Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Asian Vegan Kitchen: Authentic and Appetizing Dishes from a Continent of Rich Flavors

The Asian Vegan Kitchen by Hema Parekh
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Mar 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: cookbook, non-fiction, vegetarian, vegan, reviewed
Read from April 04 to 23, 2012

I love that the author grew up in a Jain family, Jainism being a religion that believes in non-violence, including adhering to strict vegetarianism.

I loved how the contents include dishes from many Asian countries/areas: India, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Korea. Each of those sections is divided up by types of dishes, slightly different for each type of cuisine, but including: Soups and Salads, Curries and Main Dishes, Rice Dishes, Side Dishes, Snacks, Breads, Drinks and Desserts, Main Dishes, Noodles, Pancakes and More, etc.

The food photos, in color, are listed by country, and have their name and page number for reference. There is a glossary of ingredients and an index of main ingredients.

There are short descriptive sections at the start of each country’s section about their food and food traditions. Otherwise, the recipes are given in a straightforward way, though there is a bit of descriptive text at each.

While I love the premise, and enjoyed noticing the differences among the various cuisines, many of the recipes have coconut and/or unusual (for my kitchen) ingredients. And, as a vegan, the easiest cuisine for dining out is Asian. Even where I live, where we have a variety of 100% vegan and 100% vegetarian restaurants, the majority are always Asian. I am often in the mood for Asian food, but not most typically.

So, I highly recommend this book to reader cooks who want a single book that contains recipes from various Asian cultures. And while the instructions look easy enough and are acceptable for the average cook, a well stocked kitchen would be a help here.

For me, I’m glad I borrowed it from the library, although I might borrow it again.

3 ½ stars, rounded up for its breadth
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Sounds excellent, but perhaps a bit daunting/expensive for those (like me) who don't have a well-stocked kitchen for Asian dishes. If it comes to my library, I'd definitely check it out, though :-)


Lisa Vegan Yeah, I'm not sure I'd use this one, but I didn't want to discourage other readers because I think many would find it a wonderful book. I'd have to buy to many ingredients though. But for many that might not be a hindrance, either because they already have them or they don't mind buying them because they know they'll use them up.


message 3: by Kathryn (new) - added it

Kathryn Lisa wrote: "Yeah, I'm not sure I'd use this one, but I didn't want to discourage other readers because I think many would find it a wonderful book. I'd have to buy to many ingredients though. But for many that..."

I think your review was great, very balanced. I'm just reluctant to buy in all those ingredients because I don't know if I'd cook with them all the time and they can be expensive. But, I love Asian food and love eating Asian food when we go out! My extent of "expertise" in cooking it at home is stir-fry and fried rice, though ;-)


Lisa Vegan Yes, it will definitely be worth borrowing from the library if you can get it.


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