How punk am I?


I’ve plugged Isa’s upcoming Vegan With a Vengeance cookbook here a few times before, but expect the plugging to be even more pronounced in the coming months.

Why? Well, Isa kindly asked yours truly to pen the foreword. And so I did.

While I always hoped that I’d have a book published by the time I was 30, I’m perfectly happy having a foreword in someone else’s super crazy awesome book a month after I turn 30.

More fun announcements to come. But now, go pre-order!

The Veg Blog Confessional


If I tell you something really embarassing will you promise to keep it to yourself?

You know that book How It All Vegan? I’ve known about that book since it came out in 2003, but I didn’t understand the wordplay in the title until last month.

Man, am I dense.

That’s what happens when you worry so much about pronouncing the word “vegan” properly: you become totally oblivious to clever wordplay possibilities.

Ricemellow Creme and other things I would never have eaten


Here’s a question for you veg*ns out there: since you ditched meat/dairy/eggs, have you tried any of the substitutes for things that you never ate when you were omni?

For instance, I always turned up my nose at tuna. Yet, I bought Tuno because it intrigued me. Actually, I’ve bought it a few times and even made tuna salad with it, which would have grossed out a 20-year-old version of me.

And when my wife and I were in New York and had lunch at Red Bamboo, we ordered their calamari. I’ve never had calamari in my life, but tried the vegan version and enjoyed it (so did the wife).

Most recently—yesterday to be exact—I bought some Ricemellow Creme and made a fluffernutter for lunch. I think I’ve had one fluffernutter in my life previous to this, but how could I pass up a product like vegan marshmallow fluff? I mean, just by the very fact it exists, I was forced to try it.

(By the way, Ricemellow Creme is so good. Don’t tell anyone, but I was dipping my fingers into it last night and eating it plain. And it’s not even that bad for you… 2 tablespoons contain 40 calories, no fat, no sodium, no nothing, except for a little sugar. It’s made out of only rice nectar, soy protein, natural gums, and natural flavor.)

Herbivore issue 8

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I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but Herbivore issue 8 is out now. As usual, it’s a visual delight and has some great features including one with SHAC 7 defendant Josh Harper and another with Erik Marcus. And for the requisite self-plug, I’ve got an interview with DC-based reggae band See-I.

You can order your issue online for a mere $4.50. But, really, you should have a subscription. Really, you should.

Khong Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce

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Nuoc Mam (or fish sauce) is a standard condiment/dressing in southeast Asian cuisine. Indeed, it’s the bane of vegetarians existence when ordering in a Vietnamese or Thai restaurant since many sauces often have fish sauce in it.

The thing is, fish sauce is actually a very concentrated liquid that goes into making nuoc mam (which is Vietnamese; the Thai call it “Nam pla”). If you’re interested in the actual process of making fish sauce (which is kind of gross, as you might expect), this page has some information.

In any event, when my mother-in-law visits and makes nuoc mam, she always makes a separate batch for me that leaves the fish sauce out of the mixture. “Khong nuoc mam” is how to say “no fish sauce” in Vietnamese, so I figured I’d call this modified version, Khong Nuoc Mam Fish Sauce.

The taste is very similar and can be used in all the same ways regular fish sauce is used. Dip spring rolls in it, add it to curries, etc.

It tastes best if you can let it sit for a day before using it, but it’s also fine using it right away.

Huyen wrote to tell me: “The Vietnamese dipping sauce is actually called Nuoc Mam Cham (fish dipping sauce) which has the nuoc mam (fish sauce) in it. I think people just shorten it but the real fish sauce is raw and unmixed and rather yucky by itself. Hehe, here’s a pronunciation.

Nuoc cham (Google search)

And since yours has soy sauce it would be called nuoc tuong cham (soy dipping sauce). Here are some different sauce recipes.

Hope that clarifies a little bit. I’m sure there are a million and one variations.”


  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 cup Coco Rico (a coconut soda that can be found in many Latin and Asian grocery stores; it’s OK if you’re using flat Coco Rico you’ve had sitting around)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Maggi sauce, or to taste (standard soy sauce, tamrai, or shoyu can also be used)
  • Pinch of dry hot pepper or 1 fresh hot red pepper, mashed
  • Dash of MSG or MSG substitute (optional)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Juice of half or 1 whole lime


Mix everything together.

That was easy, no?

Source:’s mother-in-law