Tag

Kuzu

Autumn Food, Blog

Tofu & kabocha Pie

I’ve  wanted to make a pumpkin pie for a while now but instead of using canned pumpkin purée I steamed a whole small kabocha and used that  to make this pie. It’s full of sweetness and spice just like a pumpkin pie should be.

Cut your kabocha into quarters and steam until soft and the rind is basically falling off the flesh. While the kabocha is steaming, in a food processor add one drained block of silken tofu ( I used clear spring ) but any is fine as long as it’s the silken kind. Blend until smooth with two tablespoons of pure maple syrup , two tablespoons of coconut palm sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Add what ever spice you like nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin spice,I added a tablespoon of pumpkin spice to mine.

Then add your cooled pumpkin and blend until smooth.

In a bowl add one tablespoon of kuzu with a little water to make a paste then add 1/2 cup of water and mix .

Emty your kabocha mix into a pan and heat gently then add the kuzu and mix until the consistency is thicker and smooth.

Then to what ever pastry case you choose either a raw nut base or a store bought pastry case or home made pastry that has been already baked, tip out your filling and smooth the top. You can then decorate if you like with pumpkin seeds or maybe pecan nuts.

Chill in the freezer and thaw out 1/2 an hour before serving

I actually froze mine and half way I cut it into pieces so you can take it out a slice at a time .

Serve with soy whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg. Maybe even some sweet red beans on the side in a true Japanese dessert style.

If you have any filling left over they make great little cup desserts or just use this if you don’t have a pastry case you could  add some crushed biscuits for a base if you like. And  just chill in the fridge.

Autumn Food, Blog

Japanese Micro Seasons Part 1

As the air turns cooler in the evening and in the mornings I can feel a shift in the seasons. The trees are starting to turn and the fields are golden. It’s getting towards the end of summer and the start of Autumn. In Japan they call this a micro season and there are actually 24  seasonal divisions in the calendar that break down further to 72. Autumn breaks down into six changing every few weeks. We are nearing the end of Risshu which is the first of the autumn micro seasons which is broken down into 3 . August 8-12 Suzukaze Itaru (cool winds blow ) August 13-17 Higurashi naku ( evening cicadas sing) and August 18-22 Kiri mato ( thick fog descends ).

We then move on to the next Shosho (which is manageable heat) August 23-27 Wata no hana shibe hiraku ( cotton flowers bloom )

August 28th-September 1st  Tenchi hajimete samushi ( heat starts to die down ) September 2-7 Kokumono sunawachi minoru ( rice ripens)

I think we can see our own micro seasons no matter if we live in Japan or not. Today a cool wind is blowing and I am starting to think about the new vegetables that will be coming into season soon. For now I am using late summer ingredients to make a soup curry with kuruma fu and lovely brown rice. Kuruma means wheel in Japanese. I also made dango. This is one you could think about making later in September for the moon viewing festival Otsukimi ( search for this for more information )

Why not start to think about your own seasons where you live. Notice the changes in nature. I think when we feel more connected to the earth we can start to use this in our cooking. Making everything more mindful from the choosing of ingredients to the preparation down to the eating of a meal.

This is the reason I like to make Japanese vegan food. It helps me feel more connected to a country I love deeply.

I used S&B curry spice with water and thickened the soup with kuzu. The kuruma fu were first soaked in a mix of water mirin and tamari then after squeezing out the liquid I dipped them in okara you could also use potato starch. Then I shallow fried them to make them lovely and crispy on the outside. The kind of remind me of an English Yorkshire pudding in texture and flavour. The vegetables I used were some lovely zucchini and potatoes  a work colleagues mother had grown on her allotment some summer kabocha which is lighter in flavour and some lovely crisp  biodynamic salad leaves that were locally grown. I had got some organic ridge cucumber in my vegetable box delivery this week so I pickled them  in ume vinegar.

I will be doing more posts on the next micro seasons so please subscribe so you do not miss them.

 

 

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

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

Yuzu Battered Tofu & Sticky Orange Sauce

After seeing Marc Matsumoto create an orange chicken on Instagram I was inspired to go out and make a vegan version of my own.

Before starting make up some rice in your rice cooker and leave it on warm ready for later.

First I decided to use my yuzu battered tofu for this but you could just as easily use baked tofu or just plain if you prefer.

To make my yuzu battered tofu all you need is a block of tofu that has been drained and cut into large cubes. Then in a bowl add three tablespoons of plain or rice flour one tablespoon of yuzu juice and eight tablespoons of water. Mix together to form a thick batter. Coat your cubes in the batter then heat some coconut butter and shallow fry the coated tofu . Then drain on kitchen paper.
To make the sauce is as follows:
Use a zester to zest the peel off an orange and put the peel in a pan then slice the orange in half and juice the orange and add the juice to the pan with the zest. Next add one tablespoon of brown rice vinegar,one teaspoon of tamari,one teaspoon of coconut palm sugar,one tablespoon of grated ginger using a Japanese ginger grater if possible,half a teaspoon of chilli flakes and one tablespoon of orange marmalade give it a stir and start to heat up the sauce. Make a slurry of kuzu starch by adding one teaspoon of kuzu and half a teaspoon of water to a small bowl and mix then add this to your sauce. Turn up the heat a little and let it simmer until the sauce is all nice and sticky and thick. Then drop in your battered tofu and give it all a good coating.
Serve with rice and maybe add some chopped red chilli or green onion to garnish and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

(I also think maybe adding some sliced bell peppers to this would also be nice just cook them up in the sauce before adding the tofu)

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

Valentine Ginger Cookies

Valentine Ginger Cookies
Valentine Ginger Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day
ハッピーバレンタインデー
????????
Ginger cookies with a strawberry jam filling
イチゴジャムクッキー

Blog, Winter Food

Hiyashi -rice

  • I brought back some dried maitake mushrooms from Japan and couldn’t wait to try them.
  • For this dish you could just as easily use fresh maitake .
  • Did you know that maitake is a good source of vitamin D ? Which makes it a good winter dish .
    Inspired by a meal I had at ain soph journey I made  this vegan hayashi-rice . Using a selection of  maitake and shimeji,enoki and eryngii mushrooms I sautéed them with onion .
  • Add a tablespoon of tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce each to a separate pan and warm through . To thicken the sauce I use  Kuzu powder. Just add a teaspoon to a little cold water to make a slurry before adding to your sauce .
  • Mix the sauce into your mushrooms .
  • Serve with rice and maybe a miso soup .

ビーガン
ハヤシライス
漬物
みそ汁

Blog, Winter Food

Amazake Yuzu Juice Custard Pot Dessert

Good morning/evening/afternoon
I hope your all keeping warm it’s freezing cold here.❄️❄️❄️
This is the amazake yuzu juice custard pot dessert I made using @clearspringuk Amazake, kuzu,rice malt syrup and kanten flakes.
I topped it with a little candied yuzu peel.


1 cup Amazake
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tea of powdered vanilla
1/2 tea yuzu juice
1 table spoon of rice malt syrup.
Add these to a pan .
3/4 of a tablespoon of crushed kuzu made into a paste with a little water .
Add this to the pan.
Sprinkle over the surface around 3/4 tablespoon of kanten and heat up stirring well.
Pour into pots and chill for a few hours. Top with yuzu peel .


The yuzu juice and peel you can buy if your in the UK from @japancentre
You could add other fruits or flavour instead of yuzu if you like.