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?

 

 

Blog

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 !

 

 

Blog, Summer Food

Greenery Day Raw Tart & Mousse

Greenery Day (midori no hi ) is upon us again in Japan. The 4th of May is part of the long golden week holiday and greenery day is a day when people like to celebrate and take time to appreciate nature. They might visit their local park or flower garden. There are many beautiful flowers out at this time and people in japan flock to see the amazing wisteria,elegant iris or brightly coloured azaleas. In fact the old name for May is Satsuki meaning Azalea.

I decided to make the tarts using tofu,avocado and matcha . If you do not want to make the base you can just eat as a mousse or add the base to the bottom of a glass instead.

To make your base process one cup of raw nuts,I used a mix of almonds,walnuts and pistachios. When your nuts are processed start adding one at a time while your food processor is still running some pitted medjool dates. You will need one cup. Then add two tablespoon of raw cacao powder and one tablespoon of melted coconut butter.Blend all this together. Turn out onto a a large pie tin or small tins . I like the ones with removable push up bottoms. Press in your mixture to form a base and place in the fridge.

Now to make your mousse topping.

Blend together two large avocado,two tablespoons of maple syrup,two tablespoons of melted coconut butter the juice of two limes,half a block of silken tofu and a heaped teaspoon of sifted matcha powder.

When this is blended remove your bases from the fridge and top with the topping. Or alternatively spoon into glasses.

Decorate with lime slices and coconut and pop in the freezer to firm up.

You can also keep them in the freezer for later and just remove them half an hour or so before serving.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Mini Tofu Quiche Tartlets

These little tofu quiche are great for picnics or lunch boxes just add salad.

First you will need some shortcrust pastry. As I was stuck for time I used ready made which was easy to use I just cut out individual rounds to fit inside silicon cupcake moulds .

Add to a food processor 1 block of silken tofu,1 tablespoon of lemon juice,1/4 teaspoon of turmeric,1 tablespoon of melted coconut butter,2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast,2 tablespoons of tamari and salt and pepper to taste. Blend together.

In a pan sautée your filling I chose to use finely diced red onion,tomato,broccoli,shiitake mushrooms and spinach.

When it’s sauteed lightly add this to your mixture. Then spoon into your cases,sprinkling the top with some herbs if you wish.

First bake for around 20mins then remove  and allow to cool until the pastry is firm enough to gently remove the silicon cupcake cases.

Then bake again for around another 15 mins to allow the pastry to brown slightly.

They turned out really delicious perfect warm or cold.

Blog, Summer Food

Bite Size Temari Sushi

These perfect bite size sushi balls are so fun and easy to make all you need is an ice tray, I managed to find one that made ball shape ice cubes so that was even better but they work just as well with a normal ice cube tray. You can use a variety of toppings for your sushi from fish if you are not vegan to different vegetables and pickles , just choose lots of colour.

First make your sushi rice either with a rice cooker or pan,then for ease I use the Clearspring sushi seasoning which you just sprinkle on top of your cooked rice and mix in. It is tradition to cool your rice as your mixing with a fan . Just let your rice cool down.

Now decide on your toppings and prepare them ready. Lay over some plastic wrap on your ice cube tray and push it into the cube sections. Then add to each bottom your toppings as when the ice cube tray is flipped over this is what will be on the top of your sushi balls.

I used things like avocado,pickled sushi ginger,cooked shiitake,radish and cucumber,carrot,water cress,sesame seeds broccoli and lotus root.

Add the rice pressing in to each hole

Flip the whole thing over and peel off your plastic wrap

Gently pull apart your sushi balls just arranging the bottoms slightly to neaten them.

Now you have delicious Temari sushi ready in no time !

Summer Food

Hiyashi Chuka ( Cold Ramen )

The weather started to warm up to day so I thought I would make a popular summer dish in japan Hiyashi Chuka ramen. A dish consisting of chilled ramen with various cold toppings and a tare sauce or sesame dressing. In the Kansai region it is known as Reimen. In Hokkaido Hiyashi Ramen. You can pile on to your ramen what ever toppings you like . Cucumber,lettuce,tomato,bell pepper etc. If you eat meat or fish you could add chicken, strips of egg or ham or shrimp. Mine is of course totally vegan.

First prepare your sesame dressing.

x3 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce

x2 tablespoon brown rice vinegar

x1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 a teaspoon of sugar

x1 teaspoon of ginger juice

1/2 teaspoon of chilli oil

1/2 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

whisk and chill well

( you could also make your dressing more citrus by adding a tablespoon of yuzu juice or more sesame by adding tahini.)

Cook your ramen and drain,rinse and then soak in ice water. Prepare your toppings. Then drain your ramen and plate . Finally pour over your chilled dressing.

I like to called this dish Rainbow ramen Bowl

 

Blog, Spring Food

Gomoku Gohan

Gomoku gohan is Japanese mixed rice ( five ingredients mixed with a dashi stock ). Go means five and gomoku means five items with out including the rice or any toppings or seasoning. It can also be called takikomi gohan which is rice cooked with vegetables,meat or fish. This is known as takikomi in the Kansai region but in Kyoto/Osaka it can be known as Kayaku gohan.

You can put what ever ingredients you like into your rice which can make for a good fridge clear out day. Some items could be as follows, daikon radish,carrot,tofu,aburaage,burdock,meat or fish if you wish. Mine of course is vegan and so is the dashi used.

First start by making your dashi by simmering a kombu kelp and dried shiitake in water for about 20 mins, then add a dash of soy sauce or tamari, this dashi will be used to cook your rice in and will add flavour. I used spring inspired vegetables like Takenoko which is a traditional spring vegetable in japan and is bamboo shoot. Avoid the tinned variety and if you can not buy fresh then see if you can get the vacuum sealed precooked type. As well as bamboo shoots I added to my rice sliced shiitake,edamame,broccoli and sweetcorn.

Add your rice to your rice cooker or pot and then the required amount of dashi liquid. As I was mainly using vegetables that didn’t require much cooking I steamed my vegetables on the top of my cooking rice. However you can just add vegetables to the top of your rice and let it cook then after mix the vegetables in. When my rice was ready I mixed in my vegetables.

I served my vegetable rice with spring peashoots and Hiyayakko which was topped with pickled ginger and had Ume shiso seasoning .

 

 

 

 

Blog, Spring Food

Pink Sakura Tea Latte

I think I miss Japan the most in Spring. Seeing all the gorgeous Sakura in full bloom on the media makes me wish I was there. At least I have been lucky to experience the season first hand. The Sakura is highly prized as the season only lasts but a week or so,proving that life is fleeting and ever changing. When we look at the cherry blossoms we realise that we must appreciate things and live mindful in the moment of each passing day.

The cherry blossom in Japan this year came over a week early and was the third earliest full bloom in Tokyo on record. As for my Sakura it’s still very much in tight bud it has been so cold in the UK this year. I’m still in Japan in spirit and I am loving making these Sakura tea pink lattes.

All you need is Japanese Sakura tea ( this might be a little difficult to find outside of Japan.)

Brew one Sakura teabag in half a cup of hot water. Heat up half a cup of non dairy milk then add one tablespoon of beetroot juice and froth your milk. As the beetroot is naturally sweet you don’t need to add sweetener. Then take out your teabag and add your milk topping with froth. I actually have some pink pitaya powder that looks pretty dusted on the top or you could add some pink tea powder which is made from 100% mangosteen.

Just waiting now for my Sakura to bloom and spring to finally arrive.

Blog, Spring Food

Teriyaki Shiitake Sushi Burgers

I decided to make these delicious sushi burgers I made them quite small so they were almost like sliders. The difference between these and my rice burgers is that you use seasoned sushi rice and do not cook the rice on top in a pan.

First make your sushi rice and season the rice ( I like to use the Clearspring brand sushi seasoning it makes things really easy.)

Then decide how big you want to make them and choose a small bowl and place clingfilm wrap inside. Then put some rice into the bowl and press down making burger buns.

Then make your teriyaki shiitake. Slice up some shiitake mushrooms and sauté in a little toasted sesame oil. Make your teriyaki sauce I used tamari,mirin and maple syrup. Add this to your mushrooms and reduce down.

After you have made all your tops and bottoms you can fill your sushi burgers. I first spread some vegan kewpie mayo on the bottom of the rice then added sliced cucumber then lettuce,red pickled cabbage,sliced avocado and a square of toasted nori, then I added the teriyaki shiitake mushrooms. Topping it with another burger rice bun a sprinkle of black sesame seeds and some dried kombu. I served these with soy sauce,pickled ginger and wasabi.

Perfect for a Hanami picnic or for entertaining guests.

Continue reading…

Blog, Spring Food

Onigirazu

An onigirazu is a combination of an onigiri and a sandwich basically a rice ball with filling wrapped in nori seaweed. They are great as you can add what ever filling you like and are perfect for the coming Hanami season so you can pack them in a bento for an out door picnic or just to take to work or college as a change from an ordinary sandwich.

This particular one is a variation on the Japanese  tonkatsu sando using a vegan textured soy protein cutlet.

First take your nori and add cooked rice and a pinch of salt then place on top shredded cabbage or lettuce, on top of this place your cooked cutlet .

I made a kewpie mayo mustard and a vegan tonkatsu style sauce ( just tomato ketchup and tamari. Spread this onto your cutlet and then add more rice. Fold over the edges and wrap in cling film. Leave to set for ten mins then cut with a sharp damp knife leaving the cling film off or on that’s up to you.

There you have a perfect tonkatsu onigirazu.