The 30-Minute Vegan's Taste of the East

150 Asian-Inspired Recipes -- from Soba Noodles to Summer Rolls


By Mark Reinfeld

By Jennifer Murray

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around July 6, 2010. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Noted vegans and vegetarians love Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray’s food. Food Network host and author Ellie Krieger lauds their recipes as “delicious, exciting, healthful, [and] accessible for everyone,” while Deborah Madison notes their — appealing recipes, good information about food and cooking in general [and] surprisingly realistic approaches to thirty-minute cooking — Now, Reinfeld and Murray turn their skillets to the East, featuring over 150 vegan versions of favorite cuisine from India, Thailand, China, and Japan. Taste of the East also offers inspired animal-free recipes from Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam, Korea, Tibet, Iran, and Afghanistan.


Praise for The 30-Minute Vegan
"A host of appealing recipes can be found between the covers of this book, as well as a lot of good information about food and cooking in general, surprisingly realistic approaches to thirty-minute cooking with real food, and more, from glossaries to Web sites."
—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
"The 30 Minute Vegan has found a permanent home in my kitchen, where its pages will quickly become worn, torn, and stained."
"The 30-Minute Vegan is a fail-safe cookbook designed to save you time and eliminate stress in the kitchen. With a well-planned collection of fast, simple, and healthy recipes, the duo is determined to keep home dining diverse and your diet in tip-top shape."
"Any who want to cook vegan food quickly will appreciate The 30-Minute Vegan, a user-friendly guide for busy cooks who don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Nearly 200 simple whole foods involve easy preparation and offer quick cooking charts, raw foods recipes, kid-friendly foods the entire family can enjoy, and extraordinary lunches and snacks."
—Midwest Book Review
"One of the very best vegan cookbooks of all time. Fabulous recipes, healthy food, clear directions, and delicious results!"
—John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution and Diet for a New America
"The 30-Minute Vegan is not only a culinary delight for vegetarians and vegans, it appeals to people who relish a meal that luxuriates the palate and satisfies the spirit."
—Michael Bernard Beckwith, author of Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul's Potential
"Don't let a lack of time keep you from making a healthy choice! These quick, delicious recipes will see you through even the busiest mealtimes with good taste and style."
—Jennifer McCann, author of Vegan Lunch Box and Vegan Lunch Box Around the World
"[A] classic, practical guide to preparing exquisitely tasteful, healthy vegan food that is ideal for busy folks of today. Every home will be enriched by having this book in the kitchen."
—Arthur H. Brownstein, M.D., M.P.H., author of Healing Back Pain Naturally and Extraordinary Healing

Also by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray:
The 30-Minute Vegan
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw (with Bo Rinaldi)
Also by Mark Reinfeld:
Vegan Fusion World Cuisine (with Bo Rinaldi)

In gratitude to the vast culinary, cultural, and spiritual contributions of the East

Photo courtesy Jennifer Murray and Mark Reinfeld.
We're pleased that you are joining us on our adventure into the rich and bountiful world of Asian vegan cuisine. In the pages of Taste of the East, we explore foods from several countries throughout the continent. Our goal is to introduce the distinct flavors of Asia, using ingredients that are accessible here in the West, with recipes that can be completed in 30 minutes or less. Quite a task!
The first four sections explore the cuisines of India, Thailand, China, and Japan. The fifth section is our "Asian Fusion" chapter, in which we share recipes from Korea, Indonesia, Tibet, and Vietnam, in addition to Central Asian countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, and even Uzbekistan. (Yes, you can be the first kid on the block to bring an Uzbekistani dish to your next potluck!)
Our experience with the cuisines is based on our visits to India, Nepal, China, and Thailand, as well as countless dining experiences in New York, San Francisco, and our many other travels. And, with an Asian population of over 40 percent, our home of Hawaii also holds a wealth of Asian culinary traditions in its islands. In some ways, The Taste of the East is a culmination of our three prior books. As with Vegan Fusion World Cuisine it celebrates international cuisine, like The 30-Minute Vegan it provides quick and easy recipes, and like The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Raw it features some raw food dishes, a growing trend in the culinary world.
We had a lot of fun designing these recipes. Creating this book has been an adventure that opened us up to lots of new ingredients, cooking techniques, and tidbits of folklore. The world is becoming increasingly more interconnected. Learning about the cuisine and culture of Asia is a wonderful window into the lives of billions of others. The deeper our understanding, the more aware we become of our common humanity.
The influence of Asian foods is steadily growing here in the West. Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai foods are continually making their way into our communities through restaurants, farmers' markets, and packaged products in grocery stores. This may be a very healthy trend, for Asians suffer much less from the major common ailments of the West. Many studies have been undertaken to determine which qualities of the Asian diet lead to greater health. Most Asian countries live on diets very low in refined flours, sugar, and processed food as well as a modest amount of sweets.
In addition to world-class cuisine, the West has a lot to learn from the cultural traditions of the East. Important practices like yoga and meditation, practiced in Asia for thousands of years, are making their way into mainstream America. The emphasis on taking it slow, embodied in the Japanese tea ceremony, greatly enhances quality of life, creating balance and harmony. As we introduce you to these international kitchen pantries, we'll share each country's folklore and wisdom.
Choosing the recipes and ingredients has been an exciting balancing act. We go for authentic flavor while being mindful of ingredient availability. If you live in a small town without access to the ethnic markets of many larger cities, most of the ingredients should be available in the Asian section of the larger supermarkets and health food stores. And don't be afraid to ask your grocer to carry certain products—you'll be surprised how accommodating they can be. Otherwise, check out some of the numerous online resources listed in Appendix C. Or, if you are eager to dive in, plan a day trip to an ethnic market in your area.
In general, we chose to create wonderful flavors for our recipes rather than a strict adherence to the culinary traditions. We sprinkle in ingredients from the West that we feel enhance the dining experience. Quinoa is a South American grain that may not be sold at the farmers' market in Shanghai, yet it certainly compliments a stir-fry as much as rice. You will also see maple syrup, or agave nectar, uncommon in Asia, used as sweeteners in our recipes.
We recommend using a minimum of processed and packaged ingredients. This is much better for your health, and the reduction in packaging is good for the planet. Most traditional cultures rely on local ingredients, which are fresh and available. However, when preparing Asian cuisine in the West, many times our only source of ingredients comes in cans or bottles. You can also try asking local Asians where they get their authentic ingredients.
We highly recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible in our recipes. Organic food is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, many of which have not been fully tested for their effects on humans. Though people debate whether or not these chemicals are harmful, we know they are not necessary—so we don't take the risk.
Eating locally grown foods whenever possible ensures freshness and saves all of the resources involved in shipping over long distances. Growing foods in your own garden or participating in community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) is the best option if you have the opportunity. It's very rewarding to see something grow from seed to plant. Farmers' markets are the next best choice. Get to know the people growing your food! Though some of the ingredients may require additional effort, many of the recipes in Taste of the East can be adapted to include whatever ingredients are fresh and available.
In addition to creating vegan cookbooks, our company, Vegan Fusion, offers chef training and consulting services, and can assist any food service operation in menu and recipe development with our Innovative Global Cuisine. Our goal is to promote the benefits of vegan foods for our health and for the preservation of our planet. Please visit our Web site,, to learn more about us and the vegan lifestyle, and to sign up for our free newsletter.
We encourage you to create an inspiring ambiance when you prepare your meals. Listening to your favorite music and bringing flowers or other objects of beauty into the kitchen will help awaken the creative chef within. May you be inspired by these recipes to prepare more healthy and delicious foods!
With much aloha,
Mark and Jennifer
Photo courtesy Elizabeth Warfield Murray.

How to Use This Book
Virtually all of the recipes can be completed in less than 30 minutes, including preparation and cooking time. Several recipes do have cooking or baking times that exceed this time frame, but the labor time is kept under 30 minutes. We've also included some of our favorite variations to the recipes, some of which may also take longer than 30 minutes. These are clearly noted.
The clock starts ticking once the ingredients have been gathered and are ready for use. The time doesn't include searching through the cabinets for tools or ingredients. Read through the recipe carefully, perhaps even twice. Make sure you have everything you need and gather it before you begin. Also remember that with practice, everything becomes easier. The more often you make a recipe, the faster you will get.
Within the first four sections, the recipes are listed in the order you might find them on a menu—soups, salads, appetizers, side dishes, entrees, desserts. In one Asian Fusion section, recipes are listed by country of origin. Use these recipes as a starting point for creating your own versions and specialties based on your preferences and whatever ingredients are fresh and available. We are strong believers of creative expression in the kitchen; don't just try to stick to the recipe. Never let one or two missing ingredients stop you from making a recipe. There is always something you can substitute; be creative!
Throughout the book, we introduce many of the techniques of vegan natural food preparation. These techniques are also highlighted in the preparation basics section in Appendix A. For a more thorough exploration, including tips for stocking your kitchen, as well as for an extensive resource guide, please check out The 30-Minute Vegan.
To fully dive into the realms of Asian foods we must experience the unique ingredients of each cuisine. Many foods transcend all borders, but some special foods have come to be identified with a culinary style. We introduce some of these ingredients in the pantry at the beginning of each section. We encourage you to make the extra effort and stock up on these specialty ingredients to achieve the most authentic flavors in your dishes.
Throughout the pages you will see the following sidebars, which alert you to highlighted features of Taste of the East:
Chefs' Tips and Tricks: we share the secrets that make your life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable
The Asian Pantry: highlights special ingredients of various regions throughout Asia
East Meets West: explores aspects of Asian culture popular in the West
Additionally, we highlight certain recipes with the following symbols:
* indicates a raw food item, or one that can easily be adapted to a raw recipe. Raw foods are nutrient-rich foods that have not been heated above a certain temperature, thereby preserving many of the food's nutrients.
If You Have More Time: these recipes and variations of recipes take longer than 30 minutes. Give them a try when you have more time to explore them!
Chefs' Tips and Tricks
10 Keys to Success in a 30-Minute Kitchen: Guidelines for Quickness and Accuracy
Remember that food is an art. These tips will help you have great success in the kitchen and will enable you to enjoy yourself. If you're having a good time, everyone will enjoy the results, no matter what.
1. Read each recipe thoroughly. Look up words and ingredients you are unfamiliar with in our glossary or a dictionary. Understand the process involved. Understand when multitasking is necessary rather than waiting for each step to be complete before moving on to the next step.
2. Before beginning any preparation, create a clean work area. Gather the ingredients in the recipe before you begin. This ensures that you have everything you need, know what you will be using if a substitute is required, and eliminate time spent searching through cabinets. Gather your measuring spoons and cups, tools, and appliances. Preparing food in a clean and organized space is always easier.
3. Having the proper tools is essential to being able to whip food up quickly. Preparation time may be increased if you don't have tools such as a garlic press, zester, citrus juicer, or blender. Work up to a fully stocked kitchen.
4. Though the recipes are designed to taste their best by following the exact measurements, approximations are often acceptable. At some point you will be able to look at ginger and know how much makes a tablespoon. In cases like these, don't worry too much about measuring everything with ultimate precision. With baking, however, measurements need to be precise because leavening is involved.
5. Some herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or fennel, don't need to be plucked from the thin part of their stems before mincing or chopping. Just keep them bundled together and chop the whole bunch at once. The thin parts of the stems generally have the same flavor and, once minced, basically taste the same.
6. Cut stacks of veggies rather than each individual piece. Don't separate celery stalks when you can cut into the whole bunch at once. Same goes for heads of lettuce and cabbage. Stack tomato, potato, or onion slices and cut them simultaneously.
7. The easiest way to sift flour is with a fine mesh strainer. For accuracy, always sift baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder, and any spices that have lumps.
8. You don't need to peel carrots, cucumbers, potatoes, zucchini, or beets unless specified; just wash them well. This is not only quicker but also helps preserve the nutritional content of the food.
9. Most blenders have cup and fluid ounce measurements right on the pitcher; no need to dirty more measuring cups.
10. One of the most important tips to help cut down on preparation time is to set aside an hour or so on one of your least busy days for advance prepping. Having prepped ingredients on hand makes it easier to create meals on the go. You can cut vegetables and store them in a glass container in the fridge, and you can cook a squash, grain, or a pot of beans. These foods can then be used in recipes over the next few days. Consider preparing a pot of rice in the morning and using it for the evening meal.

The Cuisine of India
Experiencing India for the first time is like meeting the other half of your mind. There truly are no words to describe the sights, colors, smells, and sounds that flood through you. The Himalayas, the Taj Mahal, the Ganges River—wow! When visiting India, be prepared for adventure. A traffic jam can consist of rickshaws, motorcycles, camels, cows, water buffalo, goats, and even an elephant.
India has a vast history of vegetarian cuisine. Unique culinary traditions have evolved in different regions throughout the country. North Indian cuisine is quite different from that in the South. Even the Northwest (Punjab) is different from the rest of the North. We selected a wide range of recipes to share, including curries, chutneys, rice dishes, soups, and sweets. We encourage you to create an Indian feast that may include Mulligatawny, Rice Pilau, Tempeh Vindaloo, Cucumber Mint Raita, Roasted Garlic Chutney, and a Mango Lassi. Don't forget to save room for the Cardamom Cookies!
The Asian Pantry: India
Asafetida: Also referred to as hing, asafetida has a pungent and relatively unpleasant aroma when raw but imparts the taste of garlic and onion when added to cooked food. It is frequently used by those who avoid onion and garlic in their food. It is also used as a digestive aid.
Chutney: The salsa of India, chutneys are a sauce or relish consisting of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and/or spices that is served as a condiment with Indian meals. Chutneys provide intense flavor. Many are sweet and sour, and spicy hot.
Curry Leaves: Also called sweet neem leaves, curry leaves are used in South Indian cuisine in much the same way bay leaves are used in the West. Despite the name, curry leaves are not a substitute for powdered curry, nor are they generally included in a curry blend. The fresh leaves can be stored in the freezer. They also are available in dried form online and at Asian markets.
Curry Powder: The trademark of the Indian kitchen, curry powder is a ground blend of spices that varies from region to region but generally includes cumin, coriander, and turmeric. It's the turmeric that gives curry its yellow color. For our homemade curry powder recipe, please see page 44.
Dhal (also spelled Dal): One of the most frequent terms you will come across in Indian cuisine, dhal refers to a preparation of pulses or legumes that removes the outer shell and splits the husk. It is also the name of the soup or stew that is created by using them, such as mung dhal, chana dhal, and urud dhal.
Garam Masala: This term comes from the Hindi words garam, meaning "hot," and masala, meaning "spices." In this case the hot refers to pungency, and not necessarily hot as in spicy hot. The ingredients and quantities vary widely throughout different regions in India. Please see page 45 for our garam masala recipe.
Masala: Used often in Indian cuisine, masala refers to a blend of spices, either in dried form or a paste.
Tamarind: Indigenous to North Africa, tamarind has been growing in India for so long that it is believed by many to be of Indian origin. The tamarind tree produces a sour and sometimes slightly sweet pod that is used throughout the world in countless culinary ways, including chutneys, jams, sauces, and drinks. If you are unable to find tamarind, you can replace it with an equal amount of lime or lemon juice as well as a minute amount of sweetener. Please see page 13 for our Tamarind Sauce recipe.
Other spices popular in Indian cuisine include cardamom, cumin, turmeric, clove, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, and mustard seed.

Mulligatawny literally means "pepper water" in Tamil, though peppers are not a common ingredient in this curry-flavored soup. Surprisingly, the origin of Mulligatawny soup, widely considered the national soup of India, is actually of Anglo-Indian origin. There are as many variations of this soup as there are temples in India. Mulligatawny is wonderful when served with Samosas (page 7), rotis (page 17), or dosas (page 21).
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup diced onion
3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
6 cups water or vegetable stock
(see page 228)
½ cup red lentils
¼ cup white basmati rice
1 small potato, diced (1½ cups)
1 medium apple, peeled and
chopped small (1¼ cups)
¾ cup diced celery
1 carrot, diced (¾ cup)
1½ cups soy creamer or coconut milk
2 teaspoons garam masala
Pinch cayenne, or to taste
1 teaspoon tamarind paste,
or 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed
lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce, optional
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Lemon wedges
1. Place the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the curry and cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water, lentils, and rice and bring to a boil.
2. Lower the heat to medium, add the potato, apple, celery, and carrots, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice and lentils should be thoroughly cooked.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and garnish with a lemon wedge.


• You can always add greens! Try adding 2 to 3 cups of kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard, sliced into ½-inch strips.
• Play around with other fresh herbs you may have on hand or in your garden. A quarter cup of minced fresh parsley, and a teaspoon of oregano, thyme, or marjoram would go great in this soup.

A popular tomato-based soup in Southern India, where it is typically served daily along with idlis or dosas (page 21), and Sambar Curry (page 23).
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1½ tablespoons cumin seeds
1½ tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 tablespoons toor dhal or ground yellow split peas (see Chefs' Tips below)
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
5 small tomatoes, chopped (3 cups)
4 cups water or vegetable stock (see page 228)
1 hot chile, seeded and diced, or 3 dried red chiles
1 to 2 teaspoons tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1½ teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1. Place the sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and curry powder and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the toor dhal and garlic and stir well.
2. Lower the heat to medium, add the tomatoes, water, and remaining ingredients except the cilantro, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cilantro and mix well before serving.
Chefs' Tips and Tricks


On Sale
Jul 6, 2010
Page Count
304 pages

Mark Reinfeld

Mark Reinfeld

About the Author

Award-winning vegan chef Mark Reinfeld is the creator of Vegan Fusion, a platform for plant-based, vegetarian, raw, and gluten-free cooking classes and recipes. Reinfeld is the author of seven books, including the bestselling 30-Minute Vegan series, and offers food counseling services for companies like Google, Whole Foods, and Bon Appetit Management. He is the 2017 inductee into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame.

Ashley Boudet, ND, is a graduate of the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), one of the world’s most respected naturopathic medical schools. She is on the board of the International Congress of Naturopathic Medicine and is passionate about sharing easy ways of incorporating simple and powerful self-care practices into our lives.

Learn more about this author