Nov 24, 2021 - Food and Drink

Thanksgiving with the Korean Vegan

Korean Vegan cookbook

Chicago's Joanne Lee Molinaro, aka The Korean Vegan, has written one of the most popular cookbooks of the year. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios.

Joanne Lee Molinaro's "The Korean Vegan Cookbook" has dominated national foodie conversations and bestseller lists this fall.

Why it matters: The Chicagoan has further broadened the appeal of veganism and Korean cuisine by unexpectedly melding them at a time when both eating styles β€” especially veganism β€” are exploding in the U.S.

But the former LaSalle Street law partner has given the eating styles an extra boost with her charisma, passion and mad storytelling skills.

πŸ₯¦Β Thanksgiving challenge: When Molinaro first suggested a plant-based Thanksgiving to her family a few years ago, she says she got pushback β€” but they finally agreed.

  • "And everyone contributed, just like we always do. And it was absolutely effing BRILLIANT!! In fact, it was so good, we decided to do it again for Christmas just a month later," she wrote on social media.

What will she cook this week? Molinaro kindly shared this year's menu with Axios.

Β πŸ› Starters: Egg rolls and buchimgae (vegetable pancakes)

🍜 Mains: Japchae glass noodles with veggies, galbi (using mushrooms and onions instead of the usual grilled beef). "Not the version my mom makes, lol," Molinaro notes.

🍝 Sides: Mac & Cheese "for the 'American contingent," plus kimchi stew, biscuits and pasta for her husband Anthony, "the recent Italian-American addition to the family."

πŸ₯§ Dessert: Paht bbang (sweet red bean bread), pecan paht pie and eclair cake.


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