Tag

Tamari

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Vegan Yakitori

Down many backstreets and alleyways in Japan you can find small bars called izakaya.  Some only fit a few people inside.  There people can enjoy a beer or sake maybe after work and to accompany that maybe a yakitori ( a Japanese finger food ) made with skewered grill chicken on a type of BBQ grill with a tare ( sweet soy sauce glaze )

I remember walking down one such place in Shinjuku Tokyo “Omoide Yokocho”.  I remember the smoke from all the charcoal burners almost choking me as everyone in each small izakaya was cooking yakitori at the same time.

I decided to give this dish a go my self making it vegan and using king mushrooms instead of chicken.  I skewered alternate leek,mushrooms and green peppers and glazed them with a sweet tamari sauce before cooking them on a charcoal BBQ. I thought it nice to have some kind of dip with them so I chose a sweet and sour chilli dip to accompany them and if you choose an ice cold beer.

 

Blog, Summer Food

Agedashi tofu

Hot crispy golden tofu which makes a delicious appetiser . Normally deep fried but I shallow fry mine and it works well.

I use firm tofu as it doesn’t fall apart so easily.  Drain your tofu and I wrap mine in a cloth to soak up excess liquid .  Cut your tofu into cubes add some add some plain flour or potato starch into a bowl.  Roll your tofu in the flour and coat well .

Then make your sauce 1 cup of dashi 2 tablespoon of tamari and 2 mirin and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Combine these in a pan and heat until boiling .  Add a slurry of kuzu liquid 1 teaspoon kuzu to 1/4 teaspoon of water to the boiling sauce and stir until thickened turn the heat down  and leave on low to keep warm.

Heat a tablespoon of coconut butter in a frying pan until hot and place your tofu into the hot oil turned and each side goes nice and crispy .

Add a little of your sauce to a shallow bowl and place your tofu on top. Add grated daikon and chopped green onion and grated ginger to garnish . If you like it a bit spicy add some schichimi spice

I recommend using a Japanese ginger grater to grate your daikon and ginger .

Blog

Sushi Lunch

A sushi lunch to day.
Mini cucumber sushi rolls and Gunkan maki sushi .
Gunkan actually translates as warship .
This is super easy just seasoned sushi rice wrapped in nori with various toppings . Just make sure you cut your nori a little higher than your rice to hold your toppings.
My toppings included maitake mushrooms with bamboo shoots,avocado and pickled red cabbage, broccoli and asparagus,umeboshi,Sakura,hijiki and sushi ginger.

軍艦巻寿司

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

Asparagus Sushi Rolls

Spring time asparagus sushi rolls with ponzu dipping sauce to day for lunch . A yuzu green tea and azuki bean chocolate brownie with matcha .
春の時間アスパラガス、寿司、ポンズとポン酢.
ゆず茶
小豆チョコレートブラウニー

Blog

Nabe (Hot Pot)

To night I made a nabe ( hot pot ) I was so cold at work to day it felt like it got right into my bones so needed a hot broth to warm me up .
I used a shiitake kombu broth with a little mirin tamari and a little ginger and yuzu juice .
The vegetables I used were carrot,napa cabbage,burdock root,daikon radish,shiitake mushroom,aburaage,
yaki fu,bean sprouts and some lovely tofu. I’ve been using some great organic tofu just recently by @tofooco available at Tesco . I topped it with a little chicory . It felt like I was having a lovely Japanese style dish

Blog, Winter Food

New Years Eve Soba

It’s nearly New Years in Japan and to celebrate I’m having for lunch a hot bowl of soba noodles which is a traditional New Year’s Eve meal called toshikoshi soba.
Meaning end of old year and beginning of the next.
The noodles symbolise the bridge from the old to the new year and bring long life, strength and good fortune.
I made this really simple with a tamari and mirin soup stock some lovely soba noodles I bought in Kyoto and topped it with chopped green onion,aburaage and a little fresh yuzu peel .
Eating this meal took me back to the lovely setting at kiyo mizu in Kyoto where I had simple soba noodles.
I want to wish everyone in Japan a happy new year and health and good fortune .
年越し蕎麦
明けましておめでとうございます??????

Blog, Winter Food

Kenchinjiru

This is a traditional Zen Buddhist shojin Ryori cuisine which originates from the Kencho-ji Temple in Kamakura .  Jiru means soup and Kenchin is derived from the temple name.

This soup is full of umami flavour using kombu,shiitake mushroom,toasted sesame oil and tamari ( or soy sauce )

The soup consists of root vegetables in a shiitake kombu stock ( you can also add miso if you wish .) This soup also has tofu it is said that you tear the tofu into the soup instead of cutting the tofu as it is supposed to be divided equally between the residents of the temple regardless of status.  This dish contains no onion,devout Buddhists believe that onion is not good for your peace of mind so not good for meditation.

First make you stock

I normally leave a piece of konbu to soak over night in water the konbu comes with a white powder on its surface do not wash this off as this adds to the flavour just simply wipe with a cloth.  ( for this recipe I used 3 cups of  konbu stock and 1 cup of shiitake stock .

After you have soaked your konbu place the water and konbu in a pan and turn on the heat remove the konbu just before the water starts to boil.  Make shiitake stock by soaking a few dried shiitake in one cup of water for around 20 mins ( place a small bowl over to submerge the shittake to stop them from floating.  After 20 mins take out the shiitake and slice them and add the stock to the konbu soaked water .

Now you need to prepare your vegetables

You can use a variety for vegetables Burdock root,daikon radish,carrot,lotus root,taro komatsuna  or any leafy green vegetable,you can also add konnyaku (konjac) but I just used tofu in this recipe . I didn’t use burdock root as I couldn’t find any and I didn’t use taro .

chop your vegetables and add about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to a deep pan sauté your root vegetables for a few minutes then add your stock  but do not add your leafy greens until the soup is nearly ready to serve.  Simmer until the vegetables are tender then add 1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce and one tablespoon of mirin .

take a block of drained tofu and crumble it into the soup in large pieces  and finally add your chopped leafy greens .

Now your soup is ready

 

 

 

 

 

Blog, Winter Food

Oden (winter stew)

In the winter in Japan you can often walk in to stores and find lots of things simmering in piping hot stock for you to choose and have a hot meal . This is called Oden . I made my own oden winter stew.

It is traditional to use a donabe pot but if you don’t have one you can use what ever you have .

First make your broth to simmer your vegetables in I used water that had been soaked over night with a piece of kombu kelp about 1 litre add to this some mirin and tamari ( or soy sauce) about one tablespoon .

In your donabe set out your veggies I used sliced daikon ,tofu,bamboo shoots,lotus root,tofu sausage,shiitake mushroom and aburaage parcels filled with cabbage bean sprouts and vegetables. These pouches are called kinchaku or fukuro.

If you do not have a donabe you can use another pot or even a steamer and arrange them after.  If you decide to use a steamer steam your vegetables and make a separate broth to add your vegetables to after . I prefer to cook the vegetables in the broth as they soak up the flavour.

Pour in your stock and simmer your pot on low with the lid on if it looks like the water is running low add a little more stock.

When your vegetables are tender take a little stock and in a bowl add a little miso . Dissolve the miso and then pour this over your vegetables to finish.

I would of liked to of added a few other things that I didn’t have but I’m glad with how it turned out.

Served with rice it was a delicious filling meal for a cold winter evening

 

Autumn Food, Blog

Okonomiyaki

vegan okonomiyaki.
This is a Japanese dish okono means ‘how you like it’ and Yaki means grill.
Recipes vary but the batter in made with egg. This one has no egg and is completely vegan.
The batter was : half a block of tofu, 2/3 cup of plant based milk,2 table spoons of nutritional yeast,1/4 teaspoon of turmeric,1 and 1/2 table spoon of potato starch salt and pepper and I added a tablespoon of white miso. Blend all this together in a food processor . Then I mixed in some sliced nappa cabbage, chopped green onion and some bean sprouts .
Spoon the mixture on to some parchment paper that’s been cut to fit your frying pan ( skillet) and spread it out .  I find it easier to cook on one side then to turn it top the mixture with another sheet of parchment paper slide it from the skillet and on to a plate and then flip it over back onto your skillet.
After it’s been cooked on both sides I covered the okonomiyaki with a special sauce of a mix of one tablespoon each of organic Worcestershire sauce,ketchup,tamari, mirin and maple syrup. I then added vegan mayo more chopped onion and aonori .

Autumn Food, Blog

Mitarashi tofu dango

Tsukimi is the start of Autumn with the festival of viewing the harvest moon on the 15th of September.
Pampas grass is displayed and dango balls to mimic the full moon are eaten.
In Japanese folklore it is said the rabbit lives on the moon making Mochi and there is a story and even a children’s song.
Bunny Bunny what are you looking for as you hop?
The moon on the 15th night I’m viewing as I hop.

How to make #dango for Japanese moon viewing festival .
月見 だんご
Moon viewing dumplings are traditionally eaten on this festival and they are so yummy and easy to make. These ones are made with silken tofu .
1. Mix mochi rice flour with silken tofu . (I don’t really measure ) just keep adding until a dough forms .
2. Make your dough into little moon balls .
3. Boil them until they float .
4. Pat them dry with a paper towel

You can then eat them as they are and roll them in kinako powder or sesame powder.
Or you can grill them.  I love this because they are all warm and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside .

Place  them under a heated grill turning as they brown

To make your sauce use  2 tablespoons of tamari mixed with two tablespoons of syrup ( you can use rice syrup or maple syrup ) then put this in a small pan and heat .

make a slurry of 1 teaspoon kuzu powder and 1/4 teaspoon water and mix into your heated sauce to thicken it.

Take your dango from off the grill and either push on to skewers and spread with your hot sauce and maybe alternate with some anko  red bean paste and kinako Or you could have them like little individual sweets topped with a brush of sauce and a squeeze of anko and a dusting of kinako .

maybe serve with a warm kinako latte and look up at the moon .

Blog, Summer Food

Summer somen noodles

Light Somen noodles make a lovely cold salad

Just cook your somen as instructions and then let cold water run over them after draining adding a few ice cubes to make them nice and chilled .

I like to add a selection of salad with mine and maybe some cold silken tofu like in the photo .

make a light sauce to pour over

mix one tablespoon each of mirin,toasted sesame oil,brown rice vinegar and tamari in a small jar . Add also 1 teaspoon of yuzu juice . Put the lid on and give the jar a shake .

Pour over your somen and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onion .

Blog, Summer Food

Soboro Don

Soboro Don (Or three colour minced bowl ) ビーガン三色そぼろ丼
ランナー豆と豆腐と大豆ミンチボウル

Don ( 丼 ) meaning a rice bowl dish or Doburi  this can be any meal that consists of rice in a bowl with a topping .

This Japanese dish is normally made with ground minced chicken and Egg on rice
I made  this dish vegan by using @clearspring organic soya mince marinated in ginger juice with tamari and mirin. I used a tofu scramble for the egg and topped it on Japanese rice. This dish often has another colour like peas or onion and you often find it as a popular bento . I decided to use some runner beans .
First thing is to wash and cook your Japanese rice then leave on warm in a rice cooker or pan with the lid on.

Next is to make all your separate things so you can put them all together .

Using Clearspring mince just use about half a cup full and cover with hot water and leave for ten mins to soak . Using a ginger grater extract about teaspoon of fresh ginger juice and add this to your mince, then add a teaspoon of tamari and a teaspoon of mirin. Add a little oil to a pan and sautéed this until slightly browned ( set aside )

To make your tofu just simply mash half a block of firm tofu with a quarter teaspoon of turmeric ( set  aside)

next steam some green beans .

Warm through your mince and tofu ( you can do this in the microwave if you wish ) take a bowl and half fill with rice then add your tofu,mince and green beans.  Finally add a sprinkle of sesame seeds and some chopped green onion and maybe some hijiki to garnish .

This dish can just as well be eaten cold in a bento for lunch .