Going vegetarian with advice from Chef Melanie Shurka of Kubeh

Fox 5 went to Kubeh in Greenwich Village to speak to Chef Melanie Shurka about delicious ways to go vegetarian. Making vegetarian dishes flavorful comes easily to this chef with Israeli and Persian roots.

Melanie is the soul and inspiration behind this neighborhood Middle Eastern restaurant serving up dishes we couldn't find in the city before Kubeh opened in 2017.

She has witnessed a shift away from meat. Many of her customers ask for more vegetarian and vegan menu options.

We begin with what Melanie calls a shirazi, or Persian salad. For her, it is all about quality ingredients. She uses Persian cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and radishes. Then a hand squeeze of a lemon and her special touch: parsley and dill.

Next up is grilled eggplant. First cubed, then salted to sweat out its water content, at least an hour after which the tray will be wet. Massage with olive oil, then fire up the oven and before we know it this appears: grilled eggplant with pomegranate seeds, tahini sauce, and parsley. It even provides enough protein on a sandwich.

Finally, Melanie shows us one of the favorite dishes at Kubeh: cauliflower. It is chopped, blanched, and then shocked. That means out on ice to prevent it from getting soggy. Coat it in a flour, salt, and pepper mix and then fry it. It comes out of the deep fryer in seconds. Then topped with lemon and herb.

If you're finding migrating away from meat difficult, Melanie suggests that you think of vegetarian dishes as food to discover new flavors and not as substitutes for meat.

Kubeh | 464 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10011 | 646-448-6688 | eatkubeh.com