Joanne Lee Molinaro is a forty-something Chicago trial lawyer. During the pandemic, simply to blow off steam and relieve the stress of the shutdown, she began posting TikTok videos of her cooking vegan recipes, often backed by a soothing classical piano soundtrack played by her pianist husband. It was a hobby, nothing more, posted under the nickname her husband gave her, “The Korean Vegan.” But her TikTok videos went viral. She ultimately became so popular she quit law, wrote a bestselling cookbook, and turned The Korean Vegan into a full-time occupation.
Joanne featured her recipe for Vegan Egg and Tofu Katsu Sandwich in an early viral video that helped make her name, and this delicious rice dish is one of Joanne’s early ‘veganized’ Korean recipes.