The Vibrant Hong Kong Table

88 Iconic Vegan Recipes from Dim Sum to Sweet Buns

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Pub Date 06 Aug 2024 | Archive Date 05 Aug 2024

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A visual and sumptuous ode to Hong Kong that reimagines 88 classic and iconic dishes as colorful and beautiful plant-based meals.

A common Chinese greeting is 食咗飯未呀? “Have you eaten (rice) yet?” which is how Christine Wong’s paternal grandmother would welcome her home during her childhood in Hong Kong. Food was the language of love, with birthdays and special events always celebrated with family meals, from nine-course banquet-style restaurant feasts to simple home-cooked dinners. After leaving Hong Kong and adopting a vegan lifestyle for health and sustainability reasons, Christine yearned to recreate the flavors and textures of her family’s food at home without animal by-products.

The Vibrant Hong Kong Table celebrates many of Hong Kong’s most iconic dishes with a vegan twist. Organized by a day of eating through the city and paying homage to its culinary heritage, these fresh, bright, vegetable-based recipes include:

  • Breakfast and Dim Sum 點心: Sampan Congee, Lotus Leaf Rice, “Egg” Tarts
  • Cha Chaan Teng 茶餐廳 and Lunchbox Favorites: Baked Tempeh Chop Rice, Black-Pink Pepper Cabbage Steak, Jackfruit Brisket Noodles
  • Family-Style Dinners, from Festival Foods to Dai Pai Dongs 大牌檔: “Fish Fragrant” Eggplant, Sweet & Sour Cauliflower, Snow Skin Mooncakes
  • Siu Yeh 宵夜 (Late-Night Snacks) and Sweets: Curry “Fishballs,” Three Treasures, Hong Kong Sweet Buns

"Hong Kong Highlights," included throughout, showcase cultural customs such as balancing yin and yang and sharing food family-style. And Mama Wong’s tips for using ingredients like lotus root, taro, and salted oranges, offer an immersive experience of Hong Kong’s culinary and societal traditions. With beautiful imagery, intimate storytelling, and easy-to-follow instructions, The Vibrant Hong Kong Table is a treasury of fresh and inspiring vegan meals straight from the heart of this magnificent city to your home.

A visual and sumptuous ode to Hong Kong that reimagines 88 classic and iconic dishes as colorful and beautiful plant-based meals.

A common Chinese greeting is 食咗飯未呀? “Have you eaten (rice) yet?” which...

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ISBN 9781797219912
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Average rating from 33 members

Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed reading the book! The recipes sounded amazing and I would love to try making these dishes. The photos made my mouth water as I was paging through the book. I always like to read the history of the family and why the authors came to write a cookbook.

Growing up I ate a lot of these dishes and it is great to see these recipes in vegetarian/vegan form. I am especially I treated to see how the wontons would turn out. I would definitely purchase this book.

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This cookbook is a true cultural experience. The author's descriptions and notes make this feels like a close friend or relative is sharing knowledge passed down from generations of home chefs. The information about how certain dishes or food practices became a part of Hong Kong's fair is great! There is history here. There is political commentary. There is delicious food. We will be bringing this into our store.

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So many recipes that I cannot wait to try. I love HK food and this cookbook has a lot of recipes of my favorite dishes. All the recipes are easy to follow.

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Great recipes 👌
I cannot wait to get started creating skme of these recipes. Some ingredients might be a bit difficult to find but I am confident the finished product will be great.

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Vibrant it is! Vegan cooking is something I’ve always wanted to do and learn with ease. Especially Asian vegan cooking. The recipes look rather intimidating but once I read through, I realized I can do this! So I’m super excited to try these out.

The book is so vibrant! In color of the pages, in pictures. Great book to keep in the kitchen.

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This is a lovely cookbook, it just didn't make me want to run out and get the ingredients to prepare any of the dishes. That said, if you're looking for more plant-based recipes to add to your rotation, this could be a great option. Thanks so much to Net Galley and the publisher.

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This is a decently presented cookbook that doesn't pander to a Western audience - the dishes look and taste authentic. Some ingredients can be difficult to find and some recipes can be confusing (e.g., an ingredient "Chinese vegetable mixture" for a stir fry may leave heads scratching). Instructions are kind of chunky and blocky but there is really nice variety here along with cultural insights into the food as well. Those choosing vegan for health probably won't find much here - it has the usual sugars, salt, coconut oil, deep frying, etc.

The book breaks down as follows: introduction, pantry staples, food preparation/cooking techniques/ kitchen tools, staple recipes/ breakfast and dim sum, cha chaan teng and lunchbox favorites, family style dinners from festival foods to dai pai dongs, snacks/sweets/siu yeh, sample meals, stockists. Recipes include soy milk, grandma's curry paste, iced lemon tea, lotus leaf rice, yeung chow fried rice, mango pudding, longevity buns, five nuts mooncakes, curry puffs, Hong Kong sweet buns, mango pomelo 'sago', typhoon shelter celeriac, lunar new year dumplings, year cake, and many more.

Most recipes come with photographs. The photographs are serviceable but not of a more professional quality. The formatting/design of the cookbook is ok - recipes are kind of clunky, roll over onto a second page too often, and the fonts are all nearly the same size, making the introduction take up far too much room (you read an introduction once or twice but the ingredients/directions several times, so it doesn't make sense to have the intro take up over 1/4-1/2 of the page).

Each recipe comes with an English name, the Chinese name, Chinese characters, large introduction, serving size, ingredients separated by final product type (e.g., for 'egg' tarts, there are separate ingredient lists for the oil dough, the 'egg' custard, and the water dough). The directions are one huge chunky paragraph (or 2-3 paragraphs for different parts (e.g., the 'egg' tarts has chunky paragraphs for making the oil dough, making the water dough, assembling, and then the 'egg' custard). There are occasionally tips but no nutrition information, substitution suggestions, allergy concerns, etc.

I found several ingredients particularly hard to get and many recipes referred back to other recipes in order to complete. The author gives recipes in the beginning that are staples to have ready so in that way, it might be best to have Chinese all week in order to save time having to do up separate recipe ingredients all the time and instead have staples premade and ready to go.

In all, I greatly appreciated the authenticity of these foods. The taste was spot on when I could find the ingredients and spent the time needed to make these. The directions were clunky and I can't say I loved the photography (but was glad to at least have pictures of the dishes otherwise I'd have no clue what I was making or how it should have looked finished). There are also good tips on buying and storing some of the more uncommon ingredients such as lotus root. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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Seriously gorgeous cookbook that makes me wish my local Asian grocery was better stocked so I could try these all out.

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This is a fantastic cookbook! First of all, aesthetically, the book is absolutely gorgeous. The photography both of the scenery and the food is stunning. The use of colors and textures and light really makes this interesting to look at. I also loved that at the beginning of the book there is a section explaining the staple ingredients needed to cook the recipes in this book. As this is geared toward an international audience, not everyone has everything available everywhere, so this gives someone the ability to special order ingredients that would be considered specialized where they live. The recipes all sound delicious and are explained a way that is easy to follow even for someone who is unfamiliar with this cooking style. I thoroughly intend to test out some of these recipes very soon. Seriously, one of the better cookbooks that I have reviewed here on Netgalley so far.,

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We love a vegetarian cookbook, and please give me more like this one. Great primer to vegetarianism in Asia and a love book full of recipes I desperately want to try. Some of the ingredients might be harder to find in the Midwest where I live by I am going to try my best.

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I love it when you can feel the love through the pages of a book, and this is exactly what Christine Wong does while walking you through her grandmother’s cuisine.
I can't wait to try making one of these with my hands, even if they won't look as good as in here.

Thanks to Chronicle Books and NetGalley, who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

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We love eating food from Asian countries, but it isn't always accessible with a husband who is vegan. The Vibrant Hong Kong Table cookbook gives him the opportunity to eat yummy plant-based Chinese food without sacrificing any taste. The recipes are straightforward, with ingredients that can be mostly purchased at any grocery story (with others available at local Asian markets or online). The pictures are scrumptious. And the introductions provides great information about Hong Kong, including vegetarianism in ancient China. I highly recommend this cookbook to anyone who wishes to add more plant-based recipes into their diet.

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This cookbook is a wonderful summary of Chinese traditions and food. The dishes cover everyday and celebratory foods. The author provides descriptions of sources and sample menus. The one thing is that since it’s vegetarian and in many places vegan, some contortions had to be made in order for the recipes to work. Also a lot of the ingredients seem difficult to find. The book also is beautifully illustrated.

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This might be my new favorite cookbook. The recipes are delicious and easy to follow. I think this cookbook is great for someone who feels pretty confident in the kitchen as some recipes were a bit challenging. My favorite recipe was the Singapore noodles.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me review this book. There were some great recipes in here and several I can’t wait to try! The photos were nice as well.

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This is a really great cookbook! I am not vegan, but I think this book was a really great look at how to make a lot of classic Chinese recipes in a vegan way, and I could see this being really helpful if I’m trying to accommodate any friend or family member’s dietary needs when I’m cooking because I so often use animal products in my own cooking of Chinese food. It’s really nice to see that plant-based Chinese food can be made in a way that is still delicious. The pictures and descriptions in this book were very well done, and I really appreciated the author’s insertion of her own anecdotes as well.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the e-ARC of the book!

Despite the fact that half my family is from Hong Kong, I (very sadly) barely know how to make any Chinese/Cantonese-style dishes. It's something I'm hoping to change, so this book was right up my alley!

The author described this book as her "love letter to the city's culinary heritage" while also adapting recipes for a more plant-based approach. I'm learning more about lifestyle medicine at the moment, and there are many, many studies out there detailing how many health benefits there are to adopting a plant-based diet. While I can't bring myself to completely cut out meat altogether, I do try to limit my intake of it when I can, so the fact that this book exists makes me even happier!

The first set of recipes covers breakfast and dim sum. I don't eat pork/seafood other than fish, so I've never been able to eat a whole lot of the dim sum options out there. The fact that this has recipes to make alternatives + also lots of old favorites (e.g. mushroom cha siu buns, crystal dumplings, mango pudding, lava custard buns, sampan congee) makes me extra happy!

The next chapter covers foods/drinks you'll often see in "Cha Chaan Tengs" ("tea reasturants") which are known for their affordability, vast menus, and east/west fusion dishes. Some recipes include HK milk tea, borscht, red bean soup, Singapore noodles, and tomato "egg" rice.

The next set of recipes covers dishes you'd often see in family-style dinners, street food, and food you'd see in different festivals. Lunar New Year is coming up soon, and it even includes a page on a bunch of foods that are considered to be lucky (+ their symbolism/meaning). Some of the recipes in this chapter include Lunar New Year dumplings, Dragon Boat Festival "rice parcels," Yin Yang fried rice, Buddha's Delight, and wintermelon soup.

The last chapter includes snacks, sweets, and "siu yeh" (aka late night/early morning meal, which I am especially well acquainted with since I'm a night owl)! Curry "Fishballs," stinky tofu, curry puffs, pineapple buns, wife cakes, mango pomelo "sago"...there's something for everyone here! :]

Each of the recipes contains a short intro, the ingredient list, serving size, and instructions, as well as the Chinese name/characters. There are 88 different recipes total in here. I love the variety + so many of them are foods I've grown up eating + always try to seek out whenever I'm visiting in Hong Kong. Definitely going to be getting a physical copy of this!

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As a vegetarian, I am always on the hunt for cookbooks that allow me to cook in different cultures while still being vegetarian. This is one of those cookbooks.

The photos in this cookbook were mouthwatering. I appreciated the descriptions of ingredients while also providing some alternatives to specific ingredients as well. From breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and desserts, this cookbook has it all. There is such a wide variety of items to try, I think this is an accessible cookbook for even those who aren't vegan. I am itching to give some of these recipes a try!

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This book is beautiful and something I have been trying to find! Recipes are not 30-minute simple, but they are clear and have plenty of background explanation. Can't wait for this one to be published.

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This book offers readers an immersive cultural experience that celebrates the delicious cuisine and rich diversity of Hong Kong. Time-honored, traditional recipes have been adapted using vegan, environmentally-conscious ingredients and are presented with beautifully styled food and vivid photography.

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I love the recipes and photos! As someone who grew up eating Chinese food, it was very nostalgic to see the recipes on here but with a vegetable-based twist. I also love that there are the Chinese names/words for the ingredients if I want to look at them in the supermarket. I can't wait to try the recipes.

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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Vibrant Hong Kong Table.

I was more than pleasantly surprised when I saw this cookbook focused on recreating vegan versions of popular and delicious Hong Kong dishes.

If there's one thing Chinese food isn't known for, it's vegan!

I grew up eating most of the incredible and delicious foods in the cookbook and each photo and recipe brought back warm and mouth watering memories from my childhood.

The cookbook is organized by a day of eating through the city and the author pays homage to her culinary heritage, including family stories and anecdotes, old timey photos and personal photos, which I loved.

Her distinctive writing style and warm tone permeated throughout the cookbook, conjuring a friendly and cozy vibe, like a friend explaining how a particular dish is made right in her kitchen.

I know I can't give up meat and I'm not sure I'd try the vegan versions of my favorite foods like 'egg' tarts, but I do try to limit my intake of meat.

I love knowing there are vegan versions of my favorite dishes and the recipes will inspire me to eat better, if I get around to making them.

Some recipe are labor extensive but overall, the instructions seem easy to follow.

The photos are clear and straightforward, not fancy, though I was expecting more.

The point is, you can see what the dishes are supposed to look like and they do look delicious.

There are so many dishes and recipes to choose from so there's no shortage of finding a favorite and/or discovering new favorites.

This is a fantastic cookbook, and would be a welcome addition in anyone's personal collection, if you're a chef or not.

If you love to eat (and I do), this book is for you (and me!)

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An exciting combination of Chinese vegetarian recipes. This book includes some complex and delectable recipes, as well as some of the most basic recipes needed for Chinese vegetarian cooking, including homemade tofu and a varieties of sauces.

In addition to the recipes, there are some great extras included. I loved the addition of the pantry staples and various cooking techniques (including the materials needed for each). And the dining etiquette section was especially interesting

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Beautiful, colorful cookbook I’ve ever seen! I cannot wait to try out the recipes. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy.

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Vibrant Hong Kong Table focuses on plant based Hong Kong recipes. The book discusses why plant based diets are beneficial alongside the recipes, so if you are interested in the impacts this would be a good staple cookbook.

The cookbook consists of pantry staples, breakfast and dim sum, cha chan teng and lunchbox favorites, family style dinners, & snacks, sweets and siu yeh. The pantry staples and meat alternatives were very in depth on the flavor components. The photos of the recipes look amazing. The recipes are very easy to follow although some of the recipes are covered on two pages. When making the recipes some ingredients would be harder to come across. I thoroughly enjoyed the Vibrant Hong Kong Table recipes.

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So many fun recipes and a beautiful layout. I made a few recipes from each section over the course of a few weeks and nothing was disappointing. Some ingredients were a little harder to source, but thanks to the internet it wasn't impossible.

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I really enjoyed the writing style of Christine Wong. After trying several recipes I look forward to trying even more. Easy to follow directions.

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This is my first cookbook review, so if it reads like a romance review, oops 🤣

The Vibrant Hong Kong table has a gorgeous cover and is beautifully crafted. The recipes are easy to understand and follow (which is important to me as an amateur cook) and they also offer a bit of history and cultural significance. I was drawn to this cookbook for the vibrant (they nailed that) cover, and the recipe photographs inside offer more of the same. I’m very interested in plant based cooking, and I find that often, those cookbooks and recipes can be a bit…preachy? Judgmental? I don’t know how to articulate that thought really, but I didn’t have that issue with this one at all. I’m very excited to gather the ingredients to try new cuisine.

I received an advanced digital copy for review, this is my own opinion. Thanks to Netgalley and Chronicle Books for the advance copy!

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“Have you eaten (rice) yet?”

These are words I grew up hearing in my own upbringing, and I resonate with this so much. This cookbook so eloquently portrayed an immigrant family’s story acclimating to life in the US as well as in Hong Kong. What I find most in a completely plant based meal is the addition of artificially flavored or processed ingredients to mimic the flavor of meat, especially with Asian cuisine. This cookbook was not that. And while I am not a vegetarian (I love vegetables and tofu AND meat), I really appreciated how precise the author’s substitutions were in order to keep the integrity of each dish’s flavor. The egg substitutions and the DIY mushroom powder in particular were phenomenal!

I loved reading about the history of vegetarianism in Ancient China, the yin and yang of different foods and how they’re prepared, and found many similarities to my own culture as well. The cultural crossover between foods in various countries has always been a fascination of mine. Hong Kong has been on my list for a while now, and after reading this cookbook (even being completely plant based) it has jumped up to the top. The Vibrant Hong Kong Table has made its way onto my favorite cookbooks shelf, pleasantly reminding me of another favorite of mine, Mooncakes & Milk Bread by Kristina Cho.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I absolutely LOVED Christine Wong’s The Vibrant Hong Kong Table! This book took me back to when I was introduced to Chinese cooking by my Chinese friend Jennifer and she made sure I understood the combination of hot and cold ingredients as well as her own experience cooking.. The explanations and stories that Christine used to describe her family history and dynamics were spun well before the recipes started. The vegetarian recipes are wonderfully explained first, followed by easily explained ingredients and the pictures in the recipes were outstanding! I couldn’t stop going thru the entire book and was an in awe how she simplifies things so you’re not afraid to experiment with recipes. There are lists for home staples, kitchenware and even lists (at the end) of the significance of meals and occasions to serve them. Even though this was an ARC; it’s a book you want to add to your Cookbook Library.

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I love when cookbook has beautiful mouth watering pictures.
Cookbooks and cooking is my passion . I always trying new recipes.
Love how easy the recipes are, easy to follow and delish ingredients. Cant wait to strat my weekly cooking's

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From the cover design to the content, this is a beautiful cookbook. It fully embodies “vibrant Hong Kong”. The love that the author has for Hong Kong and its food is unmistakable through her writing, the photographs, and the recipes. She’s also clearly passionate about sustainability and plant-based cooking.

Every single recipe in here sounds like something I’d love to eat (and cook!) and I love that there’s a photograph for every recipe. The ingredients may be adapted for a vegetarian diet, but they still prioritize authenticity - personally I consider that a strength, but some may be disappointed that not all the ingredients can be easily found at a typical American grocery store. I was surprised (though not unpleasantly so) at the number of recipes for sweets; in this case, “plant-based” is not code for “healthy food only”.

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