Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Vegan Eats World

I have a new love in my life and it's hard backed! Terry Hope Romero's latest cookbook Vegan Eats World is pretty much the only thing I've been cooking from recently and every single thing I've made has been an unmitigated success. In case you haven't laid eyes on this cookbook yet let me tell you a little about it. Firstly, it's beautiful, I love both the layout and the style of this cookbook. Secondly, it's stuffed full of exciting recipes from all around the globe. I've found the Kitchen Cartography section immensely useful, a lot of the cuisines in the book are not ones I've tackled before meaning that I needed to restock my pantry and learn some new techniques. 

The first recipes I tried were the Barbecued Seitan Strips (Char Siu Seitan) and the Sesame Wow Greens which I served alongside lightly sautéed broccoli (using the method from the Udon Noodle recipe in Appetite For Reduction) and white rice. 


I started prepping this a day in advance by making the 5-Spice Seitan which, like the seitan recipes in Terry's Viva Vegan, was incredibly easy to make. I'd go as far as to call Terry's seitan recipes no fail, I've honestly never had an issue with them and I find that some seitan recipes can be a little hit or miss. This whole meal was incredibly good, the seitan was deliciously sticky and infused with great flavours like hoisin and 5 spice powder. Whilst the Japanese flavours of the Sesame Wow Greens wouldn't traditionally be served with a Chinese-style seitan I thought that they worked really well together.

The second recipe I was drawn to was the Garlic Chive Seitan Potstickers. I had some 5-Spice Seitan leftover from the day I made the Char Siu Seitan and I'd picked up a package of vegan dumpling wrappers last time I was in Chinatown. For some reason the only ones I can find in Brighton contain egg so I always grab a package or two to stash in the freezer whenever I'm in London.


These were surprisingly easy to put together, we set up two workstations to make the prep go faster, and even easier to cook. The sesame soy dipping sauce was definitely worth making as it complimented the meaty dumplings perfectly.

We had some cabbage leftover from making the dumplings so the next day we made a version of the Takeout Stir-fry Noodles with Mushrooms & Greens. We threw some carrots and edamame in there and totally left out the mushrooms and lemme tell you somethin', this was still amazing! I think it's a great sign of a solid recipe when you can totally mess with it & it still turns out amazing.

I've made this next recipe three times already, in fact I have some in the oven right now! The Savory Baked Tofu was a recipe I knew I'd be trying as soon as I saw it. I love tofu and I love trying new baked tofu recipes, if a cookbook has one you'd better bet I've tried it!


This is probably the easiest baked tofu recipe I've ever tried due to the use of garlic powder rather than fresh minced garlic - lazy person win - and I love the sweet and salty flavours from the mixture of soy and agave. I've eaten this tofu in a bowl with rice, sautéed broccoli & sauce, out of a tuperware box from the fridge, and on a plate of random leftovers...


...tonight I'm going to be attempting to make the Pad See Ew from VEW using this tofu.

This next dish was massively out of season but yet perfect for winter and I couldn't resist a vegan version of a pre-vegan favourite, French Farmhouse Asparagus Bisque.


This was a beautiful soup, seriously fantastic. Creamy, earthy and delicately flavoured with chives and sea salt. I think that this soup would be delicious at any time of year.

We've also made the Sensei Tofu Hijiki Burgers which took a little longer than the book suggested and because we had to rush out we didn't get a chance to take a picture! They were super delicious although it was tough to get them to hold together in the oven. Next time I think I'd blend the tofu as I don't think my fork smooshing skills were up to the job!

We served these Japanese flavoured burgers with brown rice, salad, and both suggested sauces, the Ninja Carrot Ginger Dressing and the Tonkatsu Sauce. I was a little suspicious of the carrot and ginger dressing as I'm not the hugest ginger fan but it was delicious and really lifted the flavours of the simple salad I'd thrown together. The Tonkatsu Sauce was the real hit from this meal though, it went perfectly with the burgers and Nick's been smearing the leftovers all over everything!

The Seitan Gyro recipe was the first one that Nick honed in on as soon as he glanced at the book. We trekked across Berlin for Gyros on our honeymoon and every time we go to Veg Fest in Brighton the Wheaty stand is always the first place we head to get our gyro on. This recipe was absolutely perfect! We made the Seitan Coriander Cutlets the day before so that they'd have time to firm up properly and in the morning we popped to Taj to buy the flatbreads, veggies, yoghurt & dill.


The super garlicky yoghurt sauce blended up in minutes and roasting the seitan in the oven was totally hassle free. We can't wait to make these again, such a perfect Sunday lunch!

Unsurprisingly it's taken me so long to write this post that I already made and ate the Pad See Ew!


Of course it was delicious. Seriously, so damn good! I made a half recipe, subbing Pak Choy for the impossible-to-find-in-Brighton Chinese broccoli, it was a huge plate of food and I scoffed the lot! Pad See Ew is one of my favourite ever meals, I've ordered it every time I've been to Pukk in NYC and it's become the first place I'm dying to hit up as soon as I get off the plane just because of this dish. This wasn't exactly the same as Pukk's, perhaps less sweet, but I think that might've been due to me not being able to find one of the many soy sauces Terry calls for in the recipe! I can't wait to make this again and I'll be searching out the elusive Chinese broccoli so that I can give it a whirl as written.

If you haven't yet bought Vegan Eats World, buy it now & get cooking. If you have it already what's your favourite recipe so far? What should I make next?

18 comments:

  1. Yay, it's great that you are enjoying Vegan Eats World so much! Your photos are making me drool! I've made the gyros so many times over the past year as it's a household favourite. I'm totally hooked on the savoury baked tofu too, it's so easy to prepare and it makes stir-frys and curries so much nicer than just using plain tofu.

    I highly recommended making socca for a weekend brunch and the Belgian seitan stew is really good too. I've made heaps of spicy dishes but now I'm very keen on trying the pad see ew and the char siu seitan after reading your post.

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  2. Wow, that post is a great advert for buying the book!

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  3. Argh, another cookbook I clearly need! I'm going to cross my fingers some kind soul wants to put this in my Christmas sstocking! I love the look of all those seitan recipes in particular - go gyros!

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  4. Ooh it all looks so good. I have a plan to go through the book tonight and spend my weekend cooking from it. I'm definitely starting with that char sui seitan! Char sui pork used to be my favourite thing from the take out in my pregan days!

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  5. Thanks for sharing! This is probably one of the best cook book reviews ever...and I was just thinking about this book. I'll have to put it on the list for when I'm ready to buy more cookbooks...I still have to try more recipes from the books I already own.

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  6. I am loving this book too! You have made so much more than me!!! I also love that savory baked tofu, it is so easy and delicious and I totally agree with you on the seitan as well. I want to make it all!

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  7. OMG, I totally have to get this book. I was going to hold off but now I cannot wait, other than until my next paycheck arrives. Pad See Ew is my absolute favorite, followed closely by any type of baked tofu. Yum!

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  8. Sticking it on my Crimbo list now, it looks great. I love the look of the savoury baked tofu and BBQ seitan strips, in fact it all looks so good! Great post, thanks for the review!

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  9. Terry's new book sounds fantastic! Everything you made looks super delicious.

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  10. I've been reading so many wonderful blog posts about this cookbook, but I think you just sold it with all those mouthwatering pictures! The Savory Baked Tofu looks so good. I am always so deprived of tofu because I can't handle too much soy.

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  11. I just got this book and have about 50 recipes bookmarked to try. The seitan and potsticker photos really caight my eye, though. Isn't being vegan fun? So much good food, so little time.

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  12. I got this for Christmas, can't wait to start cooking, the Thai green curry looks so tasty! Well done on trying so much already.

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  14. Hi Jojo
    Can you tell me where you buy your wheat gluten from please, I'm struggling to purchase some and want to try making seitan. Only just turned vegan but loving it already!

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    1. Hey Jasmine, I tend to buy mine when I'm travelling in the US but they've recently started selling it at Infinity Foods. It's also available online at veganstore.co.uk.

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  15. I got Vegan Eats World for Christmas, and I've already made the Savory Baked Tofu three times! Have you had any trouble with it ruining your pans though? I initially made it in a ceramic type casserole pan, and it absolutely destroyed it; I had to keep it soaking for three days in the sink, keep scraping it, and finally run it through the dishwasher and then wash it again before it got clean. So the next time, I tried a pyrex pan, and the same thing happened. The last time was with a metal roasting tray, and yep, you guessed it, a burnt on mess! The tofu is perfect though, so I'll keep on trying. Maybe if I line the pan with foil...
    On a less annoying note, I've made the Pad See Ew twice as well, and it's really good! I've also tried the Wonton Soup, with tofu filled wontons, which took FOREVER to fill, but it was damn tasty, and we had the tonkatsu cutlets tonight (but with seitan instead of tempeh, since I don't really like tempeh, plus it's hard to find here), and they were amazing. I highly recommend them!

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    1. Yay, I'm excited that you're loving VEW as much as I am. The Pad See Ew is SO GOOD! I've made the Savory Baked Tofu a few times too but I've never had a problem with it sticking to the pan, I think that might be because I've been using a glass pan that's smaller than the one called for in the recipe though. I know a few people on the PPK had the burning problem though & they fixed it with either smaller pans or using tin foil. I hope that helps!

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    2. Thanks Jojo, I'll try the foil next time and see if it helps. The pyrex pan that I tried it in was tiny, I could barely fit the tofu in, and it still burned along the edges. I think part of it might be because I've been using this weird really dark and thick soy sauce my boyfriend picked up at Tesco, made by the mysterious people from "Double Happiness" manufacturers. Also one time I subbed golden syrup for maple because I didn't want to waste my small supply. So yeah, there could be that too...

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