Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien has quick and easy vegan recipes: NPR

The recipe for this pineapple kimchi is available in Danny Bowien’s new cookbook, Mission Vegan: wildly delicious cuisine for everyone.

Henry Hargreaves

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Henry Hargreaves

The recipe for this pineapple kimchi is available in Danny Bowien’s new cookbook, Mission Vegan: wildly delicious cuisine for everyone.

Henry Hargreaves

Even renowned chefs can find themselves in a difficult situation when it comes to cooking dinner. This is sometimes the case for Danny Bowien.

Award-winning chef James Beard runs Chinese restaurant Mission, has a young son and has spent the past two years writing a cookbook.

So when it came time to develop recipes for this book – Mission Vegan: wildly delicious cuisine for everyone – simplicity was key.

He didn’t want to write another book that relies on restaurant-style dishes that can be difficult to prepare and require a lot of steps.

“It was really fun to make something that I could take out, and my dad in Oklahoma could go to the market, get all the ingredients, and come home and make a dish,” Bowien told NPR.

Most of the recipes in the book can be made in less than an hour and only require a handful of ingredients. And with many people returning to school and the office, there may be a lot less time to cook.

Bowein says one of his favorites from Vegan Mission is the pomodoro paste:

“There is a [simple] pasta recipe – it’s just semolina flour and water. All you do is knead it, let it rest, roll it, then cut it with a knife.”

If it’s too complicated, Bowien says you can use dry pasta.

He also likes the sauce, which is easy to prepare. All it takes is to heat a 28-ounce can of Italian tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil.

But when he’s really in a hurry, Bowien makes budae jjigae, also known as army stew.

It is a dish built around instant noodles. And like many other recipes in the book, budae jjigae is flexible.

“I always have instant noodles in my pantry [and] a can of beans. There is always tofu in the fridge; you can add dried or fresh mushrooms. I always have grilled seaweed snacks. And yes, there is always some kind of weed in my fridge that needs to be used. put everything [those] ingredients in a cold casserole, then bring to the boil.

Although Bowien is not a vegan, he says writing this book has been a fun learning experience.

“It was an incredible challenge to create something that could be cooked at home and that didn’t rely heavily on animal protein or dairy or rely on it at all.”

If he likes quick meals that can be prepared in less than an hour, that’s not all. Vegan Mission offers.

He specifically cites the pineapple kimchi recipe. Like other kimchi, it is a kimchi that you can decide how long to let it ferment.

And regardless, Bowien wants people to have fun and experience the food they make.

“It’s good to try things and get it right and make mistakes and learn why you were wrong.”

Pineapple Kimchi

Excerpted with permission from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.


Note: The weights here are important.

1 ½ pounds ripe pineapple peeled, cored and cubed (1 inch)

28 grams (3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) Diamond Crystal kosher salt

17 ounces coarsely grated white onion

11 ounces coarsely grated Korean radish or daikon

5 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)


1. Put the pineapple in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt and mix well. Let stand until pineapple begins to lose liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, radish and gochugaru and mix well.

2. Transfer to a clean 2 quart glass jar. Use a spoon to press down on the mixture, so the liquid rises to submerge or nearly submerge the pineapple. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing against the surface of the mixture, then add a small weight. Cover tightly with a lid and ferment at room temperature until slightly sour, 2-4 days, rotating the container after 3 days.

3. Once fermented to your liking, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

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