Vegan or vegetarian equivalent of bo ssam?
December 28, 2017 8:52 AM   Subscribe

For years, Momofoku's bo ssam has been my go to for omnivore dinner parties, because it's super easy, fairly cheap, and given the effort and cost of ingredients, shockingly, absurdly, it-should-not-be-this delicious. Are there any special occasion vegetarian or vegan main dish recipes with a similar payoff?
posted by joyceanmachine to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 65 users marked this as a favorite
Ottolenghi's Cauliflower Cake is simply scrumptuous and makes a pretty center piece if you prepare it in the springform pan (I amp it up further with soy sauce and by cooking the cauliflower with Kombu to get some natural MSG). Vegetarian status: 7 eggs and a bunch of parmesan cheese.

Once you take eggs & cheese out of the picture, it gets harder for me to imagine foods that will just knock your socks off, but mushrooms can really do the trick, and serious eats is pretty good for those kinds of recipes:

I like this vegan Mapo Tofu recipe, and I've had great success with this Mushroom Ragù spread over fried polenta medallions (buy a precooked polenta roll, slice into 1/4" medallions, and fry on both sides on high heat in a very non-stick pan until nice and crispy. top with warm mushroom ragu).
posted by dis_integration at 9:04 AM on December 28, 2017

It's not exactly easy, but Kenji's vegetable Wellington is impressive and other-worldly delicious.
posted by General Malaise at 9:13 AM on December 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

This vegan Cuban picadillo is made with very common, simple ingredients but the resulting flavor profile is unexpectedly complex and delicious.

I'm not sure it counts as special occasion food--I guess that depends on how your special-occasion meter is calibrated--but the effort:deliciousness ratio fits what you're looking for.
posted by jesourie at 10:30 AM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tandoori cauliflower is unbelievably more than the sum of its parts, and would hit the same general feel notes if you roast a large one whole. I actually think it comes out better roast in wedges though, more surface area for marinade to clag onto.

I don't have a recipe to link but basically roast cauliflower whole, wedged or chunked with a bit of oil and salt on it in a super hot oven until it starts to brown, take it out, toss it thoroughly in marinade and then back into the hot oven until it chars. Barbecue would also work.

The marinade I use is blended greek yoghurt, garlic, onion, ginger, green chili, lemon juice, salt, garam masala plus extra paprika and turmeric for colour. Ingredients proportioned for it to be quite thick, vibrant coloured and just over the line of being too punchy to eat raw.

For vegans, ommit yoghurt, up the onion but blend it on its own first and then drain off its juice otherwise marinade may be too wet - add onion juice back as needed. Also up the turmeric as this helps with browning, chickpea (gram) flour could also be added to thicken the marinade.
posted by protorp at 11:30 AM on December 28, 2017 [2 favorites]

A cousin of mine was coming in to town, and my mom and I invited her over for lunch and then learned that she is both vegan and gluten free and doesn't eat any processed sugar!
We freaked out a little but eventually decided on make-your-own summer rolls, which made for a beautiful and dramatic presentation with all the ingredients laid out on a platter, and allowed everyone to choose what they'd like in theirs. We made two dipping sauces, one with and one without fish sauce, and everyone was very pleased.
posted by exceptinsects at 1:59 PM on December 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

I have had many joyful omnivore parties serving a vegetarian version of Harira, Morocco’s national chickpea, lemon, cinnamon soup.
posted by hungrytiger at 3:21 PM on December 28, 2017

Locro, a Peruvian squash and vegetable stew, is dead easy and always gets compliments.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:51 PM on December 28, 2017

Seconding the Tandoori Cauliflower. Here's a recipe at My New Roots. I've found that, while the whole head looks impressive, it tends to stay raw-ish in the middle, so I either cut it into wedges or break it up completely into florets.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 9:02 PM on December 28, 2017

« Older Roadtripfilter: Midwest/Southern edition   |   give me your best casserole recipes! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.