is also a great resource for those with dietary restrictions. Many of the recipes are gluten-free or can be easily adapted to be gluten-free. Molinaro also includes information on how to make some of the dishes nut-free, soy-free, or oil-free. The book also includes a helpful guide on how to stock a Korean pantry, which is great for those who are new to Korean cooking.

Overall, I highly recommend the Korean vegan cookbook by Joanne Lee Molinaro. Whether you're a seasoned vegan cook or new to plant-based cooking, this book is a great resource for exploring Korean cuisine in a vegan way. The recipes are flavorful, satisfying, and easy to follow, and the photographs are beautiful and inspiring.

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