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Summer Food

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 ☔

 

 

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, 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, 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, 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.