As a source of inspiration, Instagram is hard to beat. Especially when it comes to cooking. Swipe through instructions, gorgeous pictures and helpful videos all make embracing a new cuisine so easy. Even one that has a reputation for being tricky to master, such as Chinese cooking.
The following five Chinese vegan innovators will have you reaching for the bok choy before you can say compliments to the chef:
1. Lisa Kitahara
Find her on Instagram: @okonomikitchen
Kitahara specialises in vegan Chinese and Japanese dishes that are frequently oil, gluten and refined sugar-free. With both Chinese and Japanese heritage, Kitahara takes an adventurous approach to cooking and removes the shackles for her followers, encouraging lots of personal tweaking. Best of all, as a fitness enthusiast, her dishes are often high in protein, meaning they will satisfy and inspire kitchen creativity.
2. WoonHeng Chia
Find her on Instagram: @woon.heng
Chia is on a mission to encourage the world to try plant-based eating, one meal at a time, which has won her fans far and wide. Food52 even made her one of their resident recipe creators. She focuses on simple dishes with big flavours and recreates traditional dishes without any meat. Chia’s cooking is full of Malaysian influences, a nod to her childhood in Kuala Lumpur are seen throughout. The vegan unagi (top left photo) is out of this world and went somewhat viral. We have recreated this eel dish and can confirm that it tastes amazing and the texture is spot on.
3. Jeeca Uy
Find her on Instagram: @thefoodietakesflight
Uy has a talent for taking dishes from all over Asia and giving them a simple yet flavourful vegan twist. Friendly, warm and unassuming, her posts on Instagram showcase delicious food and give relevant information about the dishes, alongside easy links to full recipes. No gatekeeping here, Uy wants her followers to try, enjoy and master the dishes she creates.
4. Lisa Le
Find her on Instagram: @thevietvegan
Le is an excellent person to follow if you want a peek behind the recipe creation and a dose of real life. Parenting, intersectional feminism and great food; it’s all here in one account. What’s more, she takes a fully inclusive approach to cooking, with recipes that aren’t vegan, in order to help people move towards plant-based at their own speed. Le is vegan and a nut allergy sufferer, so a handy follow if you’re looking for nut-free dishes. So much humour goes into her posts and blog that even if you’re not a foodie, you should follow anyway. New mums: you’ll definitely want to make her congee recipe. It’s a hug in a bowl on those difficult and long days.
5. Yang & Kathi
Find them on Instagram: @littlericenoodle
The best thing about this account is the laidback attitude. Yang & Kathi make delicious food in their back garden and create videos of the process. There are no gimmicks, no fancy food photography or secret techniques, but there is a lot of cheekiness and fun. If you complain that the noodles look too thick, these two will deliberately make even bigger ones and make content at the expense of the silly comment! Hearty vegan fare with a big dollop of likeable humour.
If you’re inspired to try cooking a new cuisine but don’t feel a pull to anything you see here, read our recommendations for multicultural cookbooks. There’s a diverse mix of cultures and influences represented, each bringing flavour and context to your meal times and kitchen experiments.
Lead photo by Orijit Chatterjee on Unsplash.