Category

Summer Food

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

Raw Chocolate & Yuzu Brownie Bombs

These raw brownie balls can be made with what ever nuts you may have in your cupboard and you can make them as small or as large as you wish. These ones I made extra large so they were more like a dessert than a snack and are perfect with ice cream.

First in a food processor add 3/4 cup of cashews,1/2 cup hazel nuts,1/2 cup pecan and a few walnuts. I didn’t add many walnuts as they can be a little bitter but you could maybe use almonds,pistachio or Brazil nuts. Then add 1 cup of gluten free oats and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt with 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder. Blitz together to form a flour. Then chop up some candied Yuzu peel I used about 1 heap tablespoon add this to your flour mix. I also added two tablespoons of Yuzu juice. Start your food processor and start to add large squishy medjool dates. I used 12. If they are hard they do not work so well and I didn’t want to soak these as it can make the mixture sticky. Keep dropping them in ( remember to take the stones out folks ) until the mixture starts to come together to form a dough.

Then take the mixture and form into balls.

Melt some vegan chocolate in a bowl over some hot water  ( I used a large raw vegan ombar) and add another 1/2 tablespoon of Yuzu juice,then roll around each brownie in the chocolate and place on some parchment paper on a baking sheet. When they are all done I topped them with a few pieces of chopped candied Yuzu peel. Place them in the freezer to set. They are best kept in the freezer until you want one and just take them out 15 mins before serving.

Yuzu juice can be found in bottles and the candied peel in packets at a Asian grocery store. I normally get mine from the Japan Centre in London but my friend sent me some lovely Yuzu peel from Japan this time so I used that instead.

If you do not want to use Yuzu juice or peel you do not have to. Why not try adding dried goji berries or cacao nibs instead and coating your bombs in maybe coconut if you do not want to roll them in chocolate. You can also use this recipe to flatten the dough mixture out on a baking sheet and then cut into slices for more of a brownie shape.

 

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

Amazake ( not just for winter )

Amazake or sweet sake is a fermented rice drink made from koji (kome koji). The koji mold or Aspergillus Oryzae is used in the making of miso,soy sauce,sake and Mirin. The mold causes the rice enzymes to break down and ferment into unrefined sugars. The sugar makes a sweet drink or can be used in desserts,smoothies or dressing.

Amazake is a popular winter drink and is often had at New year. You may find it served by street vendors or at shrines and tea houses,but did you know Amazake was not always a winter drink and was actually consumed in the Edo Period in the summer to battle against the hot Japanese summers and reduce fatigue. Amazake is made up of B vitamins, and all the vitamins and mineral components found in an IV drip . It has high levels of glucose so is perfect to have in the morning for breakfast or if your feeling tired. As it is high in protein and vitamins it helps to boost the metabolism and is good for the digestion as it is has probiotics due to the fermentation.

I had bought some organic brown Rice Koji from the macrobiotic shop ( link to their website is down the side of the page) I decided to give making amazake a try.

First you need to make Okayu a rice porridge. Use one cup of Japanese rice and wash well as if you were making sushi then add this with 5 cups of water to your rice cooker and cook. When it is done mix in 200g of Rice Koji and 200ml of water. Set your rice cooker to warm and place over the top a towel. The day I made it was a very warm day so I just used a clean jay cloth and then put the lid on a jar. You need to keep the temperature between 50-60 degrees Celsius so many people check the temperature with a thermometer. I didn’t have one so I actually winged it. If the temperature is too warm the amazake will not ferment sweet and too cool it may turn sour. I was very lucky it turned out so sweet and delicious . You need to keep the amazake on this setting for 10 hours stirring a few times in between.

You can then store your amazake in the fridge for up to 10 days ( I don’t think it’s going to last that long ) or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Now you can use your amazake to make delicious drinks and desserts.

The most simple way to have your amazake is to gently warm it 1-1 with water adding a little grated ginger.

You could also use soy milk. Do not over heat your amazake as it will kill the enzymes.

How about trying the above chilled with a little Yuzu juice for a refreshing summer drink.

You could also use it to make sweet chai tea. Steep one 1/2 cup of hot water with black tea with spices like cardomom and star aniseed,cinnamon bark and clove. I actually have a premade chai tea blend and used about a tablespoon . Strain then add this to a pan with 1/2 cup soy milk and one tablespoon of amazake and gently heat. This will add a lovely sweetness to your chai tea.

You can make a delicious smoothie or shake by adding to a blender two tablespoons of amazake,one cup of soy milk and one to two bananas depending on how thick you want it. Blend and chill for a delicious breakfast with fruit and maybe some granola.

Why not add it to porridge to make it extra sweet and creamy just add it to your porridge after cooking up the porridge so it doesn’t kill the enzymes.

I even made a chia pudding with it. Just add two tablespoons of amazake with two tablespoons of chia seeds and 1/2 cup of soy milk. Mix well and leave in the fridge to set. Perfect when topped with yogurt and fruit.

 

If you do not want to make amazake for yourself you can buy it . Clear spring do a lovely range or if you can get it you can buy Japanese amazake drinks from an Asian supermarket .

Amazake can be enjoyed at anytime of year.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Poached tomato

These Japan inspired poached tomato make a refreshing side dish to a summer meal. First score a cross shape in the bottom of a large not too over ripe tomato.

Then add into boiling water until you can see the skin start to come away .

Then drop your tomato into iced water,take out of the water and peel away the skin.

Place your tomato in a shallow small dish . Make a dressing of x1 teaspoon of tamari,Mirin,Yuzu juice . Grate some daikon radish with a Japanese ceramic ginger grater ( this is called a Kyocera ) the juice will collect around the grated daikon pour this into your dressing.

Pour your dressing over the tomato and top with the grated daikon,a few sesame seeds and chopped green onion and chill well in the fridge.

Perfect to add to your teishoku set meal .

Autumn Food, Blog, Summer Food

Lotus Root & Tofu Mushimanju

These little dumpling or steamed buns are inspired by Shojin Ryori or Buddhist cuisine. I actually added onion to mine which in typical Shojin Ryori they would not do, as they do not use onion or garlic in their cooking.

First start by peeling then finely grating a piece of fresh lotus root around 6 inches in length. Put the grated lotus root in a sieve and push out all the liquid until you are left with a pulp. To this add 3/4 of a block of drained silken tofu. I then added some black salt and chopped green onion for extra flavour, you could leave them plain if you wish or even add more veg like finely chopped carrot or sweetcorn.

Mix the tofu and lotus root pulp together. Then cut three squares of muslin cloth and in the middle of each add some mixture. Gather the ends and squeeze any liquid out through the cloth,then tie each one with string and steam for ten mins.

Take each bun out of the cloth and now you can use them as dumplings for soup if you wish.

This one is with a sweet sesame miso sauce,just white miso paste and sesame paste with Mirin.

Again could be a perfect dish as part of a Teishoku set meal.

 

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.

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.