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A Spark of Madness: An Amalgamation of 116 Vegetarian & Vegan Asian Staples

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by Simran Savlani
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Published in Hong Kong, this energetic and freewheeling collection offers regionally arranged Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Malay, and Indian recipes and flavors, interpreted by an author who encourages you to adapt and respond to your own tastes.

Simran Savlani, a Cordon Bleu diplomate in restaurant management, brings an assertive confidence to her recipe introductions. She expects you to be equally willing to decide for yourself which of her four dumpling wrapper recipes you’ll use, to choose from several flavorful sauces, and then to select a filling. Next you opt to fry, steam or poach them. It can be a little dizzying, but also liberating because Savlani is interested in letting you follow your impulses.

Throughout the book there are also recipes which do not fit neatly into any regional category, such as a baklava granola with dried rose petals.  And given Savlani's gift for adaptation, it’s useful not to expect strict traditionalism anywhere in the book. Instead, consider the pleasures of:

  • Sichuan peppercorn and cumin udon with leafy greens, tofu, and fried egg
  • Cauliflower larb with baby corn, mint, and coriander
  • Kimchi fried orzo with pumpkin, sesame seeds, and bell peppers
  • Sheet-pan chili cornbread with jalapeno butter

There’s adventure here if you’re willing to follow the flow.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

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