19 Asian-Inspired Vegan Dishes That Everyone Should Add To Their Recipe Collection

·8 min read
tofu and rice on a plate and noodles on a dish
Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed

After gathering some really wonderful recipes from AAPI creators across the internet last year, I decided that a part two was necessary for our APAHM 2022 celebration this year!

Below you'll find a variety of plant-based takes on classic recipes that traditionally were, well, not-so-vegan. I hope you'll find something new to try, a recipe to add to your collection, or maybe you'll find a veggie-based edition of an old favorite!

1.Onigiri Chazuke

a bowl of broth with a triangular-shaped rice ball in the middle

If you're looking for a comforting meal that's also pretty cute to look at, might I recommend Veggiekins' recipe for onigiri chazuke? The grilled rice ball soup is a staple in Japan whose plant-based broth is made from kombu, mirin, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, and genmaicha (a type of green tea). It might take you a few tries to master shaping your rice, but it'll taste delicious no matter what form it ends up taking.

Veggiekins / veggiekinsblog.com

2.Crunchy Gochujang Cauliflower

a pan with tofu and cauliflower and peppers

The Korean Vegan's recipe for gochujang cauliflower is one of my go-to recipes. It's quick to make, is incredibly flavorful, and can be made a little less spicy for those of us with a more sensitive palate by omitting the red peppers. (Try it and let us know what you think in the comments!)

The Korean Vegan / thekoreanvegan.com

3.Stuffed Eggplant with Vegan Pork

slices of eggplant stuffed with vegan pork sprinkled with chives and sesame seeds

Looking for a show-stopping dinner recipe that will impress your guests? Don't sleep on Woon Heng's recipe for stuffed eggplant with vegan pork. Yong Tau Foo normally includes fish or seafood in it, but this recipe opts for a filling that's made with carrots and a veganized pork. Then you'll slice your eggplants like you'd make a Hasselback potato, and fill the area between each side with the "pork" stuffing. The result is a stunning meal you'll want to take pictures of.

Woon Heng / woonheng.com

4.Ramen Tteokbokki

ramen noodles and vegetables in a pot

If you already enjoy tteokbokki, a simmered hot rice cake often found in Korean cooking, then you will definitely enjoy this recipe for ramen that includes it as a main ingredient! Check out this recipe from The Plant-Based Wok that will teach you how to make "Rabokki," a delicious combination of ramen + tteokbokki that you'll be dreaming about for days.

The Plant-Based Wok / theplantbasedwok.com

5.Vegan Dashi

bowl of vegetables about to be made into broth

Once you learn how to make this plant-based dashi, you'll soon find that you're using it in everything: as a base for soups, in sauces, and even on its own (because it's just that good). Veggiekins shares the lowdown on this vegan take on the Japanese broth using mushrooms instead of fish.

Veggiekins / veggiekinsblog.com

6.Vegan Tofu Rogan Josh

tofu with rice and sauce

One of my favorite things about Richa Hingle's recipes is that her genius mind is able to veganize so many classic Indian recipes into meals we can cook in our own homes. Her take on Kashmiri Rogan Josh, a recipe popular in Kashmir, uses tofu instead of the standard version with meat. The recipe comes together easily but can also be saved for leftovers the next day.

Richa Hingle / veganricha.com

7.Homemade Vegan Pho

a bowl of pho with tofu, veggies, noodles, and broth

I can admit that I've never made pho at home before, but after looking at this recipe from Hot For Food Blog, I definitely want to try. The broth uses bold spices like star anise, ginger, and cardamom in order to set the tone for your meal. The great news is that you can use pretty much anything you'd like to top the soup, so whatever veggies, noodles, and proteins you have on hand can be substituted.

Hot For Food Blog / hotforfoodblog.com

8.Instant Pot Dal Bukhara

a pot of lentil soup

If you're one of ~ those people ~ who is obsessed with their Instant Pot, you'll want to bookmark this recipe for later. To make the dal Bukhara from Vegan Richa's recipes, you'll toss ingredients like lentils, tomatoes, and ginger into your miracle vessel and then forget about it while it cooks.

Richa Hingle / veganricha.com

9.Vegan Kare-Kare (Filipino Vegetable Stew in Peanut-Based Sauce)

a peanut stew with banana blossoms in it

If you're looking for a recipe that your even foodie friends may not have tried before, Astig Vegan's take on kare kare just might blow their minds. This plant-based version of the Filipino peanut stew uses long beans, snow fungus, peanuts, and the incredibly delicate banana blossom buds to make for a really impressive bowl.

Astig Vegan / astigvegan.com

10.Green Onion Shao Bing

bread with sesame seeds on the outside and scallions on the inside

Yet another hit from Woon Heng is her shao bing recipe, a layered bread delicacy found in Northern China. Not only does it look incredibly tasty, but upon biting into this baked bread you'll soon appreciate all of the layers of onions, dough, and sesame seeds (aka heaven on Earth).

Woon Heng / woonheng.com

11.Rainbow Jeon

a pancake with rainbow colors

This veggie-filled "pancake" is a lot easier than you'd expect from how intricate it looks! The Korean Vegan's rainbow jeon recipe uses a literal rainbow of vegetables to create the stunning dish you see above. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, as a side dish, or enjoy it on its own!

The Korean Vegan / thekoreanvegan.com

12.Lucky Money Bag Dumpling

dumplings made with napa cabbage

If you're looking for a little extra luck in your life, you might try making this neat recipe for lucky money bag dumplings from Woon Heng. Traditionally made during the Lunar New Year, this recipe uses napa cabbage — instead of steamed or sautéed dumplings — for a more low-carb option, but you can use whatever you prefer.

Woon Heng / woonheng.com

13.Indo-Chinese Chilli Garlic Noodles

ingredients in a bowl

Richa Hingle's recipe for Indo-Chinese Chili Garlic Noodles uses a variety of spices that come together for a meal you'll repeat over and over. You can make this dish for lunch or dinner, and it stores well in the fridge for leftovers, too.

Richa Hingle / veganricha.com

14.Aloo Parathas

bright flatbreads on a towl

Here's a truly drool-worthy recipe: aloo parathas from Veggiecurean. To make it, you'll spend time kneading the dough to perfection — but the result will be worth it: you'll end up with a delicious whole wheat crust and a potato filling that'll keep you satisfied for a long time.

Veggiecurean / veggiecurean.com

15.Tofu Tikka Masala

a stew with yogurt and tofu and jalapeños and parsley sprinkled on top

Did you know it's quite possible to make a plant-based version of tikka masala that doesn't include chicken? Rainbow Plant Life details exactly how to do it in their recipe using tofu instead. Make sure you have spices like coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and garam masala on hand in order to make this flavorful meal!

Rainbow Plant Life / rainbowplantlife.com

16.San Bei Ji (Three Cup Chicken)

a bowl with chunks of chicken, thai basil, and thai red pepper slices

Veggiekins created this recipe as an homage to the San Bei Ji (or "three cup chicken") that you can find in the night markets of Taiwan. To make the flavors as authentic as possible, the recipe calls for both Thai basil and Thai red chili. And if you don't want to use a vegan chicken for this recipe, good old-fashioned tofu will work just as well.

Veggiekins / veggiekinsblog.com

17.Savory Dolsot Oatmeal

vegan porride and oatmeal in a stone pot

This recipe from The Korean Vegan is an almost literal mash-up of oatmeal and an omelette! Rolled oats, tofu, seaweed, and kimchi are just a few of the ingredients that make this breakfast shine. And to make this just like the recipe states, you'll need a dolsot, a stone pot used in traditional Korean cooking (as shown above).

The Korean Vegan / thekoreanvegan.com

18.Nian Gao (Chinese Sticky Rice Cake)

sesame dessert squares

This traditional dessert made on the Lunar New Year is said to represent growth and prosperity in the year ahead. But you can make this recipe from The Plant-Based Wok at any time! Coconut milk, rice flour, and red bean paste are just a few of the ingredients that make up these yummy mini cakes!

The Plant-Based Wok / theplantbasedwok.com

19.Ichigo Daifuku (Strawberry Stuffed Mochi)

mochi with strawberries inside

Here in the States we're heading into summer, which is the perfect time to pick up some strawberries at your local market. And with all of those fresh berries on hand, why not try making strawberry stuffed mochi from The Plant-Based Wok? If you haven't made it before, you'll need to follow this recipe closely as it takes a bit of quick work to get everything timed perfectly. But you'll be rewarded with the softest and sweetest treats around!

The Plant-Based Wok / theplantbasedwok.com

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From Left to Right: Haunani-Kay Trask, Rushan Abbas, Manjusha Kulkarni, Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Philip Vera Cruz, Mabel Lee, George Helm, and Edward Said  

From Left to Right: Haunani-Kay Trask, Rushan Abbas, Manjusha Kulkarni, Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Philip Vera Cruz, Mabel Lee, George Helm, and Edward Said

Kathy Hoang / BuzzFeed