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Have You Eaten?

Written by

Verna Gao


07 September 2023

Who’s the author? Verna Gao is a London-based content creator and influencer, known as @vernahungrybanana to her half a million followers across Instagram and TikTok. She was born in Shanghai but moved to London in 2003, and turned to cooking as a way of staying connected to her Chinese heritage. After spending time travelling all over East Asia, collecting recipes and expanding her foodie horizons, Verna’s platform has become the UK’s go-to for Asian food inspiration.

What’s it about? In her first book, Verna Gao shares more than 70 of her all-time favourite Asian-inspired dishes. But more than just a compendium of recipes, Have You Eaten? is a personal journey exploring the people and places that inspired them, from memories of a childhood spent with mother and grandmother in the kitchen, to impromptu ‘real Chinese’ cooking lessons with university friends, to backpacking round the street-food hotspots of East Asia.

Whether you’re craving 10-minute creamy peanut noodles that bring simplicity and joy, soothing congee for comfort, or exquisitely plump dumplings – perfect for potluck parties – discover dishes to satisfy every mood and occasion. Some of these will be familiar favourites while others will be new and exciting dishes destined to become your future go-to recipes. Fresh and full of punchy flavours, Verna’s recipes are easy to make and delectable to eat, as well as being vegan-adaptable.

Recipes we love: Chinese Hot-Oil Noodles, Fish-Fragrant Aubergine, Black Pepper Tofu, Crispy Sea Bass, 15-Minute Express Laksa, and Match Burnt Basque Cheesecake.

Perfect for: Verna’s legions of followers on Instagram and TikTok, as well as anyone who is interested in trying authentic Chinese cooking.


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