Joanne Lee Molinaro, a.k.a. the Korean Vegan, prepares dishes from her new cookbook at her home in Chicago. (Lucy Hewett for The Washington Post)
CHICAGO — On a warm summer night, I biked to the lakefront home of Joanne Lee Molinaro — better known as the Korean Vegan.
I thought we would whip up a few recipes from her new “Korean Vegan Cookbook” while I got to know her for this profile. But when I arrived on time at 6 p.m. and took off my shoes, I realized all the cooking was already done. Molinaro’s dining room table was covered in linen, silver, and picture-perfect dishes of kimchi, ssamjang, a rolled vegan omelet, steamed rice, perilla leaves, and galbi (substituting mushrooms for the meat).