The Buddhist Chef

I am so pleased to have the opportunity to review chef Jean-Philippe Cyr’s cookbook, The Buddhist Chef. When Penguin Random House Canada offered me a review copy of The Buddhist Chef, I was quick to accept the offer. I am always looking to incorporate more plant-based ideas into our diet.

Although my husband and I don’t follow a strictly vegan diet, we eat a lot of vegetable-focussed meals. This cookbook offers so much in the way of vegetarian meal inspiration. As the title suggests, you will find 100 simple, feel-good vegan recipes in the cookbook. The book is full of beautiful mouth-watering dishes like eggplant parmigiana, portobello bourguignon, lentil shepherd’s pie, spicy peanut tofu and so many more.

We absolutely loved the first recipe I made from the cookbook, General Tso’s Tofu. The sauce is absolutely divine and not at all complicated to make. You probably have all of the ingredients you need to make this recipe in your fridge right now. I will definitely be making it again.

The next recipe, portobello bourguignon, is just as fantastic as the last. It’s hearty, comforting and incredibly delicious. It was super easy to make, but it had a depth of flavor that would have you believing that the the sauce had been simmering on the stovetop for hours.

This is not a cookbook that will stay on the shelf for long periods of time. I can see myself going back to it for dinner inspiration very often. I’m looking forward to making the vegan shepherd’s pie next.

Stay tuned for more vegan recipes from the Buddhist Chef’s cookbook. I will update this post and add more recipes and photos as I cook my way through the cookbook. Check my Instagram account for updates. Thanks again to Jean-Philippe and Appetite by Random House for allowing me to reprint some of the recipes for you. You’ll find both recipes below.


Excerpted from The Buddhist Chef by Jean-Philippe Cyr. Copyright © 2019 Jean-Philippe Cyr. Photography by Samuel Joubert. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

General Tso’s Tofu
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins

General Tso's Chicken minus the chicken

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: General Tso’s Tofu, Tofu, Tofu Stir Fry
Servings: 4
  • 1 (450 g) block extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 cup (32 g) cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable broth
  • 3 green onions, minced
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce or chili paste
  • Steamed rice, to serve
  • Sliced green onions, to garnish
  • Sesame seeds, to garnish
  1. In a bowl, shake the tofu with the cornstarch to coat.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add half of the tofu cubes and fry, turning from time to time, until they’re golden brown and crisp. Transfer the tofu cubes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Repeat the steps to fry the remaining tofu cubes, adding more oil as needed. Drain and set aside.

  3. In the same skillet, cook the garlic and ginger together for 1 minute. Add more oil, if needed.

  4. Add the vegetable broth, green onions, maple syrup, soy sauce, ketchup, and sriracha sauce, and stir to combine. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken, then stir the fried tofu into the sauce to reheat it.

  5. Serve over steamed rice and garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Portobello Bourguignon
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins

A delicious simple vegan mushroom bourguignon recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: mushroom bourguignon, portobello bourguignon, vegan mushroom bourguignon
Servings: 2
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) red wine
  • 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Fresh parsley leaves, to garnish
  • Pasta or rice, to serve (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a large ovenproof pot, combine the mushrooms, carrots, onions, oil, cumin, salt, allspice, and black pepper.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes.

  4. Transfer to the stove, then stir in the red wine. Simmer for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.

  5. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

  6. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch with the water.

  7. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pot, stirring constantly. Bring back to a boil, then remove from the heat as soon as the sauce has thickened (about 1 minute). Remove the bay leaves.

  8. Garnish with parsley and enjoy on its own or with pasta or rice.