Asian and other ethnically inspired recipes are a great way to add variety to your meal planning and experiment with interesting new flavors.
Traditional Asian cultures have long relied on plant-based foods like soy, vegetables, and grains as staples in their diet, so many of their dishes are already vegan. But if not, it’s also easy to make your favorite meal vegan with a couple of simple swaps.
The most obvious is subbing tofu, tempeh, seitan, or a plant-based meat substitute (like Gardein or Beyond Meat) for meat in a recipe. There are even products designed to replace chicken, beef, or other specific meats in recipes.
Because dairy is not a common ingredient in Asian dishes, the most insidious animal product to watch out for (and substitute in home cooking) is any kind of fish sauce or paste. Umeboshi paste has a complex, salty flavor that makes a perfect substitute for the intense taste of fish pastes.
Plant-based Asian dishes are also a great way to introduce omnivores to vegan dining. The familiar format, sauces, and other flavors can help balance out the experience of trying new items like tofu, tempeh, or seitan!
So let’s get cooking!