Meat-free Mondays

Three plant-based Asian recipes to keep on rotation

Prudence Wade tries three delicious, healthy and easy dishes from Ching-He Huang’s ‘Asian Green’

Monday 29 March 2021 11:03 BST
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“As I grow older, I don’t want to be faffing around too much in the kitchen,” says chef Ching-He Huang. “I also want to enjoy myself and not be a slave to the stove.”

That’s why she loves a good stir-fry, which can transform veg into a quick and delicious dish – like this recipe with black bean tofu and baby pak choi.

Read more:

Vegan stiry-fry recipe with black bean tofu and baby pak choi

Serves four as a side


1tbsp cornflour

1tbsp rapeseed oil

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1tbsp freshly grated root ginger

1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 bird’s eye chilli, deseeded and chopped

1tbsp fermented salted black beans, rinsed and crushed

1tbsp yellow bean paste or miso paste

250g ready-fried tofu, quartered

1tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry

2 green peppers, deseeded and cut into 1.5cm chunks

200ml vegetable stock

1tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce

Cooked jasmine rice, to serve

For the pak choi:

200g baby pak choi, halved

Pinch of sea salt

1tbsp Shaohsing rice wine

1tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce

1tsp toasted sesame oil

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, sliced into matchsticks


1. First, prepare the pak choi. Place a heatproof plate inside a bamboo steamer. Season the pak choi with salt, rice wine, tamari or light soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, then lay the ginger slices over the top. Place the lid on the steamer and set over a wok or pan of water. Bring to the boil, then gently steam over a low heat for three to four minutes. In a small jug or cup, mix the cornflour with two tablespoons of water to create a slurry and set aside until needed. Meanwhile, place a wok over a high heat and add the rapeseed oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the garlic, ginger and chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds. Then add the black beans and yellow bean paste and stir quickly.

2. Add the tofu and stir-fry for one minute, keeping the ingredients moving in the wok, then add the rice wine or sherry and the green peppers and stir-fry for a further minute.

3. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Season with the tamari or soy sauce, then add the cornflour slurry and stir to thicken.

4. Serve the black bean tofu and steamed baby pak choi with jasmine rice on the side and eat immediately.

Smoked tofu and broccoli Korean-style vegan ram-don


With spicy, smoky and umami flavours, this vegan ram-don recipe ticks all the boxes.

The inspiration for this recipe came from an unexpected place: the Oscar-winning movie Parasite.

In Bong Joon-ho’s hit film, a housekeeper is tasked with making a beef ram-don – a unique dish similar to a spicy noodle soup. This inspired Ching-He Huang to make her own vegan version, which her husband now calls her signature meal.

Serves four.


200g dried ramen or udon noodles

1tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 garlic cloves

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled

3 shallots

2 red chillies, deseeded

1tbsp cornflour

1tbsp rapeseed oil

200g smoked tofu, drained, rinsed in cold water and sliced into 2cm cubes

400g firm tofu, drained and sliced into 2cm cubes

200g fresh shiitake mushrooms

1tbsp Shaohsing rice wine

2tbsp dark soy sauce

150g long-stem broccoli, florets sliced lengthwise and stalks sliced into 0.5cm rounds

2tbsp vegetarian mushroom sauce

1tbsp clear rice vinegar

1tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce

2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced on the angle into 1cm slices

Noodle seasoning (per bowl):

1tsp dark soy sauce and Chiu Chow chilli oil

1tbsp each tahini and sweet chilli sauce

Sprinkle of shichimi togarashi pepper flakes


1. Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Rinse under cold water and drain well, then drizzle over the toasted sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together. Set aside in the colander until needed.

2. Place the garlic, ginger, shallots and red chillies in a small food processor and blitz to form a paste. Mix the cornflour with two tablespoons water in a small bowl or cup to make a slurry. Set aside until needed. Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking and add the rapeseed oil. Once hot, add the aromatic paste and cook, stirring, for a few seconds until fragrant. Add both kinds of tofu and the mushrooms. Season with the rice wine and dark soy sauce and toss together well for one to two minutes until all the ingredients are coated.

2. Add the broccoli and cook, tossing, for one minute. Stir in the mushroom sauce, rice vinegar and tamari or light soy sauce. Pour in the cornflour slurry to thicken the cooking juices in the wok, and toss to mix well.

3. Pour some boiling water over the noodles in the colander to reheat them, then divide them between four bowls.

4. Place a ladleful of the tofu, mushroom and broccoli mixture on one side of the noodles in each bowl, and top with the sliced spring onion. Dress the noodles by drizzling over the dark soy sauce, Chiu Chow chilli oil, tahini and sweet chilli sauce, followed by a generous sprinkle of shichimi togarashi pepper flakes. Serve immediately.

Mango and cashew vegan cheesecake


Not convinced vegan desserts can be luxurious? Let this plant-based ‘cheesecake’ transport you to a tropical island.

Serves 10.


For the biscuit base:

200g fruity vegan oat biscuits

3tbsp mixed nut butter

For the cashew ‘cheese’ layer:

200g cashews, soaked in water for 30 minutes then drained and rinsed

200ml coconut milk

400g plain coconut yogurt

1tbsp coconut cream

3tbsp golden syrup

Juice of 1 lime

Pinch of sea salt

For the fresh mango compote:

2 mangos, peeled, stoned and diced into 0.5cm cubes

4tbsp golden syrup

To garnish:

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Read more:


1. To make the biscuit base, crush the biscuits in a food processor. Add the nut butter and process until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside. Clean the food processor.

2. Place all the cashew ‘cheese’ layer ingredients in the food processor and blend until smooth.

3. Line the base of a 26cm round glass cheesecake dish with the biscuit and nut butter mixture and press into place. Pour over the blended cashew ‘cheese’ mixture. Cover and let it set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, make the mango compote. Place the mango and golden syrup in a shallow frying pan over a medium heat. Stir gently to combine. Cook for two to three minutes until the mango has softened and the mixture is slightly sticky. Take off the heat and let cool for 30 minutes. To assemble, remove the ‘cheesecake’ from the refrigerator and top with the cooled mango compote. Just before serving, garnish with the lime zest and juice. Enjoy!

‘Asian Green: Everyday Plant-based Recipes Inspired By The East’ by Ching-He Huang, photography by Tamin Jones, is published by Kyle Books on February 11, priced £20.

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