Category

Blog

Blog, Summer Food

Kinako & Yuzu Oaty TrayBake With Blueberries

These blueberry tray bake slices are so delicious and using the nutty kinako and citrus yuzu gives them a wonderful flavour. So tasty warm or cold with vegan cream or ice cream. They make a great dessert or a quick snack. 

Line a square pan with parchment paper and set aside. In one bowl add 1 cup of oats ( I use gluten-free ) 1/4 cup of kinako soy bean flour,1/4 cup of almond flour,a pinch of salt,1/4 teaspoon of baking powder,1/3 cup of coconut palm sugar,1/3 cup of coconut butter ( melted ) mix together. In a separate bowl add a cup of fresh blueberries,1 tablespoon of maple syrup or (rice syrup),1 tablespoon of potato starch ( I use Japanese potato starch from Hokkaido but you can also use cornstarch) and one tablespoon of yuzu juice. Mix together . 

Tip the oat mixture into the pan and press firmly ( I often cover with plastic wrap and give it a good press down then top the oats with the blueberry mixture and make in a moderate oven for around 30 mins. Remove and let it completely cool before cutting. It may help to put it in the fridge to cook faster. 

Cut into bars and enjoy . 

I switched things up a bit and added some strawberries and sprinkled on some coconut.

Why not try some spiced peach or banana .?

Blog, Summer Food

Marine Day Vegan Crab Cakes

Marine Day ,Umi no Hi also known as Sea day or Ocean day. A Japanese national holiday which is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in July. I was lucky enough to visit Enoshima island for Marine day one year ( see travel posts Enoshima & Kamakura) . This day is to give thanks for the ocean . Many people flock to the beaches on this day. I thought it would be nice to make an ocean inspired meal and decided to make crab cakes . Now if you see my recipe for crab salad you will see I used jackfruit so I decided to do the same for the crab cakes .

Cook and shred your jackfruit like in the crab salad recipe.

Then mash 1/2 block of firm tofu in a bowl,add a splash of brown rice vinegar,a teaspoon of fresh chopped red chilli,1/2 teaspoon of onion granules,1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast,one chopped green onion,1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard,1 tablespoon of vegan mayonnaise,1 tablespoon of ao-nori,the juice of 1/4 lemon,salt and pepper to taste and a tablespoon of chopped pickled gherkin. Stir this altogether and then add to your prepared jackfruit. Now you have your mixture,create your cakes by putting an amount of mixture into some plastic wrap depending on how large you want your crab cakes. Press and form into balls and then flatten slightly. Do this until you have no mixture left. Then take a shallow dish and coat the bottom with panko breadcrumbs.

Press your cakes lightly into the crumbs. At this point you can either bake your crab cakes or add them to a slightly oiled skillet pan . Cook until warm and golden. Top with tartar sauce, chopped chives and a sprinkle of Japanese shichimi pepper.

Makes a great alternative to fish and chips .

Happy marine Day . We do not need to eat the living creatures of the ocean.

Blog

Tanabata Summer Somen

Chilled Somen noodles with a dipping sauce is one of the most enjoyed foods on the Japanese holiday of Tanabata,which is on the 7th day of the 7th month. Tanabata is the star festival reuniting of the lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi or the stars Vega and Altair. Separated by the Milky Way all but for one night each year.

The Somen noodles are supposed to signify the Milky Way. On this day people write wishes on coloured strips of paper known as tanzaku and hang them on bamboo. See my  other Tanabata post on the blog for more pictures.

Somen noodles are made from wheat flour,salt and water and are very fine and delicate . Mostly white but you can get ones in green tea,Ume plum and egg variety. I have even been lucky to have yuzu ones before also. The coloured ones are said to represent the threads from which Orihime weaved her cloth as she was a weaver.

These noodles are normally served chilled sometimes with ice to keep them super cold,served hot in winter they are called new men. Because they are so fine and delicate they are normally sold in dried bundles but only take a few minutes to cook. Plunge straight away in cold water to avoid over cooking. Serve with condiments like chopped green onion,sesame seeds,ginger and grated daikon.

Or why not make a refreshing Somen salad like the one in my previous Tanabata post with cut cucumber stars .

What will you be wishing for this Tanabata?

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

Kinako Latte

Kinako (黄粉) Japanese roasted soybean flour. You will probably know it from being dusted over wagashi like Mochi . Did you know it also makes a delicious and nutritious drink? Kinako is a Japanese superfood being packed full of protein,and rich in dietary fibre,calcium,potassium,vitamin B1 and A.

That sweet nutty flavour makes a comforting alternative to tea or coffee or have it cold with ice in the summer.

Just add two heaped teaspoons of sifted Kinako to a pan with a teaspoon of sweetener. I like to use coconut palm sugar. Add a cup of your favourite plant based milk. Soy or almond work well. Heat gently whisking well . If you have an electric frother use this to create a nice foam for the top that you can dust with more Kinako before serving. If you want this cold just chill for a few hours mix and add ice before serving. Why not add Kinako to your favourite smoothies it works well with banana. Or add to ice cream for a nutty flavour topping. Sprinkle onto cereal or granola. This stuff is not just for Japanese sweets .

Blog, Summer Food

Tofu & Yuzu Dessert Pots

These perfect little pots are just the thing when you want a delicious healthy dessert.

Made with a raw base first you will need to throw in a blender a handful of each of walnuts,almonds,pumpkin & sunflower seeds,cranberries,oats and optional flax meal and  hemp seeds,you can even put in some cacao powder to make it chocolate if you wish . Blend you base ingredients and spoon out into your desired pots,then press down firm to push all the base ingredients together making a little hollow in the middle. Add a few raspberries or what ever fruit you like into the hollow.

Now make your tofu mousse topping. I used 3/4 of a carton of organic ClearSpring silken tofu you can use what ever silken tofu you can buy. Add this to your blender with one tablespoons of melted coconut butter and two tablespoons of yuzu juice. If you can’t find yuzu juice you could use lemon juice. Blend this all together and spoon out on top of your base and fruit. I then put mine in the freezer for 20 mins to set. Take them out and add a heaped teaspoon of sweet beans. You don’t have to add the sweet beans but it really gives the dessert that japanese flavour. Add some chopped crystalized yuzu peel a raspberry and a little mint,then chill until you need them later.

 

 

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 ☔