Chinese Homestyle (Cookbook by Maggie Zhu)

2 Reviews

The creator of the popular Chinese food blog Omnivore's Cookbook has narrowed her focus to plant-based dishes in her first cookbook, but Maggie Zhu's legions of loyal readers will recognize both the authentic flavors and the modern approach she is known for, adapting regional Chinese dishes to Western kitchens.

Chinese Homestyle is highly approachable and welcoming of all cooks, regardless of their familiarity with Chinese cooking and their kitchen setup. The stir-fry recipes are written specifically for cooking in a large skillet on any kind of cooktop, as she knows that most home cooks do not have a wok or the high BTU burner needed to get the most out of it. This is not sacrilege, as many younger home cooks in China also use skillets or small, shallow woks instead of traditional woks in their day to day cooking. 

Maggie grew up in Beijing and knows that cooks in China also prepare mainly vegetables and grains at each meal, perhaps studded with bits of meat as a flavor enhancer. From there, it is not a large leap to adapt those recipes to be entirely vegan, which is what she has done in this book, due to her own growing interest in eating a plant-based diet over the past few years. 

For all these reasons, Chinese Homestyle is a fitting name for this book. And the book will fit you if you want traditional Chinese flavors minus the meat. The cookbook's subtitle, Everyday Plant-Based Recipes for Takeout, Dim Sum, Noodles & More, speaks to its range: dishes such as king oyster mushrooms in sesame-chili sauce; salt and pepper tofu; orange cauliflower; Old Beijing fried-sauce noodles; mala tempeh; and red-braised tofu. 

Start with her homemade sauces and condiments, such as black bean sauce or Sichuan chili garlic sauce, then graduate to making your own homemade seitan and smoked tofu. Or just indulge in the many flavorful vegetable and noodle dishes. 

This book uses almost every pantry item in The Mala Market:

  • Build an instant primo Chinese pantry with one click here.
  • Add on the must-have ingredients for Sichuan and other spicy dishes with one click here
      Publisher: Quarto Publishing, 2022
      Format: Hardback, 222 pages
      Price: MSRP $28; $25 when purchased with ingredients