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Summer Food

Blog, Summer Food

Salad Parfait With Miso Dips

Inspired by one of my favourite restaurants in Tokyo Ain Soph Journey (see my restaurant reviews).I made this salad parfait with miso dips.
Just a layer of crunchy raw salad and vegetables in a glass I made two dips for dipping.
The first was an aged miso and peanut dip.
1 teaspoon of aged miso or any dark miso then add 1 teaspoon of smooth peanut butter a dash each of sesame oil and mirin and half a teaspoon of maple syrup. Mix well.
The second was a creamy sweet white miso with brown rice Amazake dip.
1 teaspoon of white miso add to that two teaspoons of brown rice Amazake a teaspoon of maple syrup and a teaspoon of mirin.
Mix well.
Perfect as a starter for any meal.

Ain Soph often serve something similar with their everything course or heavenly pancake course. If your ever in Tokyo the pancakes are a must try!

Summer Food

Gomadofu & Nut Butter Dofu

Gomadofu or sesame tofu is in fact not tofu at all. Often served in Shōjin Ryori cuisine it is made from kuzu powder .

Kuzu root is a gluten free thickening starch made from the Japanese vine. It has been used as an ancient health food remedy for over 2,000 years. The root can be used to help the digestion and calm the nerves,relieving muscular tension and migraine. Studies have shown it helps to reduce high blood pressure and regulate blood sugar.

I recall having gomadofu as an appetiser at Brown Rice Cafe in Tokyo and I actually thought it was a form of tofu.

There are a few different ingredients you can use the traditional one is sesame paste. To make this easy you can use Japanese sesame paste or tahini,you can also like the one I made use smooth peanut butter or you can make it with almond or cashew butter.

You can also use plain water to make this or kombu steeped water with a little mirin or sake.

To make these chilled squares all you need to do is as follows:

You will need 25grm of kuzu starch

250ml of plain water or kombu water

35g of nut butter of choice

First add a little of the water to the kuzu starch to make a paste then add the rest of the water and mix well.

Add this to a pan and add your nut butter then give it a whisk to combine.

Start to heat this gently and continue stirring. Turn up the heat a little and keep stirring until the mixture thickens until it looks like a thick pudding a bit like custard .

Wet the inside of a plastic container and pour in the mixture. Give the container a tap down on the work surface to eliminate any bubbles and leave to cool.

Then place in the fridge to harden and chill.

Turn out and cut into four equal portions. As my container gave my dofu slightly rounded edges I sliced these off.

As for your serving condiments here are a few ideas of what you could use. Yuzu Kosho,wasabi,soy sauce or ponzu,green onion,sesame seeds,sliced cucumber,grated ginger or maybe evenchilli oil.

I decided this would also make a nice dessert so I topped mine with sweet red beans and a dusting of kinako.

美味しい!

 

 

 

Blog, Summer Food

Macrobiotic Nourishment Bowl

This is a wonderful way to get a balanced meal. Called a macro bowl because you hit all the nutrients carbs,protein and fat with plenty of vitamins and minerals. There are many things you can add to your bowl if you just follow a simple guideline .

You need some kind of grain this could be brown rice,quinoa,millet,amaranth,buckwheat etc.

Then you need carbs think sweet potato but carbs can also cross over into your grains.

What about protein ha ha . Well we all know there no shortage of that ! Tofu or tempeh are my favourites, but again beans are a great source of protein so it’s good to add some beans in there as well like kidney,Lima,black beans etc.

Add some good fats with avocado,olives,nuts or hemp hearts.

Plenty of veggies and salads ( Go wild ) there are so many to choose from. Spinach,kale,sprouts,carrot,bell peppers,cucumber,watercress,broccoli the list goes on.

Why not add some probiotics in the form of sauerkraut or kimchi?

Dont forget sea veg also as it’s a wonderful source of iodine and good for the thyroid wakame,hijiki,kombu and nori.

Lastly it’s always nice to make a dressing maybe a simple miso dressing with miso paste mixed with mirin,brown rice syrup and little lemon.

I think it’s a good idea to have cooked brown rice ready in your fridge especially if your heading into a busy week . Just throw some rice in a bowl add some beans veggies and tofu and you have a meal in under 10 mins.

Hope you now have inspiration to make  some macro bowls for yourself.

Blog, Summer Food

Shiitake Brown Rice & Miso Burgers

I have been experimenting making burgers for a while but now I have a favourite recipe I want to share with you using some Japanese ingredients.

This recipe make three or four good size burgers and they freeze well so they are good to have on stand by when you don’t want to cook.

First cook one cup of brown rice until al dente . I cook brown rice like pasta.

Next in a food processor add one cup of drained chick peas to this add one heaped tablespoon of brown rice miso, 1/4 cup of finely grated carrot,1tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce,1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast,1tablespoon of brown rice vinegar and some fresh black pepper. And blend.

Next finely chop 1/4 cup of red bell pepper and 1/4 of red onion,1cup of shiitake mushrooms  finely chopped and add this to a pan and sauté in a little toasted sesame oil until soft. Add this to the already processed ingredients and blend again.

Tip the ingredients into a bowl and add your cooked brown rice and some chopped parsley and mix together.

I find the easiest way to shape the burgers is with plastic wrap. Take a sheet and add about three heaped tablespoon of your ingredients and shape into a ball then press down to form a burger shape . Place your burger shapes on parchment paper and brush with a little tamari and sprinkle on some shichimi pepper for extra spice. If you don’t have any you could use cayenne pepper.

Bake in the oven until golden .

I have served my burgers in pitta breads or even made Japanese Moss burger type rice buns.

Serve with what ever relish you like here I served some with butternut squash fries and Japanese vegan kewpie Mayo which were delicious.

Blog, Summer Food

Yuzu Tofu Cheese Cake Pot

This makes a really easy and refreshing dessert and the base is made by using dried mulberries.

Add a cup of dried mulberries to a food processor and process them down into crumbs.

Tip the crumbs out into your chosen pot and press down, as the mulberries are sticky they stick together. This will be your biscuit layer.

Then wash out your food processor and add 1 block of silken tofu,two teaspoons of sweetener  ( I used rice syrup ) and two teaspoons of yuzu juice if you can’t get yuzu juice maybe use a blend of grapefruit lemon and orange or lime ( you get the idea)

Then take a heap teaspoon of coconut butter and melt it in the microwave add this to your other ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

Spoon into your pots on top of your mulberry layer and set in the fridge over night.

Garnish and serve.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Chocolate Chip Cookies With Miso

I love using miso in my cooking soups,stews,dressings sauces.

However I have never thought of using it in baking. I was inspired by a friend on Instagram to make these cookies.
These are so soft inside and because I added chocolate chips it goes together with the salty miso just perfect along with some nutty tahini.
This is my recipe for chocolate chip miso cookies

Turn on your oven to warm and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl add 2 cups of gram flour (sometimes called garbanzo or chickpea flour)
Add to this 2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 cup of coconut palm sugar
And give it a mix. Then add 1 cup of vegan chocolate chips and mix again.
In a separate bowl add
1 heaped teaspoon of white miso and 1 heaped teaspoon of tahini and cream them together.
Add to this 1/3 cup of melted coconut oil and 1/2 cup of soy milk (or almond milk)
Mix it all well and add this to your dry flour mixture
When it’s all well mixed it should be a dough consistency if it’s too dry add a little more milk if to wet add a little more flour.
I then find it easy to take heaped tablespoons of the mixture and put it into plastic wrap make into a ball then turn each ball out onto your parchment lined baking sheet and flatten them out into cookie shapes.
I made 6 large cookies or you can make 12 small ones.
When you have all your cookies place them in the oven until golden (about 10 mins)
Leave your cookies to cool down (I know it’s difficult) if you don’t  they will crumble apart .
For extra freshness keep in an air tight container or freeze them .

perfect with a nice matcha latte.

Enjoy !

Blog, Summer Food

Baked Tomatoes With Spicy Soy Mince

First slice the tops off your tomatoes then scoop out the insides.

I used Clearspring organic soy mince which is dry so you just add a little hot water to it and leave it to soak for 10 mins. While that’s soaking sauté some finely chopped onion and shiitake mushrooms in a little coconut butter then add your soy mince with a splash of vegan Worcestershire sauce and tamari. I like to spice mine up with some shichimi spice you could add chilli powder or cayenne pepper if you don’t have it.

Next fill your tomatoes with the mixture.

Top with panko bread crumbs and vegan cheese and bake in a hot oven until the tomatoes are soft and the cheese is melted.

Top with chopped basil

I served mine with a buckwheat pasta and salad

How will you serve yours?

 

Autumn Food, Blog, Summer Food

Fruit Crumble With A Kinako Topping

Kinako is roasted soybean flour. It tastes a bit like caramel with a hint of nut. It’s often used with Japanese desserts like mochi. Did you know it’s a Japanese superfood? It’s packed full of protein and is easily absorbed by the body and is also high in dietary fiber,calcium,potassium and vitamins A,B1 and lecithin. Simply by adding kinako in your diet you get all these benefits and saponins known for blocking fat absorption and breaking down fat faster. It’s also good for the skin. 1 teaspoon is only 10 calories so makes a healthy latte mixed with some plant based milk just add kinako to milk and heat and froth with a milk frother to make a delicious drink.

The weather in the U.K. is not very summery and although it’s August the wild blackberries are already ripe and ready for picking. Autumn seams to be on its way here already we never have much of a summer though I must say I love autumn foods they are my favourite.

I decided to pick some wild blackberries and make a crumble with fresh apple and some rhubarb out my mother in laws garden .

I just washed the fruit, peeled the apple and sliced it and chopped the rhubarb then lay it in the bottom of an oven proof dish.

I then decided to use that lovely nutty kinako powder to make a crumble topping just by adding gluten free raw organic oats ( I use the ones by rude health). Then add your kinako,some coconut palm sugar and then rub in some coconut butter . I didn’t really measure it out but I used 1 cup of oats 1/2 cup kinako and a tablespoon each of coconut sugar and coconut butter but it really depends on your dishes and how much fruit you have. Spread the kinako crumble mix over the fruit and bake in a moderate over until the crumble topping is golden and the fruit is bubbling.

This really is a cosy dish to have warm with vegan cream .

 

Blog, Summer Food

Ruben Sandwich With A Japanese Twist

A Ruben is an American sandwich made from corned beef and sauerkraut. Vegan versions  I have seen made with seitan or tempeh .

I decided I wanted to make one with a Japanese twist and it turned out so good I needed to share it with you.

First your going to need some good size shiitake mushrooms and cut off the stems. Then make your marinade. You will need a large dish big enough so you can lay your mushrooms flat in the marinade. Add to the dish two tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce,a tablespoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce,a dash of each of coriander,allspice and Japanese shichimi spice. Mix and add your mushrooms making sure both sides are coated and then leave them in the fridge face down. I left mine for about five hours .

For the sauerkraut I used fermented cabbage,red pickled cabbage and pickled daikon radish in a Ume dressing . I use the Ume dressing  by Clearspring. I mixed them all together to make the sauerkraut. If you buy sauerkraut in a jar make sure you squeeze out all the liquid you don’t want a soggy sarnie. Just a note on the pickled daikon I used dried daikon that had been soaked in water drained and pickled for a few days in brown rice vinegar. Again from Clearspring.

Then you need to make a dressing I used Japanese vegan kewpie Mayo about a tablespoon and the same ketchup,add a half teaspoon of horseradish and a dash of Worcestershire sauce and mix.

You will need two slices of bread traditionally it is rye,I just used a brown glutenfree. Spread coconut butter on both sides of each slice then to one side spread on your dressing then top with sauerkraut and then grated vegan cheese ( make sure you get one that melts)

Next take your shiitake from the fridge and cook them whole on both sides i didn’t use any oil. Then either slice them or leave them whole but add them to your already added sandwich ingredients and place the other slice of bread on top if you want instead of adding the cheese on top of the sauerkraut add it on top of the shiitake ( which ever way you like is fine). Then take the whole sandwich and put it in a hot pan and press down on the sandwich to melt the cheese and brown do this on both sides. Because you spread both sides of the bread with coconut butter they do not stick and cook beautifully.

Serve straight away warm. I served mine with salad and a miso soup.

Blog, Summer Food

Goya Chanpuru

The fruit known as bitter melon or Goya in Okinawa or Nigauri in the rest of Japan looks a bit like a cucumber but with lots of bumps. It has many medicinal properties used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years helping to maintain blood sugar,lower cholesterol and helping fight viruses and bacteria it helps in strengthening immunity it is also high in vitamins B,C,E and K .This fruit is very popular in Okinawa the southern most prefecture of japan and one of the worlds five blue zones ( where people live the longest) It must be an important fruit over there as they even have a day spent honouring it. People seam to use it in Japan to fight off summer heat fatigue and build up immunity for Autumn.  Goya is a very aquired taste it  didnt get its name bitter melon for nothing. After slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds and slicing some people soak the Goya in salted water or steam it. I have found it most palatable when soaked in hot water with a little mirin . So this is what I do to prepare it.

I wanted to make a classic favourite summer  Okinawan dish called Champuru a stirfry that normally contains egg,tofu,Goya and pork or spam. Champuru means mixed . You could use a vegan meat substitute for this but after considering this I went for the whole vegetable option as most contain wheat .

I made an easy tofu scramble with mashed tofu and a little turmeric and nutritional yeast and set to one side. I used about 1/4 block then used the rest cut up into cubes and baked them in the oven ( you could stirfry these on fry them if you like but I wanted a healthy option.

I then sliced some oyster mushrooms and stir fried these in a little toasted sesame oil ( this was to be my pork substitute). Then I threw in my tofu scramble and drained sliced Goya but I didn’t rinse off the mirin as it adds a little sweetness I think. Stirfry this and then add your baked tofu.

Then add a teaspoon of miso paste to a bowl with a cup of kombu dashi stock and dissolve then pour this over your stirfry. Mix and your done. I served mine with simple Japanese rice.

An alternative recipe to this would be to make my tofu omelette recipe and cut into strips and use this as your egg substitute maybe with vegan bacon.

 

 

Blog, Summer Food

Soy Milk & Matcha Purin With Kuzu

The macrobiotic root known as kuzu has great nutritional and medicinal value it is especially good for the digestion. Kuzu has been commercially produced in Japan from as early as the 1600. Did you know the kuzu root is one of the largest in the world? Make sure when buying kuzu that is is 100% and not mixed with other starches to get the best medicinal effect.

Kuzu is a wonderful thickening and jelling agent and I always use it in my curry sauces . So with that in mind I decided to make this soy milk matcha purin using just a few ingredients.

Purin プリン is a Japanese dessert or pudding normally like a creme caramel sometimes using eggs.

For this recipe all you need is to add 165ml of soy milk to a pan and add 10g of kuzu starch and mix well . Add some sweetener if you wish a teaspoon of rice syrup maybe. As I was adding a matcha syrup at the end I didn’t add any sweetener. Then add a teaspoon of sifted matcha powder and whisk well. I use one of those small battery operated small milk frother whisks for this. Then turn on the heat and start to heat gradually stirring all the time if it doesn’t start to thicken turn up the heat a little more . Do not be tempted to leave it as it thickens all of a sudden. When it’s thick pour out into two small glasses  it should be thick like custard. Chill in the fridge preferably over night.

To make the syrup just add 2 teaspoons of rice syrup and 1 teaspoon of matcha to a pan with 2 teaspoons of water and heat a little then chill in the fridge. You will have enough for at least two puddings here.

When you want to serve add some vegan whipped cream ,soy yogurt or ice cream ,some sweet azuki beans ( to give your Purin that real Japanese flavour) and pour over your matcha syrup. Finish with a dusting of matcha.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Vegan Kabayaki Bowl (mock eel)

Around this time of year in July there is a tradition in  Japan called Doyo-no-Ushi-no-hi. It falls this year on the 25th of July 2017. This is a day when some people eat eel . (Unagi) It is said that eel helps with the summer heat. Well I don’t know about that but I thought I would make a vegan version of this dish using eggplant . This mock eel dish doesn’t look particularly pretty but then neither does a dead eel and I’d much rather eat an eggplant .

First of all prick your eggplant with a toothpick to stop it exploding in the oven when baking and score around the top of the egg plant this will help when peeling off the skin.

Bake in the oven until tender. Take out the oven and when it’s cool enough to handles strip off the skin. Cut down the eggplant but leave a little bit attached at the top so it fans out into two halves.

Then make your kabayaki sauce using two tablespoons of  tamari or soy sauce two tablespoons of mirin  and a teaspoon of unrefined sugar.

Add this to a pan and put the egg plant into the pan cook and then flip over to coat both sides and let the eggplant soak up the sauce. Then cut some nori and add this to one side of your egg plant and place under the grill to make a crispy skin.

Serve this on rice mixed with gomashio ( a dry condiment like furikake made of sesame seeds and salt) topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds,sansho pepper and chopped onion or chives.

I think you will agree it may not be eel but a lot more ethically friendly.

Blog, Summer Food

Vegan Tekka Don (tuna bowl)

Tekka don is a rice bowl dish topped with raw marinated tuna sashimi.

I wanted to make a refreshing but vegan friendly version of this dish and this is what I came up with.

You will need three large firm tomatoes cut a small cross section on the bottom of each tomato and drop into a pan of boiling water. To cook the tomato doesn’t take long you will know they are done when the skin starts to peel. Plunge the tomato into cold water to cool and then peel off the skin from the cross section you cut into the tomato.

When the tomatoes are peeled cut them into quarters discarding the seed part.

Make a marinade of tamari,lime juice and mirin ( around two tablespoons of each ) you can add some shichimi spice pepper if you like. Coat the tomatoes in the marinade and chill in the fridge

when you want to serve your Tekka Don wash and cook some sushi rice in your rice cooker and when your rice is done place into the bottom of a bowl.

Top the warm rice with the marinated tomato chopped green onion a sprinkle of sesame seeds sliced lettuce  kizaminori ( shredded nori) and angel hair chilli threads if you can get them they are called Ito togarashi if you live in the U.K. You can get them from www.souschef.co.uk