If someone were to pick one genre of food that seems to naturally fit into the vegan lifestyle, it would have to be Asian food. Anyone remotely familiar with the cuisine must no doubt think it is impossible to get a plate of Asian food that lacks exceptional color, in large part created by the variety of vegetables the styles uses. The dishes we’ve pulled up today are certainly not lacking in overall delivery, and it’d be hard to call the tastes bland. Play around with these dishes this week, or as a single five-course meal; we’ll start with the appetizer.
Wonton Soup (Vegan Yum Yum)
While traditional wonton soups are not typically vegan, this one will make you forget all about the others you’ve had. Stuffed with Chinese broccoli, chopped seitan, and rolled in a chili-mustard sauce, these wontons are a quick and easy solution for an afternoon snack or a dinner starter. The ginger-soy broth base complements the flavors of the wontons nicely, as they are meant to be the “star” of this show. Less broth is used than in a typical wonton soup for that same reason. Throwing some collard greens into the broth will add some “meat” to the flavor as well, in a fashion that only those greens can.
Mushroom Fried Rice (Food and Wine)
Fans of Asian food know the value of rice as a sidekick to a primary dish or a hearty lunch. As such, fans of rice are likely to have some leftover cooked rice sitting in the fridge, which happens to be exactly what you’ll need in order to make this under-10-minute dish! Mushroom lovers rejoice, as three different types are used in this fried rice, along with some ginger and scallions that add a new dimension. The earthy, rich flavor of the mushrooms ricochets off the spiciness of the red-pepper flakes, which can be left out by less-adventurous eaters.
Asian Asparagus (Taste of Home)
Though the dish is considered Asian due largely to the ingredients used, this is a fairly simple recipe that can be tweaked and altered using any multitude of spices to derive a different flavor. Obviously, the dominant taste will be that of the asparagus, but slight additions and subtractions in spices can lend this dish for use as a side for nearly any theme. For example, simply removing the soy sauce and adding Italian seasoning and garlic cloves make this much closer to a Sicilian style asparagus dish. Hold on to this simple and effective recipe, because there will be uses for it in future dishes just by making slight changes.
Chile Lime Glass Noodles (Vegetarian Times)
Should the decision be to keep the asparagus dish Asian-inspired, it will play Tango to this dish’s Cash. After the noodles have soaked, this dish has a cooking time of less than 10 minutes. Though basil is not an extremely common ingredient in Asian cuisine, it is magic in your mouth when it’s used. The mixture of sauces, backed-up by the calm taste of the basil, balances well with the ginger to create a very unique and satisfying flavor. If the amount of vegetables isn’t quite as voluminous as normal, carrots and other neutral-flavored veggies can be used additionally without destroying the continuity of the dish.
Tofu with Thai Coconut Peanut Sauce (Vegangela)
Remember those colors we talked about? This one is a veritable rainbow of taste. Thai peanut sauce has an exceptional flavor, and is used in a variety of other dishes, and as a dip for spring rolls. Typically, this dish is made with chicken, but this dish’s creator found a good, vegan way of making this spectacular meal. This one is relatively simple, but quite in depth in both ingredient and pot/pan usage. An underrated aspect and complement of the coconut peanut sauce is the usage of cilantro, which adds a fresh, green taste and livens up the collection of veggies.
Should you find these recipes helpful in conquering your hunger, feel free to make them or share them with your friends – and of course leave a comment telling us how things go!