When it comes to cooking vegetables, Hsiao-Ching Chou wants you “exploring flavors without heroics at the stove,” and "Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food" stays true to her accessible and forgiving manner. Besides the recipes, Chou offers an A to Z of pantry and perishable ingredients, a brief but fascinating ode to soy sauce, and no-nonsense equipment recommendations. From dumplings to dim sum and soups to steamed dishes, vegetables remain the stars: accentuated, not overwhelmed. The Tofu, Peas & Carrots recipe quickly transforms a bag of frozen peas and carrots — that mundane freezer and dining hall staple — into an unexpectedly vibrant and comforting dish with ginger, garlic, and green onion, finished with a touch of white pepper and sesame oil.
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