Indian, Italian, Chinese, Middle Eastern — The Vegan Review has curated recipes from cuisines around the world. Here are my favourites.
The best thing about editing a vegan magazine with reporters from all around the world is the diversity of stories I get to read and we get to share. It also means that our recipes page gets to see some of the world’s finest food.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite recipes on The Vegan Review. I chose these because of their creative use of ingredients, the focus on technique and nutrition, and most importantly, the flavour of the dishes.
Annette Chan, our reporter from Hong Kong, came up with a vegan take on her traditional recipe for jiaozi, or Chinese dumplings. There are two variants: plant-based OmniPork and cabbage, and garlic, chive and mushroom. The former is a classic combination you’re likely to find at streetside noodle stalls in Beijing (with animal-based pork). But OmniPork has made massive waves into the plant-based meat world, originating in Hong Kong and slowly expanding to the rest of the world. If you get your storebought dumpling wrappers, this recipe takes 45 minutes and makes 50 dumplings, enough to feed your household with a sweet, sour and salty dipping sauce.
Our assistant editor and resident pasta snob Olivia Rafferty grew up eating risotto in her house near Milan. A dish famously known as the death dish in MasterChef shows — cooking the rice to perfection is the trickiest bit — this recipe swaps out the egg whites and butter and relies on good olive oil and wine. Sprinkled with a healthy dose of nutritional yeast, this vegan meal is packed with vitamin D and B12, as well as protein, and can be made in just under an hour.
Another Italian staple, this one is a fun project and absolutely worth the work. Making gnocchi at home is ridiculously easy — and you just need pantry ingredients. And what better to pair it with than a fresh basil pesto? Olivia calls it a classic combination, akin to burgers and chips or peanut butter and jam. The only thing that really takes time is boiling the potatoes, but from thereon, it’s a breeze. It takes just about 90 minutes from start to finish; pour yourself some mimosas and make this for a weekend brunch.
Why would you ever not want to make these? Melissa Elle came up with this gem of a recipe that takes 20 minutes and produces eight beautiful dark pink crepes. Beetroot and chocolate are a magical combination; drizzle some melted chocolate and coconut whip and it’ll be the best way to start your day.
An Awadhi staple, New Delhi-based Muskaan Gupta ate this all the time growing up. After writing an incredible history of the difference between traditional rice dishes in North India, she provides a handy guide to cooking with a rice-to-water ratio, and how aged and regular basmati can be different. Spiced with the four basic flavours in North Indian cooking — turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. This is a comforting vegan Sunday brunch, and comes together in just over half an hour.
Olivia knows her hummus. She’s a chickpea fanatic who loves Middle Eastern food, so hummus just comes naturally to her. This recipe is tried and tested about a million times. Cook your own chickpeas if you can — it’s more economical and you can do a lot more to their flavour if you’re after something fancy. Once that’s done, a food processor is all you need. Some olive oil, garlic, good-quality tahini, lemon juice and paprika — it’s classic and simple, and that’s why it works.
This one’s straight out of Olivia’s week of trying raw veganism. It was, let’s just say, a topsy-turvy journey. But at least she got a few great recipes out of it. One of them was this raw vegan green smoothie, enriched with iron, protein and healthy fats. It’s quick, easy and a great way to start your day. This smoothie will cleanse your system, and the added nuts and chia seeds provide the depth of texture so important in every such breakfast.
Creamy, sweet and fresh, this traditional recipe for sweetened soy milk from China is dreamlike. The soybean is iconic and a staple in East Asian cuisine, as Annette writes: “In Hong Kong, a glass bottle of soy milk is as classic and nostalgia-inducing as a tinted green bottle of Coca Cola is in North America.” The longest part of the recipe is also the most inactive bit: soaking the soybeans. Once you’ve done that, you just need to blend them with water, strain and boil them, and add some sugar. Homemade soy milk is a far-cry from the storebought stuff. If you haven’t sipped fresh soy milk yet, you’re in for the most pleasant of surprises.
Would you look at that? Who needs a flax egg when you have aquafaba? The secret to making this French toast extra delicious is the black salt, a little of which goes a long way. This is breakfast in 10 minutes, and it’s seriously indulgent. Serve alongside a cup of naturally processed filter coffee, and your dining room will be filled with a waft of goodness.
Middle Eastern-inspired comfort food at its absolute best. While it might look laborious, this delicious vegan recipe only needs six ingredients and hardly any active time. Aubergines filled with a mixture of tempeh, aubergine flesh, tomatoes and couscous are an absolute delight. Finish them under the grill and they’re smoky, savoury and umami bombs. This is a must-try, super easy recipe perfect for a weeknight dinner.
If you’ve ever wanted to make your banana bread fancy, this is the perfect recipe. Melissa uses a blend of plant-based ingredients and a little Caribbean inspiration to come up with a combination of sweet, spicy, dense and light. The cherry on top (really the banana) is the sliced banana resting atop the batter, which caramelises beautifully and adds a depth of flavour, working in tandem with the coconut sugar. It’s fuss-free — a blender is your friend here, and needs an hour in the oven. But all that time is worth the masterpiece that comes out of it.
You should make this on a weekend. You should also make this on a weekday. They’re fluffy, light and absolutely delectable. 10 minutes of prep time and 10 minutes of cooking time to end up with gorgeously pink and pillowy pancakes that would make even the biggest beetroot hater in the world fall in love. Top it up with some coconut flakes or coconut whipped cream, or maybe some molten chocolate. Pistachio butter is a treat too. Shape them like hearts and you’ve got yourself a perfect Valentine’s Day brunch. Whatever you do, just make sure you try these.