Assessment: “Hawai’i, a vegan paradise” is a “vegan e book about Hawaiian meals”.

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There are many ways to approach vegan cuisine, according to Lillian Cumic, and that means there are all kinds of vegan cookbooks out there.

The vegan diet, which eschews all animal products, has distinct health benefits, and many followers adopt it for precisely this reason.

Cumic’s cookbook is not aimed at this group.

“I never made a recipe that was meant for a vegan. I think of the non-vegan, a person who doesn’t eat a plant-based diet and wants something that tastes good, ”said Cumic, a vegan chef for more than 20 years.

Cumic’s “Hawai’i, Vegan Paradise,” due for release later this month, is a collection of 120 doable recipes that she calls “a vegan book on Hawaiian food.” That tie to local food, she said, provides accessibility.

“The book works for this reason. There is a way to simplify these recipes. “

Cumic understands local flavors, has lived and cooked in Japan for more than two decades, and grew up in Australia to taste her Fijian mother’s Polynesian cuisine.

It offers common non-meat dishes such as chilli and garlic edamame, potato and mac salad, vegetable tempura and mainia. But there are also vegan versions for tacos (filled with seasoned bean purees), noodles (soba and saimin with fettuccine and pancit), pizza, no-bake cheesecake and even Loco Moco. A bonus: a section on cocktails.

“I focus a lot on umami flavors. That’s the difference between a beautiful and a fantastic dish. I think that’s missing in a lot of vegan dishes, ”she said.

Up to this point, “basic” recipes that keep the dishes interesting to all palates are one of the most useful aspects of the book.

There’s their ultimate cheese sauce, a satisfying cashew-based mix that can be flavored and poured over nachos, turned into soup or thickened and topped with add-ons to transform into a variety of spreadable and sliced ​​vegan cheeses.

There are easy recipes for vegan butter, konbu dashi, powdered vegetable broth, balsamic syrup, chocolate sauce, and even furikake.

Each of these are used repeatedly in Cumic’s dishes, with the added benefit of a healthy option for commercial versions that are often filled with sodium and chemicals. However, these only offer flexibility. Chefs looking for sheer convenience can eavesdrop on products on store shelves, Cumic said.

A glossary and a list of substitutions are particularly useful. A vegan pantry list has only two items that will take some effort to access: Kala Namak, a sulfur-rich salt that mimics the taste of eggs (found at India Market in Moiiliili); and Kappa Carageenan, an algae-based thickener to solidify the cheese sauce (order online).


Adapted from “Hawai’i, A Vegan Paradise” by Lillian Cumic (Mutual Publishing, $ 25.95)

  • 2 pounds of sweet potato, cut into long rectangular sticks
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce for garnish (recipe follows)
  • >> Hurricane Spice:
  • 2 sheets of nori, torn into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons of white roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of black roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kombu dashi powder (recipe follows)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

>> Close Hurricane Spice: Pulse ingredients in a food processor or coffee grinder and flash until nori is broken open and sesame seeds are partially ground. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, mix the sweet potato with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Place in a bowl, drizzle with teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with hurricane spices if you like. For 3 to 4 people.

Variation: Replace sweet potatoes with Russets or Kabocha.

Approximate Nutritional Information Per Serving (based on 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce): 350 calories, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 800 mg sodium, 54 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 7 g protein .


  • 4 (6 by 4 inch) pieces of kombu, broken into very small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

Grind the ingredients to a powder consistency in a coffee or spice grinder for 8 to 10 minutes. Store in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Makes 1/2 cup.

Approximate nutrition information per teaspoon: 5 calories, 250 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, no fat, cholesterol, sugar or protein.


  • 1/2 cup dead
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 cup shoyu
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Whisk the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat to thicken a little, approx. 4 to 5 minutes. Makes about 1-1 / 2 cups.

Approximate nutritional information per tablespoon serving: 30 calories, 300 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 3 g sugar, 1 g protein, no fat, cholesterol or fiber.

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