Vegetarian Recipes that Transport You to Asia

I asked some of my food blogger friends who live away from home, "What dish reminds you the most of home?" Here are their answers....

Dixya Bhattarai of Food, Pleasure & Health
Home country: Kathmandu, Nepal
Currently living in: Texas, USA
Taste of home: Nepali Style Cauli Aloo
"This recipe is my mom's and it reminds me of home, especially my mom. She is an excellent cook but something about her cauli aloo is very nostalgic to me, even more so now that I live so far away from her." 

Maggie Zhu of Omnivore's Cookbook
Home country: Beijing, China
Currently living in: Texas, USA
Taste of home: Chinese 4-Ingredient Fried Cabbage
"It's a simple dish that my mom cooked all the time and packed for my lunch. Not only does it remind me of home, it's also really fast to cook and lets me use a whole head of cabbage in one sitting."

Read Maggie's #WhyIWriteAboutFood interview here

Marvellina Goh of What To Cook Today
Home country: Medan, Indonesia
Currently living in: Minnesota, USA
Taste of home: Indonesian Spiced Tofu (Tauhu Bacem) 
"The thought of tahu bacem reminds me of a group of close friends I had when I was in college. I was away from my hometown for the very first time in my life. These friends made me feel less homesick and almost every evening we would go get tahu bacem for snacks. It's just such a fond memory of mine."

Read Marvellina's #WhyIWriteAboutFood interview here


Lisa Ho of Lisa's Lemony Kitchen
Home country: Alor Setar, Malaysia
Currently living in: Perth, Australia
Taste of home: Lentils and Indian "Drumsticks" 
"This dish reminds me of my mom's cooking and the scary 'orang minyak' (literally translates to oily man) story that goes with it. As a young girl, I would sit quietly and listen to adults exchange ghostly stories. This one's about a cursed man covered in black oil who was on the prowl for young maidens. It turned out the foot-long Indian drumstick (Moringa Oleifera) or kacang munggai in Malay has the same effect on him as garlic has on vampires!"

Shihoko Ura of Chopstick Chronicles
Home country: Kansai, Japan
Currently living in: Brisbane, Australia
Taste of home: Sweet Potato Bites (Daigaku Imo) 
"Purple sweet potato reminds me of home. I love sweet potato. Both my grandmother and my mother have a vegetable patch and they grow purple sweet potato. We often made Daigaku Imo with them. It's a simple and delicious snack that I still make for myself."

Read Shihoko's #WhyIWriteAboutFood interview here

Soe Thein of Lime and Cilantro
Home country: Yangon, Myanmar
Currently living in: California, USA
Taste of home: Pickled Tea Leaf Salad (Laphet Thote)
"This dish holds precious memories about being together with my family. This excerpt from the blog captures very well my feelings about pickled tea-leaf salad: 'One of my absolute favorite chunks of the day while growing up in Yangon was from 7pm to 9pm, also the noisiest 2 hours of the day. The dinner was just finished, and all of us would sit in the main living room, patiently waiting for a one-a-day-episode of foreign drama series. My eldest aunt would make a big pile of pickled tea leaves salad or laphet thote (sometimes, with more rice) for an after-dinner snack. The salad, despite eaten after a meal, is extremely bold—it has sharp sourness from pickling and lime, spiciness from pounded chili, pungent saltiness from fish sauce, simultaneous mellow and crunchy note from fried garlic pieces. It felt like there is a San Francisco pride parade running around in my mouth. Despite just having eaten, all of us would congregate around the salad bowl, and devour in a flash.'"

Yan Luo of Yankitchen
Home country: Guangxi, China
Currently living in: Michigan, USA
Taste of home: Asian Style Boiled Peanuts
"I grew up in Southern China. When fall came, we always had boiled fresh peanuts. It could be served as a dish on the dinner table as well as a late night snack when the whole family gathered around the fire. That's a really beautiful and warm memory and a true taste of home for me."

JinJoo Lee of Kimchimari
Home country: Seoul, South Korea
Currently living in: California, USA
Taste of home: Cold Soy Milk Noodle Soup (Kongguksu)
"When I was a child, our family had this often in the hot summers. Most Koreans did not have air conditioning, so this cold soy milk noodle soup was something that Koreans loved to cool themselves down with." 


Binjal Pandya of Binjal's Veg Kitchen
Home country: Mumbai, India
Currently living in: Pennsylvania, USA
Taste of home: Indian Potato Burger (Vada Pav)
"It's a popular street food from Mumbai and it reminds me of my mom's home in Mumbai where I was born and raised. For me, my mom's recipe is the tastiest, better than anything bought from the streets. She usually made it on Friday night, especially on movie nights. It was like a burger party and we watched a new movie with family and friends with lots of chitchat, games, songs, and dance. Unforgettable memories that always remind me of home."

Christine Leong of Vermilion Roots
Home country: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Currently living in: California, USA
Taste of home: Malaysian Fruit Salad (Rojak Buah)
"It seems to me that the best rojak buah comes from pushcart stalls or the back of a truck parked on the roadside, made by uncles and aunties who have perfected the recipe for the signature black gooey sauce and mastered the act of mixing hundreds of servings daily, I'd imagine, at lightning speed. My favorite rojak stalls were on Jalan Petaling, Jalan Batai, in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, and outside of Atria Shopping Center. Most of these places have undergone major transformations in the two short years since I moved, and I'd be curious to find out if they are all still there. To me, tropical fruits in a sticky, sweet, spicy, tangy sauce is a uniquely Malaysian taste. The taste of home."