One week cooking from The Asian Vegan Kitchen
Starting off my week cooking from The Asian Vegan Kitchen with a Scrambled Tofu might not seem the smartest choice - how exciting can scrambled tofu get after all? Hasn't every vegan cooked a million of them? But to me, it's the absolute perfect way to start off - if a cook book can make a good fist of a scrambled tofu, maybe do something new with it, then it's got to be doing pretty well.
Here's The Asian Vegan Kitchen's take on it, a dish with ginger, shiitake, spring onions, chilli, soy and ginger.
Apologies for the quality of this photo - it looks like the world's worst Instagram filter. Peer past the yellow patina, and you'll see a Fiery Potato Curry. I thought the last curry might be the exception to my general inability to make a decent curry. When I was putting together this curry, I thought it just tasted grim. The sourness of the poppy seeds was made worse by a fair whack of vinegar, and an experimental taste here and there was met with a moue of disgust. Turns out, that's because I forgot to add in the sugar. Not an ingredient I normally add to savoury food, the sugar confounded me and brought the whole curry together.
Of course, it wasn't all beer and skittles - there had to be a duff dish in there somewhere. I was suprrised to find it was the Sweet Corn Cakes though.
They're a classic Thai dish, not to mention one of my favourite foods of all time from when I was a kid.
I approached them without trepidation, expecting a slightly more flavoursome version of the pillowy fritters that I ate by the shedload as a wee 'un. No such luck. The batter was too thin, or there just wasn't enough of it, but it was all corn and just a whisper of fritter that turned an unappealing greasy shade of brown. It did taste fine, and the sweet-sour cucumber relish that went with it helped rescue the fish from total disaster. The fact I didn't take a picture of it should tell you everything you need to know.
The last dish started off under worse auspices - the beansprouts I'd had in the back of the fridge had turned somewhat funky. Handily enough, once you boil them for a few minutes and douse them in the simple dressing from the Bean Sprout Namul recipe, they can be rescued.
I also made a Simmered Potato Chorim but I tripped over when I was carrying it to the table, so no pic of that, nor a comprehensive review. From what little I tried before I upended it over my kitchen, the soy sauce had boiled down to make a thick almost syrup like sauce - interesting, but a little too strong for me.
So would I recommend this book? Oh yes indeed. The Asian Vegan Kitchen is one of my favourite cookbooks, period. The recipes have the highest hit rate of any book I've used, and they're unendingly interesting. If you're a vegan and you don't have this on your shelf, you need to fill that gap sharpish.