Tag: reading recommendations

31 of My Favorite Asian Cookbooks

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Let me start off by saying I do not like the term ‘Asian’ the way it’s often used. While sometimes it is useful to specify a region, usually when people say Asian they’re talking about a small spart of Asia, or even just one country. I believe specificity matters and trying to talk about a continent that starts to the east of the Bosporus and stretches halfway across the globe to the Maluku islands as if it’s one place with one culture and one people isn’t very helpful.

India, China and Indonesia each could be considered continents with vastly different cultures and cuisines contained within their borders. Never mind what the diasporas have been cooking up.

That said even if this post is a lot of work, this is less work than milking this topic out into nine different posts (though I just might, for the fuck of it).

31 books? Are you sure?

I’ve read all of my ‘Asian’ cookbooks front to back. Some didn’t make the cut. I was left with 31 cookbooks I need to recommend because I want to give you a scope of styles to choose from. To save myself from my own ambitions I’ll try and stick to 1-3 sentences per book max.

I prefer cookbooks with a bit of backbone. Books that either give you a history lesson on a specific culture or a personal history of the author and why they cook the way they do. I also prefer easy recipes over anything too fussy. So that’s largely what you’ll find here.

I have linked to the publishers and/ or personal pages of the authors where possible, if you do buy one of these books consider buying them from an independent bookstore as they could really use our support and can probably recommend you some other wonderful cookbooks while you’re there.

Which Asian regions am I covering?

I was considering organizing this post along the lines of local (i.e. of and living in the country itself), x generation immigrant (2nd myself, hi), whites, etc. But that seemed needlessly complex and hard for you to scan. As conversations around authenticity evolve, who I am to decide what’s legit and who’s put in the work? Though I find you can usually tell if someone hasn’t and is more exploitative above anything else.

I can imagine you have a preference for specific cuisines, so here’s how I’ve organized them, so you can scroll down to the kitchen you’re interested in:

Let’s begin.

My favorite Indonesian and Dutch-Indonesian cookbooks

My grandmother sold snacks on the streets of Jakarta during World War 2, ran a kitchen on New Guinea and sold snacks out of her home in Brabant. Needless to say I grew up with a lot of Indonesian food, which hails influences from the Middle East, Portugal, the Chinese and the Dutch. Despite not cooking a lot of Indonesian food myself, and not having a true need for Indonesian cookbooks, I have mad love for many as a way of connecting with my history and other people with my background.

I’m including a lot of books in Dutch here because there are a lot of Dutch-Indonesian cookbooks and I think it’s a shame some of them haven’t been translated for a bigger audience.

Coconut & Sambal: Recipes from my Indonesian KitchenLara Lee
I love this book because Lara worked with my favorite photography team and because it’s about goddamned time Indonesian food got the international attention it deserves. It’s a great introduction to Indonesian food. For Coconut & Sambal Lara consulted Sri Owen, the grand dame of Indonesian cuisine, who I don’t own any books of yet, but if you can get your hands on one of her books: go for it. Order in the UK or US.

Rijsttafelen – Lia Warani
While most Dutch-Indonesians grew up with Beb Vuyk (more on her later) I grew up with my grandma and Lia respectively. It was originally published in the 70s, so it’s obviously a little dated, but I couldn’t engage in bouts of nostalgia without it. You can find it in Dutch for around €7.50 in thrift shops and the like. My recipe for perkedel kol bunga hails from Rijsttafelen.

Groot Indonesisch Kookboek – Beb Vuyk
Bij and large the most famous Dutch-Indonesian cookbook. I had not read it before so when I finally got round to it while preparing this post I was amazed by the breadth and scope of the recipes. There’s a few perkedel and an egg rendang in particular that have peaked my interest. It’s been re-released here many times over, if you’re looking for a classic, Beb’s your woman.

De Bijbel van de Indonesische KeukenMaureen Tan
Maureen Tan’s book came out last year and is a real triumph. Recipes are organized by region, with short introductions explaining the history and locality of each dish, to the point of including regional batiks with each chapter. If there is one book that deserves a translation in my opinion this is the one.

Indorock and IndostokVanja van der Leeden 
Vanja shook the Dutch perception of Indonesian food to its core in 2019 with the release of Indorock, which she followed up with Indostok (a book on sate) last year. You can read why and how Vanja decolonized the concept of Indonesian food in the Netherlands here.

My favorite Korean cookbooks

Koreatown: A CookbookDeuki Hong and Matt Rodbard
A combination of recipes and stories from Koreatowns all over the States. The recipes are all solid but the different experienced shared by Korean-Americans are what make this book extra special to me. I live for the Korean fried chicken recipe from Koreatown in particular. Order in the UK or US.

K Food: Korean home cooking and Street food – Da-Hae and Gareth West
This book is rich with Da-Hae’s personal history, from growing up in Korea, to moving to the UK and taking Gareth back with her to visit, a healthy mix of ‘authentic’ and new-fangled takes on Korean food and a little background with all the recipes. Order in the UK though it appears to have a different title there now.

L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My FoodRoy Choi
Roy Choi is one of my heroes because he is so invested in his city and its people. Choi is one of the (if not the) chefs who introduced the world to foodtrucks as we know them now and also the man who put the Mexican-Korean food of LA on the map, so this isn’t a strictly Korean cookbook. It’s also not just a cookbook but also an autobiography of Choi. His food is the best, his life story is goes deep and he’s really something else when it comes to social justice. If you’d like to get to know him a little better you can start by watching The Chef Show on Netflix. Order in the US.

My favorite Japanse cookbooks

Tokyo Cult RecipesMaori Murota 
I won this book a fair few years ago now and it’s never fails me. From kara age (Japanese fried chicken) to the inspiration for taka no kara age-inspired loaded fries. If you’re looking for accessible ‘home-style’ Japanese recipes get this book. Order in the UK or US.

The Gaijin Cookbook: Japanese Recipes from a Chef, Father, Eater and Lifelong OutsiderIvan Orkin and Chris Ying
I love this book because it offers an unapologetic outside-in perspective on Japanese food. Ivan is famous for opening a ramen shop in Tokyo, which everyone thought was a bit like okay bruv, to huge success. He’s invested in Japanese culture and cuisine without every forgetting his place within the whole. All the recipes are delicious but can seem a little cheffy if you’re a lazy homecook like me. Order in the UK or US.

Vegan Japaneasy: Over 80 Delicious Plant-Based Japanese RecipesTim Anderson
Tim Anderson is another chef who is very clear about his outside-in perspective on Japanese food and culture. This book works well because Tim has a clear perspective on how far people are willing to go for a decent homecooked meal. He’ll give you the extra step to make it really good, but will also tell you what you can skip (and remind you that that’s okay too so in the process). In my opinion this is key to making a useable cookbook. I’ve had this for about a week now and I’ve cooked at least three recipes from it. That’s rare and that’s why you need to get this book. Order in the UK or US.

My favorite Thai cookbooks

Night+Market: Delicious Thai food to facilitate drinking and fun-having amongst friendsKris Yenbamroong
Kris Yenbamroong’s Night+Market is such a well written and joyful read. Kris celebrates his grandmother and parents, who launched the first Thai fine dining restaurant in LA, and highlights the regional character of Thai cuisine where usually Thai food is presented as one block. On top of that he tells you how they chef it up in the restaurant kitchen but why (and how) you don’t really need to go there at home. And then there’s wine pairings too. Order in the UK or US.

Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian CookbookSaiphin Moore 
There are quite a number of reasons to love this book. The photography by Louise Hagger and styling by Alexander Breeze is stellar, for one. The recipes are mostly vegan and extremely diverse in scope. But above all, Saiphin Moore has embellished each recipes in Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook with her rich personal history of eating experiences, recipe sources and more. This book gives you a real feel for all the regional Thai cuisines and Saiphin’s past growing up and living in various parts of Asia and now the UK. Order in the UK.

My favorite Chinese cookbooks

How to cook and eat in Chinese – Buwei Yang Chao
This is a book from the 1950s that I found thrift shopping. If you can get your hands on it it offers an extremely interesting insight into Chinese(-American) cooking abroad in the 50s. Buwei Yang Chao explanation of Chinese eating and cooking traditions and how to integrate American expectations of food is particularly interesting and a lot of the recipes have remained extremely useable for every day cooking now.

Eat BitterLydia Pang 
While this is more a zine than a cookbook, I had to include it. It features work from my favorite photography and styling team but more importantly it offers a brief but deeply poetic dive into Lydia Pang’s Hakka roots through food. It was sold at a limited run to support Welcome to Chinatown but I really hope Lydia gets to (and wants to) do a full book at some point because Eat Bitter is truly visionary.

The Nom Wah Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from 100 Years of New York city’s Iconic Dim Sum RestaurantWilson Tang with Joshua David Stein
Nom Wah is a legendary dim sum restaurant in New York. In The Nom Wah Cookbook Wilson Tang paints a history of the restaurants and its surrounding areas, from the 1920’s to it’s most current (pre-Covid) iteration through the stories of the people from Chinatown in New York as well as demystified dim sum recipes. The bright and bold photography by Alex Lau is icing on this very rich cake. Order in the US.

Xi’an Famous Foods: The Cuisine of Western China, from New York’s Favorite Noodle ShopJason Wang with Jessica K. Chou
Xi’an Famous Foods is another, albeit younger, New York legend. This book features stellar photography by Jenny Huang and explores the more personal history of Jason Wang and his father as they try to make it in America. It gives you a look inside the experiences of more recent Chinese immigrants and how the Wang’s have found success providing a taste of home in New York. Order in the UK or US.

The Food of Sichuan Fuchsia Dunlop
Originally released in the early 2000’s, this revised edition of The Food of Sichuan shows why Fuchsia has been such a powerhouse in the promotion of Sichuan cuisine over the past two decades. This book offers a true deep dive. While I normally read cookbooks back-to-front I have to admit I didn’t for this one because Fuchsia takes the time to explain the history and traditions for all of the dishes in this book. The introduction alone is worth its weight in gold and I doubt you will ever be done cooking and learning from this book. Order in the UK or US.

My Favorite Indian Cookbooks

Indian CookeryMadhur Jaffrey
First published in 1982, with an accompanying TV show on the BBC, Indian Cookery is a true classic. Because some ingredients have become more readily available in the UK and here, a lot of the recipes are still extremely useable today. If you’re looking for something more recent from Madhur try Instantly Indian, her Instant Pot book.

India: The CookbookPushpesh Pant
Pushpesh Pant is an Indian food critic, historian and academic who has spent decades researching and collecting Indian recipes. India: The Cookbook weighs 1.5 kg’s, boasting a thousand recipes and is the only other book alongside The Food of Sichuan that I did not read back-to-front because there are just so many recipes. All most all of them with background information. The kothmiratil macchi (coriander fried fish) are a particular favorite of mine. Be prepared to feel slightly overwhelmed. Pick an ingredient, look it up in the index and pick a recipe, is probably the best way to go. Order in the UK or US.

Indian(-ish): Recipes and antics from a modern American familyPriya Krishna
This book is basically an ode to Priya’s mom, who had to invent a life, a career and a way to cook when Priya’s parents first moved to the US. It’s as inventive as you’d expect, mixing flavors from all around the world as travel became an integral part of Ritu’s (that’s her name) life. In turn, reading this I realized Ritu’s cooking has been a part of my life for ages, as she is also frequently referenced as the source of recipes in Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables! If you’re looking for non-fussy flavor-heavy food with hints of India (among others) this is the book for you. Order Indian(ish) in the UK or US.

Burmese, Vietnamese and Malaysian

A lot of regions deserve more books. These are just a few of them.

Mandalay: Recipes & Tales from a Burmese KitchenMiMi Aye
MiMi has written a (for me at least) very relatable personal history on growing up in a diaspora, with all different foods at home from whatever the norm is in the country where you live, hunting down ingredients and travelling ‘back’ (something that wasn’t part of my upbringing) that that entails. Burmese food sounds vaguely familiair to someone with Indonesian roots, which is to say: Burmese food sounds an awful lot like comfort food to me. Please be sure to follow MiMi, who runs a wonderful podcast, talking with various food peeps (the Nigella episode is wonderful) and shares a lot of information on what’s going on in Myanmar right now. Order in the UK.

Ăn Ăn: Vietnamese familiereceptenMai Nguyễn
As luck would have it when I was looking for a Vietnamese cookbook Mai released Ăn Ăn. The book offers a beautiful personal history from Vietnam to the Netherlands, alongside many easy recipes that you can recreate at home with relative ease. As luck would have it I live only a brisk walk away from Mai, so I haven’t cooked a lot from this as I can just order take-out from her on Thursdays and Fridays.

Amazing Malaysian: Recipes for Vibrant Malaysian HomecookingNorman Musa 
I’m always curious why Malaysians and Indonesians seem to avoid mentioning one another when the overlap between our cuisines is clearly pretty big, though maybe there’s your answer. Either way, Norman offers a great look into the Malaysian kitchen and all the outside influences that have touched it, while keeping recipes nice and simple for actual home cooking. Order in the UK or US.

My favorite ‘Asian’ cookbooks

I own two cookbooks that I really like that cover a wider range of Asia, here they are:

Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian favorites, made veganSasha Gill
If you’re looking for a broader vegan Asian tome, Sashi Gill is your woman. In Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian Favorites Made Vegan Sasha shares well-beloved classic Asian dishes from India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, China and Japan, made vegan, as well as some basic techniques to veganize recipes of your own accord. Order in the UK or US (though it appears to have been released there under a different name).

Hot Pot: De lekkerste hotpots uit China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea en VietnamBas Robben
Bas Robben is a prolific Dutch cookbook author who has written books about acid and fat (separately, before it was cool) and sous-vide before and has now tackled hot pot, after being introduced to many variaties of hot pot during his visits to Taiwan, where his fiancee is from, among other places. The book is beautifully photographed and styled and Bas takes great care in sharing his personal affinities and encounters with hot pot as well as the way hot pot is enjoyed and prepared in the various regions this book cover. Hot pot is a social event and Bas hasn’t shied away from naming Covid and explaining that maybe now is not the best time for a proper grande ol’ hot pot get together and how you can enjoy it in a Covid-safe fashion, which I really appreciate as a lot of books seem to skirt around this issue.

My favorite ‘proudly inauthentic’ cookbooks

There are a few cookbooks I absolutely adore that take inspiration from such a wide range of cuisines, as I tend to do. So if you’re really into what used be to referred to as ‘fusion’, though this is a more informed version of its original iteration, these are the books for you.

Season: Big flavors, beautiful foodNik Sharma
Nik Sharma is an Indian home-cook now living in the States, the reasons for which will become clear if you read his book. After working as a scientist for a few years, he decided to follow his passion and focus on food. He developed a very unique and beautiful style of photography as well as a very unique and informed style of cooking as well, something that reaches a new pineacle in his second book The Flavor Equation. Because Nik explains why he mixes certain flavors and techniques Nik’s books are perfect for people who want to understand the why of cooking. Order Season in the UK or US.

Jikoni: Proudly inauthentic recipes from an immigrant kitchenRavinder Bhogal 
Ravinder was born to Indian parents in Kenya before moving to London as a child so you can imagine the amazing flavors she is able to bring together in this book. If you’re up for a revolution in your mouth, with beautiful, soft, glowing photography, this is the book for you. Order in the UK or US.

Soul Food: Eigentijdse recepten voor verslavend lekkere klassiekersDe Vrouw met de Baard
De vrouw met de Baard (the bearded lady) is a restaurant/ catering company (now take-away and pop-up) in Amsterdam, run by Dutch-Indonesian lady and a Moluccan guy with a beard. Together they concoct exciting flavors, taking influences from both their heritage and their travels. They’ve invested a lot of time maximizing flavors and tweaking iterations of a variety of classic dishes while inventing new ones. This book had me drooling cover to cover.

The Art of Escapism Cooking: A survival story, with intensely good flavorsMandy Lee
If you’ve been following me for a while you know I love Mandy, who has been the source and inspiration for many a dish on this website, the way her mind works and the way she puts flavors together is just mindblowing. I don’t think there’s anyone who goes through a more grueling process of recipe development, perfecting flavors and techniques to a t. So while a lot of these recipes may seem involved, there is an entire chapter of recipes Mandy eats when she’s by herself and those are all quick and easy. Order in the UK or US.

The end

So that’s it. My favorite 31 Asian cookbooks all in a row. Recommendations are of course welcome in the comments and I will be keeping a more up-to-date list on my Bookshop.org shops (yes there’s two, one for the UK and one for the US).

Zoek je de Nederlandse versie van deze post? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor mijn 31 favoriete Aziatische kookboeken.

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My Favorite Veg-Based Cookbooks

With Veganuary coming to a close and my covert announcement in Alicia Kennedy’s newsletter on recipe writing and ingredient sourcing on the kinds of recipes I will be sharing here, I thought now was as good a time as any to walk you through some of my favorite vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.

To be clear, I’m not vegan or vegetarian because limiting my eating options causes problems for me, but I do eat a mostly vegan and vegetarian diet and try to shop as animal, human and planet friendly as possible.

I promise these 13 vegan and vegetarian cookbooks will keep you as inspired as I am about centering vegetables on your plate.

Vegetable Kingdom – Bryant Terry

Bryant Terry is a star in his own right in (vegan) cooking and after reading Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes, I can see why. I can’t recall a best of 2020 cookbook list without it, so I had to have it.

With Bryant’s classical training at first glance this book can come across as a bit ‘cheffy’. Once you realise virtually each recipe is a menu in and of itself, and that you can take each individual component to make your own combinations or just cook one of them at a time, it all becomes a lot less intimidating so all you’re left with is inspiration.

I’ve already made the fantastic charred leak and mushroom toast with a pinenut puree from Vegetable Kingdom but the taro root cakes and cornmeal-fried oyster mushroom po’boy are also high on my hitlist along with all the other purees mentioned in the book. Or Vegetable Kingdom here if you’re in the US, or here if you’re in the UK.

Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook – Siaphin Moore

My brother took me to Rosa’s Thai Café in London’s East End (our old haunt) years ago and I distinctly recall it blowing my mind. Before I’d only had heavy Thai ‘curries’ but Rosa’s showed how bright and refreshing Thai cooking can be. So when I spotted this book and saw one of my favorite photography and styling teams had worked on it I had to get it.

There are quite a number of reasons to love this book. The photography by Louise Hagger and styling by Alexander Breeze is stellar, for one. The recipes are mostly vegan and extremely diverse in scope. But above all, Saiphin Moore has embellished each recipes in Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian Cookbook with her rich personal history of eating experiences, recipe sources and more. This book gives you a real feel for all the regional Thai cuisines and Saiphin’s past growing up and living in various parts of Asia and now the UK.

All the recipes, including this gaeng penang tua lima (vegan butterbean panang) are surprisingly easy to make, which is just icing on the cake to me. Order Rosa’s Thai Café: The Vegetarian here if you are in the UK.

Jackfruit & Blue Ginger – Sasha Gill

If you’re looking for a broader vegan Asian tome, Sashi Gill is your woman. In Jackfruit & Blue Ginger: Asian Favorites Made Vegan Sasha shares well-beloved classic Asian dishes from India, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, China and Japan, made vegan, as well as some basic techniques to veganize recipes of your own accord.

Chapters are organised by region, which makes it easy to find something to suit your mood or come up with a cohesive vegan menu for a dinner party.

One thing in particular that I love about this book is that it also contains sweets or ‘desserts’ from each region (most Asian cuisines don’t work with desserts, but have sweets throughout the day instead). The vegan Hong Kong ‘egg’ tarts made with silken tofu in particular are amazing and a recipe I’ve made and fed to others again and again, it also formed the foundation for my vegan dark and stormy crème brûlee. Order Jackfruit & Blue Ginger here if you’re in the UK or here if you are in the US (it appeared under another title).

Greenfeast – Nigel Slater

As a voracious reader I prefer reading that challenges and discomforts me. But there are times when something more soothing is required. As a young one I found this comfort in Kurt Vonnegut, because he seemed as miffed by the ways of the world as I was (and still am).

Now that I’m older I cannot think of a single more soothing voice than Nigel Slater‘s. One of my favorite recipes of his is called an earthy meal in a bowl type soup, a title that describes his writing to a tee. When you read Nigel you know you are going to be alright.

Greenfeast comes in two parts: Spring, Summer and Autumn, Winter. These books will help you cook with the seasons and as Nigel states, are intended more to inspire than to be very exacting with. They are my go to when I’ve bought a vegetable but no longer know what to do with it. I just pull them out and browse, good things surely coming my way. Greenfeast is a bit cream and cheese heavy and very classical European in scope, which makes it a great place to start for anyone only just venturing into more veg-based eating straight from plates full of meat.

Order Spring, Summer here if you are in the US and here if you are in the UK. Order Autumn, Winter here if you are in the US or here if you are in the UK.

Vegan with Bite – Shannon Martinez

I got to know Shannon over some late night/ early morning transnational DMing (don’t be gross) and knew I had to get one of her books immediately. Lucky for me Vegan with Bite had just come out.

Shannon isn’t vegan but her restaurant is vegan and so are the recipes she shares because *gesticulates at planet*.

My favorite thing about this book is that ingredients aren’t prefaced with ‘vegan’ (vegan butter, vegan milk, etc). It’s a vegan cookbook so when Shannon says butter she obviously means vegan butter and when she says milk she obviously means non-dairy milk. That’s just a level of duh I’m really into. She also gives you some very useful pointers as to what to look out for when buying ready-made products because so many products that sound like they may have meat in them no longer do (chicken stock cubes, for one, rarely contain chicken – at least in Australia).

One of the chapters is called Minimum Effort, Maximum Results and another has the byline Zero Waste, Maximum Taste and these are pretty much the rules I cook by so you can see why I have to recommend it. Order here in the US or here in the UK.

Joe Yonan – Cool Beans

I bought one of Joe Yonan‘s other books years ago, when he still included meat. He’s since committed to sharing meat free recipes only.

With Cool Beans, the title kind of speaks for itself. It made me realise beans are a great staple that I could be eating more of without it being a sad ‘tin of beans’ sort of affair. Cool Beans includes a whole bunch of classics (paella! hummus!) from the world over as well as some of Yonan’s own concoctions all with a bean-centric focus. He even includes some tips on how to avoid the notorious musical side effects of beans: farts. Apparently it helps if you cook them well, and this is just the book that’ll help you do it. Order here in the US or here in the UK.

Lagusta Yearwood – Sweet+Salty

I got Salty+Sweet: The Art of Vegan Chocolates, Truffles, Caramels and More by Lagusta Yearwood because Alicia Kennedy recommended it. In it, her famous Lagusta’s Luscious truffles and caramels feature prominently. If you’re good at coming up with funky flavors and adjusting recipes to your own needs (it me) this may feel a bit one-note when you first start reading it. I can come up with funky truffles perfectly fine on my own, thank you very much.

That said, Lagusta gives such great and in-depth information in the perils of shopping and producing ethically (sugar and cacao are a nightmare) and things get a little bit more exciting (for me at least) on the caramel end of things, which is why I’ve decided to include this here. I was talking about uncomfortable reading earlier: this book will make you uncomfortable. But then you get to make better decisions and make vegan chocolate truffles in exciting flavors (or come up with your own, I’ve got kimchi truffles on my mind for one), so it’s all good. Order at Bookshop.org in the US or in the UK.

Vegan Soul Food – Jason Tjon Affo

This is an honorable mention because Vegan Soul Food by Jason Tjon Affo isn’t actually available in English (yet). But it’s a beautiful vegan cookbook full of colorful photography ánd food, mostly inspired by Jason’s Surinamese roots. Which makes this an incredibly diverse cookbook, because Suriname contains multitudes.

My recipe for vegan kue lapis flavored monkey bread was based on Jason’s vegan monkey bread recipe from Vegan Soul Food, so there you go.

Nosh – Esther Erwteman

Nosh: Mijn Vegetarische Joodse Keuken (My Vegetarian Jewish Kitchen) is a lovely and beautiful book by Esther Erwteman who runs Amsterdam-based deli, cooking school and eatery (the former two when there’s no Covid going around) Esther’s Cookery. This is another honorable mention because it’s only available in Dutch right now.

In Nosh Esther interweaves her personal history with her Jewish faith, explaining why certain dishes are prepared and eaten at certain times as well as explaining how certain less obvious choices made it into her repertoire. If you live in Amsterdam be sure to help yourself and help Esther by visiting her shop and getting some good nosh, or if you’re not be sure to order some of her prime goodies in Esther’s Cookery webshop. I’ve gotten a really nice aubergine grill and some lovely harissa’s from her and she also offers workshops online.

Zaitoun – Yasmin Khan

Another honorable mention because strictly speaking Yasmin Khan‘s Zaitoun: Recipes and Stories from the Palestinian Kitchen is neither vegan nor vegetarian. That said, only 13 recipes in this book contain meat. These recipes can easily ignored in favor of all the veg based dishes in this book. The unique insights Zaitoun offers into the Palestinian kitchen and reality are another element of this book that cannot be ignored which is why I had to include it.

I’ve made the falafel and fennel pickle from this book. Both were simple and delicious, so if you’re into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors with a bit of back story this book is for you. Order in the US or in the UK.

Ed Smith – On The Side

I found On The Side in the discount isle at the American Book Center in The Hague. Intrigued by a book consisting of just sides, I bought it. This book has been my most trustworthy companion ever since. I don’t know why there aren’t more books on sides, though this might be the only one you’ll ever need.

Every recipe includes tips on what to combine them with or how to combine them with other recipes from the book to make a full meal. Furthermore there are not one but three (THREE!) indexes. You can browse based on your main protein, based on what veg you want to use or based on how much time you have. As such it served for the inspiration of the way I’ve set up my chapters and the additional vegan and vegetarian index for my book Nomnomnom.

I previously shared a peppercorn and lime rice recipe from On The Side. Order On the Side at Bookshop.org in the UK.

Lucky Peach Presents Power Vegetables

Sadly as it turns out Lucky Peach was not a happy place. And now as I read some of the older copies, I can tell it was all a lot more bro dudey than I can stomach (I’ll confess I was more bro dudey when I first read them too). Still, when I got my hands on my first Lucky Peach I fell in love hard because up until that point I didn’t know food writing like this existed.

Fast forward whatever years later and all I’m missing is #1. While the issues of the magazine are hard to get a hold of, most of the books are easy to find and out of all of them I think Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables might give you the most bang for your buck. The photography is amazing and the recipes are all accessible and easy to follow, with LOADS of flavor. Vegan too.

In general I find vegetarian cookbooks lean a little too heavily on cheese (and I love cheese, just not for every meal) while vegan cookbooks are just diet books in disguise. Power Veg is just a good old cookbook that leaves you feeling hungry and ready to wield some veg.

You can find some recipes from Lucky Peach presents Power Vegetables here.

That’s my roundup for vegan and vegetarian cookbooks, I hope the scope is wide enough to have something in the list for you. Be sure to order from your local bookstore!

Zoek je deze kookboekentips in het Nederlands? Ga dan naar vettesletten.nl voor 13 van mijn favoriete vegan- en vegakookboeken.