Spring Food

Blog, Spring Food


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.

Blog, Spring Food

White Day Tofu Yuzu Flavour Donuts

In Japan on Valentine’s Day is the day that girls buy the guys gifts on March 14th this is known as white day and the roles are reversed.

I decided to make these tofu yuzu flavour donuts dipped in white chocolate to celebrate white day in Japan.

Being made of tofu the donuts have more of a fudge texture but are really delicious and with only a food processor and a few simple ingredients they are really simple to make.

All you need is a block of silken tofu,add this to your food processor and then add two tablespoons of sweetener ( I used maple syrup but rice syrup works just as well ) three tablespoons of pure yuzu juice ( if you can’t get this you could use lemon juice instead. Give it a process . Then add one teaspoon of baking powder and half a teaspoon of baking soda and give it another process. Leave the food processor running and keep adding tablespoons of oat flour until you get a nice batter consistency about twelve to fourteen should do.

Wipe some coconut oil around your donut pan and spoon in the mixture this made 6 donuts.

Place in a moderate oven and bake for 15-20 mins after this time take them out and if you cannnot see a hole just go round the hole with a tooth pick then place back in the over for a further ten mins.

Remove and allow to completely cool (before removing, you may need to loosen the edges carefully with a spatula or flat knife.)

Place a bowl over a pan of simmering hot water and break up two bars of vegan white chocolate and melt in the bowl. Then dip your donuts into the melted chocolate . When they are all done I added a little chopped crystalized yuzu peel for decoration. Place in the freezer for 20 mins to set after which time you can take them out and keep in the fridge.

Delicious enjoyed with a matcha tea.

Happy white day !

Blog, Spring Food


Hinamatsuri is a festival in Japan celebrated on March 3rd.
Sometimes also known as girls day or dolls day. On this day parents celebrate their daughters happiness and good health.

It is tradition to display ceremonial dolls,sometimes past down from many generations. There are lots of special foods associated with this day. You will find three colours of significance often displayed in a layered mochi rice cake known as hishi mochi. I made a coconut ice in these three colours and also a tofu mousse dessert.

White is for purification, green for health and pink for luck.

Another sweet eaten is Sakura Mochi. Mochi rice cake with a sweet red bean paste filling and wrapped in a salted pickled Sakura leaf and topped with a salted Sakura flower. They are a nice combination of sweet and salty.

A drink called Umeshu or plum wine goes down well for Hinamatsuri. Have it chilled on its own or with soda or even a splash in green tea for a hot drink. Plum blossom is very significant at this time as it is the start of the Hanami or flower viewing festivals and marks the beginning of spring.

Temari sushi is one of the traditional meals you can have. These decorated sushi balls take their name from Temari balls which children used to play with. Temari means hand ball. They are beautiful embroidered balls that to day are mainly used for decoration.

Another food also associated with Hinamatsuri is chirashi sushi you can find a recipe for this in one of my other posts. Which is a simple scattered sushi dish.

For to day I also made Inari sushi for my final meal served with three colour coconut ice and a nice glass of Umeshu.

Happy Hinamatsuri 幸せなひな祭り

Spring Food

Chirashi Sushi

Chirashi sushi and Maze sushi are so quick and easy to make. Chirashi sushi is prepared sushi rice or “sumeshi” with toppings scattered on top. Maze is when you mix in your ingredients.

This particular Chirashi sushi was a citrus version made with blood orange but you could easily use Mikan or grapefruit or even yuzu.

Using some of the juice from the blood orange and mixing it with sugar, salt and brown rice vinegar I used this as my seasoning and mixed this into cooked rice. I topped my sumeshi with scattered lotus root and pieces of blood orange along with blanched shiitake and asparagus and a scatter of toasted sesame seeds.

Chirashi Sushi is one of the tradition dishes eaten for a Hinamatsuri also known as dolls day or girls day.

I am running a giveaway of Ingredients to help you make your own on Instagram so why not enter you have until the 3rd of March 2018 .

Instead of using all the ingredients I used you can just use cooked sushi rice and the sushi seasoning I’m giving away. This will make delicious sushi. Good luck!


Blog, Spring Food

Greenery day (Matcha Rice )

Greenery day in Japan is part of the Golden Week holidays also known as Arbor Day.

This day celebrates and appreciates nature.  Festivities include planting trees and seeds and as a lot of people are off work they go to visit parks and enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.

As this time is also the time for the first picking of green tea leaves I decided to make a green tea rice meal to celebrate Greenery Day.

Cooking up some rice in the rice cooker I added 1/2 a teaspoon of  sifted matcha to a cup,
Then added hot but not boiling water (about 1/4 cup),
I whisked the matcha well and then when the rice was cooked I poured in the matcha water and mixed it in,
I then left this on warm for a few min’s just to soak through or you can put your rice cooker back on cook until it clicks back over ( takes a few mins )

On top of the rice I scattered it with steamed bamboo shoots, another spring favourite in Japan is edamame and sliced lotus root, watercress and stem broccoli.

The taste of the matcha really brings out a lovely flavour in the rice .

Well worth trying .


Blog, Spring Food

Aburaage sushi rolls

How about using aburaage as an alternative to a sheet of nori when making sushi .

Use the large pieces of aburaage you get in the frozen section of the Asian super market.

Take one large aburaage pocket and cut down the un open sides and open out into one large square of aburaage,
Then use as you would nori buy spreading out seasoned sushi rice over the surface, Add your filling and roll with a sushi matt.

Slice with a sharp knife.


Blog, Spring Food


The bi-annual days of the vernal equinox are nearly upon us. In Japan it is a Buddhist festival known as higan. In the spring it is known as haru no higan . To celebrate I made Botamochi. This is a traditional confectionery made of sweet mochi rice pounded and shaped with a red bean centre . It is traditional to take these with flowers and incense to the graves of ancestors at this time. In the spring the sweets are called Botamochi named after the tree peony botan . In the fall the same sweets are called ohagi named after the clover bush hagi. I covered mine with different toppings matcha,kinako and black sesame . I also made a reverse one with the rice on the inside . Spring is nearly here . ぼたもち (牡丹餅) (おはぎ) 私は春分点のために作った ほぼ春です!

This is how to make your very own ( it takes a little time but is well worth the effort !)

1 cup of Japanese rice

1 cup of mochi rice

plastic wrap

tsubu-an ( bean paste )

toppings  matcha powder,kinako ground black sesame powder

first wash your rice together really well changing the water a few times

place in your rice cooker with water up to level 2 and cook until done

then pound your rice I use the end of a rolling pin until some it’s mashed but still has some grain don’t over pound or it will be to sticky mix it as your pounding in between with your rice paddle so it’s even.

take about 70g of rice if your having rice on the outside and make balls of these in plastic wrap . Flatten each one spreading it out. Measure out balls of bean paste 30g and place in the middle of each flattened out ball ( mould  the rice around the bean paste .

If you want to do a reverse 40g rice and 60g red bean paste .

when they are all done roll them in your chosen topping .

I like to then wrap each one in plastic wrap and freeze them and defrost over night ( great for a bento dessert ) .


Blog, Spring Food

Takenoko Gohan

Takenoko Gohan
Takenoko Gohan
Takenoko Gohan

Spring time in the countryside of Japan you can see bamboo shoots starting to grow .
This is Takenoko Gohan (bamboo rice ) (竹の子ご飯)
Takenoko means bamboo child and is a perfect Japanese spring dish. Have you seen Princess Kaguya? It’s a Studio Ghibli animated film about a child found in a bamboo shoot . They called her Takenoko

Unfortunately I cannot get fresh bamboo in the UK but I was able to get the boiled vacuum packed kind from the Japan centre in London. This is far better than the canned variety as they have lots of preservatives.

Slice some of your bamboo into thin slices if when you cut it you find little white gritty bits it’s totally fine it’s just rice bran that they cook the bamboo shoots with just rinse them off with water.

I had already had some kombu kelp stock in the fridge so after washing a Japanese measuring cup of rice I added two cups of kombu stock to my rice cooker with the rice. I then added a teaspoon of mirin and a teaspoon of tamari . I put the sliced bamboo shoots on top of the rice and cooked the rice and bamboo shoots together in the rice cooker.

As simple as that.


Blog, Spring Food

Spring green soup

Spring greens soup
An easy filling soup using spring green vegetables miso and soy milk

A selection of green vegetables equal amounts .
I used broccoli, courgette ( zucchini ) edamame
Komatsuna Japanese mustard spinach ( you could use cabbage napa cabbage bok choy ( pak choi ) or spinach as an alternative), asparagus tips and watercress .
And two small peeled potatoes chopped into quarters this helps to thicken your soup .
One tablespoon of white miso
Salt and pepper to taste
Soy milk

First steam your vegetables until tender and bright green and your potatoes are cooked ( I used frozen edamame so I dropped a handful into the water to cook a few mins under the steaming vegetables .)
When ready put your vegetables into a food processor add your miso and blend with a little of your hot water used for steaming .
When blended add equal parts soy milk and hot cooking water until you reach your desired consistency.
Add a little salt and pepper to taste maybe a swirl of soy cream and a few sprigs of water cress for decoration.
Wonderful as a side dish or as a healthy lunch with a warm piece of bread.

Blog, Spring Food

Matcha yuzu chocolate truffles

Matcha yuzu chocolate truffles
Matcha yuzu chocolate truffles
Matcha yuzu chocolate truffles
Matcha yuzu chocolate truffles

Japanese matcha yuzu chocolate truffles
Blend all together in a food processor the following
1/2 avocado
1 teaspoon of sifted matcha powder
1 tablespoon rice syrup
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tea spoon of vanilla powder or extract

Scoop out the mixture into some silicone chocolate moulds and put in the freezer and leave over night
Melt one vegan chocolate bar of your choice in a bowl over hot water add one teaspoon of Japanese fresh yuzu juice .
Take your truffles out the freezer
Pop your truffles out of the tray and coat each one in chocolate and put on parchment paper .
Top with chopped candied yuzu peel .
Put back in the freezer to set
When you want them take them out and allow to thaw for 10 mins before eating .
Keep in the fridge ( if they last that long )
This makes about 6-8 truffles depending on your avocado size .

Blog, Spring Food

Pink Iced Sakura Donut

Enjoying a pink iced Sakura donut and Sakura tea this Hanami weekend. 自家製 ピンクのさくらドーナツとさくらお茶. 幸せな花見季節 ?????

why not try and make these donuts for yourself

you will need:

two cups of oat flour

3/4 cup of almond flour ( ground almond meal )

2 teaspoon of Baking powder and 1 baking soda

mix these in one bowl

In another bowl

1/2 cup of apple purée ( I normally make my own ) peel core and chop two apples steam until tender and blend in a food processor) or you can use ready made in a jar .

1 tablespoon of coconut oil / melted coconut butter

1/2 cup soy milk

2 tablespoon of brown rice vinegar

1/2 cup of unrefined caster sugar

1 tablespoon of yuzu juice

For the frosting

icing sugar water and beetroot juice for colouring

sakura flowers for decoration

mix the wet ingredients in to the dry and mix in to a batter .

brush a donut pan with a little melted coconut oil and spoon in your batter I like to use a teaspoon .

bake in a moderate oven to light and fluffy risen and golden

you may find when you take them out you may need to use a tooth pick just to make the holes again .

leave to cool and turn out on to a rack

mix icing sugar  beetroot juice and add a little water at a time to make your icing . Cover your donuts with icing and a Sakura flower and maybe a little dusting of coconut .

I like to film my icing up in the freezer for half an hour . If your not eating them straight away I tend to keep mine in the freezer and defrost them one at a time .

enjoy !


Blog, Spring Food

Sakura Scones

Sakura Scones
Sakura Scones

Home made scones with Sakura flowers and strawberry jam sweetened with rice syrup and thickened with kuzu. Lovely with afternoon tea or to take on a Hanami picnic. 自家製スコーンとイチゴジャム 花見ピクニックのために素敵な ??????????

to make these you will need 

225g of all purpose gluten free flour sifted 

40g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

50g of melted coconut butter / oil 

mix in all ingredients in a bowl adding the oil last 

the consistency should be like a dough so you can roll it out if it’s two wet add more flour 

roll out your dough on parchment paper and have another baking sheet ready lined with parchment paper.

roll out to about 1 inch thickness and cut out small rounds with a cutter.

place your rounds on the parchment and press in a washed pressed Sakura flower ( see Sakura cookie recipe for how to ) and bake until risen and golden take out and leave to cool.

dust  with icing sugar cut in half and add strawberry jam 

want to make the jam ?

its so easy 

just a handful of chopped strawberries with a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of rice syrup and the juice of half a lemon . Add this to a pan and simmer until the strawberries are mostly liquid ( you may need to use a fork to mash them a little)  the natural juices will come out in the strawberries but if it gets to dry add a little more water.

make a kuzu slurry with 1 teaspoon of kuzu starch powder and 1/4 teaspoon of water and add this to your mixture . Turn up the heat slightly and stir well . Kuzu is a natural thickener used in Japan from the kuzu root and is gluten free . 

Put in an air tight sterilised jar ( I just use boiling water ) this will keep in the fridge for a few days and should be enough for all your scones .

this recipe makes about six scones 


Blog, Spring Food

Mochi Cheese On Toast

To night is no cheese on toast (mochi cheese) placed under the grill . I had this with left over vegetable tofu miso soup from yesterday, rice,pickles and salad with a miso dressing . Grapes and strawberry. Hope everyone has a great day/evening . 餅ビーガンチーズとトースト 野菜と豆腐と味噌汁 ごはん サラダと味噌ドレッシング 漬物 イチゴとブドウ

want to make mochi cheese ? 

Add one mochi rice cake ( dried mochi block ) to a shallow bowl and almost cover with soy milk  

microwave for 30 seconds ( take out and mash with a fork )

add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric 

put back in the microwave for another 30 seconds the mochi with rice and go gooey and sticky . Keep mashing with a fork .

then add a teaspoon of nutritional yeast and a teaspoon of white miso ( this will give you your cheese  flavour .

add a touch more milk if needed and microwave again for 15 sec 

now it’s ready for your toast then place under the grill to brown .

this can also be used for lots of things like pizza for instance