Autumn Food, Blog, Spring Food, Summer Food, Winter Food

Tofu Dengaku (In A Miso Umeboshi Glaze)

Dengaku, a miso glaze traditionally used on tofu,daikon or eggplant ( see Nasu Dengaku for a further recipe.) This one has lots of umami flavour as I used Umeboshi plum giving it that sweet,salty and sour taste. To make the glaze mash one tablespoon of Umeboshi plum with one tablespoon of white miso paste or any other miso you prefer like red or hatcho. Add one teaspoon of maple syrup or malted brown rice syrup,a teaspoon of mirin and a teaspoon of brown rice vinegar and mix together. Now you can use this to glaze your tofu. Cut your tofu into cube or steaks if you like and spread on the glaze. Bake in the oven until the tofu is golden. Top onto warm rice to make Tofu Dengaku Donburi. Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

You can use the glaze for eggplant either cut into rounds or lengthways and score a cross hatch pattern into the flesh. This is called kakushi-bocho,this will help the eggplant absorb the flavours while baking. Bake in the oven until tender,again adding some sesame seeds and green onion before serving.

Finally Daikon Dengaku this one is particularly nice in winter. Peel and cut your daikon into at least one inch rounds and simmer until tender in some kombu dashi,do not throw away the water after as it makes nice broth for miso soup. When tender you can serve your daikon as is with some of your miso paste on top .

or why not pan sear first to give your daikon a crispy outer coating. I also like to add a little dashi broth with a dash of tamari when serving my daikon in the bottom of the bowl. Makes for a comforting dish. In this particular paste I added a splash of yuzu citrus ,if you have any paste left over just add it to a jar with a little water put on the lid and give it a little shake for the perfect salad dressing.

Blog, Summer Food

Simple Broad Bean ( Fava Bean ) Soup With Tofu

This is such a simple soup, light and tasty perfect for summer when the fava beans are in season. I actually used a can of precooked beans for this recipe which made it even more super easy but you can used fresh cooked beans if you wish.

First drain a can of fava beans ( in the UK we call them broad beans), then add one cup of vegetable stock and simmer until heated. Add one heap teaspoon of sweet white miso paste and dissolve. Transfer to a blender and pulse, then add soy milk until you get your required soup consistently. Reheat your soup when required . Add cubes of silken tofu and a few sesame seeds to finish.

Lovely served with these Temari Sushi. You can follow the Temari Sushi on my other recipe and if you would like to make the sashimi just follow from the Tekka don recipe.

I also made black sesame goma dofu just follow the goma dofu recipe and instead of adding nut butter add black sesame paste or syrup. Goes lovely with a raspberry syrup just cook up a few raspberries with maple syrup mash while cooking then strain the juice.

A perfect summer meal .

 

Blog, Summer Food

Umeboshi Sweet & Sour Tofu

Do you like Umeboshi ? I must admit it’s an acquired taste tart,tangy and salty. I love them ! These Japanese ancient plums have been used in japan for centuries for their alkalising effect. They are wonderful for the digestion . You can use Umeboshi plums,paste and vinegar ( Ume -su ) in dressings and sauces. You may even see whole Umeboshi in japan tucked inside onigiri or just served on its own with a meal as a palette cleanser.

I decided to use Umeboshi vinegar to make a sweet and sour sauce for tofu. Just Ume-su,raw brown rice malt  syrup and tomato ketchup. I added this to a pan and added a little Kuzu to thicken. Always add cold water to Kuzu first to make a slurry before you add it to any other cooking liquids . I baked some tofu and coated the tofu after baking with the tangy sauce. Carrying on with the Umeboshi theme I made Umeboshi onigiri. Just slice up Umeboshi and add to cooked sushi rice before moulding into shape.

I also like to use the vinegar as a salad dressing this one was a daikon and beansprout salad with mizuna.

Have you thought about adding it in syrups just vinegar and maple syrup added to a fruit salad,makes a delicious alternative .

How do you like to eat your Umeboshi ?

 

Blog, Summer Food

Vegan Crab Sushi Salad

I have been seeing people use artichoke or hearts of palm for a fake crab meat but I have decided to use jackfruit. It makes a great filling for sushi rolls or like I have done here an open sushi salad.

First you need to drain a tin of jackfruit make sure you use the young green kind in water and not the one in syrup.

Emty in a pan of boiling water and simmer until the pieces push apart between your thumb and finger when pressed. This normally takes about 20 mins. Then drain your jackfruit. This part is a little time consuming but it’s very worth the effort. Take each piece of jackfruit and squeeze between your thumb and finger,discarding any seeds that may pop out. The jackfruit breaks up into shreds. Place in a bowl until you have done them all. That was the hard part. Now mix in two tablespoons of brown rice vinegar,the juice of half a lime,some salt and pepper to taste,some chopped coriander and finely diced red chilli. I like to also add a tablespoon of aonori. Aonori as it’s known in japan is green laver,a type of edible seaweed. Rich in minerals it is used dried in many dishes like Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki . If you would like to make these non vegan dishes I have made them vegan for you so just search for them and the recipe is there.

Mix everything together. And chill in the fridge.Place some crispy toasted nori in a bowl I actually like to use the sea crispies by Clearspring but any nori will do. Then spoon on top some cooled sushi rice with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds,and then add your fake crabmeat add on some chopped chives if you wish to garnish.

A healthy vegan dish without costing the life of a sea creature . What could be better than that.

Blog, Summer Food

Soba Noodle Salad With Dressing

When the weather starts to warm up salads are always a good choice. This is a cold soba noodle salad and is a great way of using up veg in the fridge.

First prep what vegetables you would like to use. I used sweet corn,radish,cucumber,edamame,green onion,red cabbage,mizuna,steamed broccoli and baby corn and grated daikon. For a topping I also diced some silken tofu and minced an Umeboshi.

Then make your dressing one tablespoon each of sweet white miso,mirin,brown rice vinegar,sesame oil and yuzu juice. Also some grated fresh ginger. Add this to a jar pop on the lid and give it a good shake. If it’s still to thick add a little water or more vinegar.

Finally cook your soba noodles . I like to use the fresh kind if you can get them that literally take minutes to cook. I used green tea soba noodles but normal soba noodles are just fine. Cook your noodles and as soon as they are al dente drain and wash in cold running water.

Place your noodles in a bowl and toss in a little sesame oil now add your prepared vegetables and mix them in. Top with your toppings,daikon,Umeboshi,sesame seeds maybe some shredded nori if you like. Drizzle around the outside your dressing and your done.

A pefect summer salad with a Japanese twist.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Sweet Potato,Ginger & Tofu Patties

These patties are so simple to make and with only a few ingredients.They are perfect as an accompaniment to any meal and are great for bento too!

Start by peeling one small sweet potato and chopping it into large chunks, steam the chunks until tender and then leave to cool.

Mash 1/2 a block of firm tofu and mix in a tablespoon of ginger juice. I get the juice by grating ginger very finely with a Japanese grater and squeezing out the juice. Be sure to use fresh ginger.

Add a little salt and pepper to your tofu and then add your sweet potato and mash this into the tofu try to leave some bigger chunks of tofu.

Then add 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs and mix in. Let this sit for a while so the panko breadcrumbs absorb moisture.

Scoop a few tablespoons of mixture into some plastic wrap and mould into patty shapes and remove from the wrap.

In a shallow bowl add toasted black and white sesame seeds and roll your patties into the seeds and make sure they are well coated.

Heat up some coconut butter in a skillet and shallow fry the patties until golden.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Mushroom Stroganoff

First sautée half a finely diced white onion in a little coconut butter then add your mushrooms I used a mix of oyster,maitake and chestnut. Then add one cup of vegetable stock,one tablespoon of Dijon mustard,a squeeze of lemon juice,a tablespoon of vegan Worcester sauce or tamari and salt and pepper. Simmer this down until the mushrooms and onion are tender. Then stir in 1/2 cup of soy cream .

This is such a quick dish to make but goes perfect with either rice or pasta.

Just add some chopped parsley to garnish and serve with maybe baby new potatoes or salad.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Soup For Tsuyu

As the rain is tipping down to day I decided to make a soup. The rain is making everything lush and green so I decided to use some green vegetables,zucchini and fennel with Japanese sweet potato and some spices. I think this soup could be comforting on a rainy summers day so I’m dedicating this soup to the Japanese tsuyu or ( rainy season ).

Every season and every month in japan has  something beautiful and is celebrated. I think that’s one the reasons I love japan so much. Even the rain is celebrated, it waters the growing rice fields and helps them to grow. Also during rainy season which starts around June the hydrangeas or Ajisai as they are known in Japan start to bloom. This is a plant that needs a lot water and again people flock to see the big blooms of hydrangea. Good places to see them are Kamakura,at the Hase temple with over 2500 of them. The Hakusan jinjya in Tokyo hold a Ajisai Matsuri ( festival) during the 6th-14th of June where you can admire 3000 Ajisai. Ueno Park in tokyo is another good place. In Kyoto at the mimurotoji temple you can view 10,000 Ajisai ( what a site that must be). There are lots more places this was just a few.

Another thing you may see is Teru teru bozu which is a white cloth doll that is hung outside of windows on a string ( looks a bit like a ghost )

These talismans are said to bring good weather and prevent rain that day.

If it’s raining why not get your umbrella and go out walking and come home to this rainy day soup after.

Dice x1 fennel bulb x1 zucchini and x1 peeled Japanese sweet potato

Place these in a pan with a little olive oil and sauté.

Add to this a chopped green or red chilli,a teaspoon of turmeric,a teaspoon of fennel seeds,a teaspoon of coriander and an inch of peeled grated fresh ginger.

Then add enough water to cover and simmer until all of the vegetables are soft. Add one tablespoon of sweet white miso paste and dissolve.

Either use a blender or a hand held blender and blend until creamy adding a little soy milk or almond milk if you wish.

Pour into a bowl and top with soy yogurt and  fennel seeds. I served mine with some gorgeous turmeric sour dough bread topped with beetroot hummus.

Happy Tsuyu ☔

 

 

Blog, Summer Food

Breakfast Tofu & Yuzu Mousse With Fruit Compote

A light and refreshing mousse which is wonderful for breakfast or as a dessert.

In a blender blend together two tablespoons of soy yogurt,two tablespoons of yuzu or lemon juice,100ml of soy milk,3/4 block of silken tofu,one ripe banana and one tablespoon of soft or melted coconut butter. Blend and pour into your chosen bowls or glasses and refrigerate. You can do this the night before so it’s ready in the morning .

To make the fruit compote I used a handful of raspberries and blueberries and one tablespoon of yuzu juice and one tablespoon of maple syrup. Heat gently until the fruit is cooked. Depending on if you want a warm or cold compote on your mousse either make the night before and refrigerate or make in the morning to spoon onto your mousse. I also topped mine with matcha granola. For the recipe just search matcha or matcha granola.

 

 

 

Blog

Wafu Pasta

Wafu means Japanese style,so basically any non Japanese meal that is made with Japanese ingredients and given a Japanese twist is Wafu. One of the most well know wafu pasta is Naporitan or Napolitan. In one of my other posts I have explained about this meal and I have given an alternative to using the traditional sausages. Normally the ingredients are tomato ketchup sausages,onion,mushrooms and green bell pepper .

Other well know pasta dishes are Mentaiko, a sauce made with mayonnaise or butter with added fish like cod or shrimp.

Another is Ume shiso, this is made with olive oil,salted pickled plums and shimeji mushrooms, topped with shiso . I used toasted sesame oil with pickled shiso and Umeboshi.

This one is miso pasta. Interesting to know that miso pasta ingredients include bacon,scallops and potato in a miso sauce. I used eringii for the scallops and coconut bacon with sautéed potato.

Blog, Summer Food

Raw Taco Meat Inspired By Japan

I was inspired by Rawsouk ロースークKumagaya,Saitama Japan to make this raw taco meat. It makes a great alternative to using soy mince but is just as versatile and so tasty. Here is the recipe and lots of ideas of how to use it.

You will need 1/2 cup of walnuts and 1/2 a cup of mixed sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds soaked over night.

Drain the nuts and seeds and add these to a food processor. Add to this 1/4 red onion finely diced,1 tablespoon of lemon juice,1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper,paprika and chilli powder,1 finely chopped eryngii mushroom or two or three normal mushrooms,1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast,a few slices of sindried tomato some salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of tamari. Process all of this in short bursts scraping the sides until you get a nice mince consistency ( do not over process you don’t want a mush ).

This is your raw taco meat base.

Now you can use this for numerous meals what you have made should be enough for three meals.

The first is a raw zucchini noodle with raw mince ( to the mince just add tomato purée or pasata if you want more of a bolognese sauce). You could also add this to normal spaghetti.

Use your mince for burritos or as an ingredient in burrito bowls.

Raw romaine burrito or veggie wraps.

Japanese taco rice ( see taco rice recipe for more info on this)

What I love is a semi raw chilli bowl. It’s semi raw because the black and kidney beans are cooked. Just add beans,chopped red and green bell peppers,chopped zucchini, some chopped chillis and sweetcorn.

Serve with rice or cauliflower rice to keep it more raw,quacamole and salad.

I also think this could be used for a raw lasagne and Soboro don. How will you use yours?

 

 

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Teishoku 定食 (Japanese set meal)

Teishoku 定食 means Japanese set meal. It is one of the most popular ways food is served at cafes in Japan. Typically including a main course,a bowl of rice,side dishes  (sozai) like vegetables,salad or pickles (tsukemono) and a bowl of soup. Often presented in lots of individual small bowls.

As you probabley know from my Instagram posts a lot of my food is presented in the teishoku style and people often ask me where I get all my bowls and plates from. One of them is kappabashi in tokyo ( see post on kappabashi). I also collect lots of pottery on my travels around japan.

If you are not lucky enough to be in japan or visit why not check out Neko box a link is at the side of my page or at the bottom depending on what your using to view the site. They have a wonderful selection of Japanese ceramics and home wares that are very reasonable and you can order them to be sent direct to you where ever you live.

So you to can recreate that Teishoku style meal at home.

Here is some inspiration for you but for more be sure to check out my Instagram pages.

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, Spring Food

Kashiwa Mochi

Happy Children’s day Japan🎏
To day May 5th in Japan is known as ( Kodomo no hi ) ( こどもの日)
It is part of the string of national holidays over the Golden Week period .
This day is in fact for the boys as girls day Hina Matsuri was in March . However a lot of people celebrate this day now as children’s day.
It is traditional to eat these mochi wagashi called Kashiwa mochi to day . They symbolise a child’s growth as an oak leaf is used to wrap the mochi ( not edible ). The reason an oak leaf is used is because oak trees do not shed their leaves until the new ones start to grow so thus are seen as a symbol of harmonious flow from one generation to the next. They are also a symbol of growth,strength and prosperity. These mochi are made from pounded sweet joshinko rice flour and filled with bean paste . Other mochi can be filled with white sweet bean and miso paste known as misoan. How would you know if a mochi is filled with bean paste or miso paste ? Well look at the leaves the mochi is wrapped in. If the veins are on the outside there is bean paste inside.

I was lucky enough to be sent some of the preserved oak leaves from japan so I set out to make Kashiwa Mochi . I’m really hoping next year I am in japan eating an authentic Japanese one and visiting the wisteria park and seeing the azalea.

To make 5 Kashiwa Mochi

( they do not keep well so only make what you plan to eat on the day or at the very latest the next day)

x5 preserved oak leaves ( not edible)

125g of Koshi-an ( smooth bean paste)

100g of Joshinko flour

x1 tablespoon of organic granulated sugar

130 mil of water

you will need a sharp knife,some paper towel, a microwaveable bowl,something to pound the Mochi like a rolling pin or pestle and plastic wrap and a spoon ( also have to hand a bowl of water and a damp cloth.

First rinse and pat dry with some paper towel your oak leaves and set aside.

Then make five balls of sweet bean paste and set aside

Add joshinko flour and sugar to a bowl and mix then add your water and mix. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 mins.

When done remove from the microwave and use a wet spoon to loosen the edges. Start to pound your Mochi with your pestle or rolling pin.

When it is smooth and elastic take out of the bowl and place on a damp surface, dampen your hands and knead the Mochi.

When nice and stretchy form into a log shape and cut into five pieces with a damp sharp knife. Cover with a damp cloth,while you make each mochi. Keep your hands and surfaces damp to avoid sticking.

Flatten each piece out into an egg shape then place a ball of sweet bean paste in the centre and fold over your Mochi to cover it and then pinch the ends together. Wrap with an oak leaf and you are done.

They are best eaten straight away they are so chewy and soft. If you need to store them wrap them in plastic wrap and put in an airtight container. I did have one the next day and although still nice they were no where near as nice as eating straight away.

I hope what ever you do you all have a wonderful Golden week in Japan and happy children’s day !