Vegan Recipes Compilation 1


Just about time I came back to my vegan and vegetarian (I’m not) friends with a recipe they can create in Japan or back home!

Vegan Japanese Stew!

INGREDIENTS: For 6 people

-Carrots: 2]
-Soy beans: 2 cups
-Konbu/seaweed (dry): 20 cm
-Sato Imo/taro: 7~
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 cup
-Soy sauce (of your choice): 90 cc/ml


Clean the sato imo/taro.

Peel the carrots.

Peel the sato imo/taro and clean under running cold water.

The soy beans should have been left to soak for a whole night before being boiled for 3 hours or until soft.

About time to slice those carrots!

Dice the carrots.

Drop the carrots and soy beans inside a large pot.

Break/cut the konbu/seaweed into large pieces.

Break again into small pieces. You will eat them!

Pour plenty of water.

Simmer over a small fire for 40 minutes.

Slice the sato imo/taro.

Cut in cubes.

Scoop out unwanted matters from the surface.

Add the cubed sato imo/taro.

Stir to mix.

Add mirin/sweet sake.

Add soy sauce.

Simmer until water disappears.

Continue simmering!

You are almost there!


It can be served both hot or at room temperature. Great in bento!


Aubergines or egg plants as they are called in the US are a world-popular vegetable. They originated in India, but are found everywhere.
The Japanes make a large consumption of them and try to come with new recipes.
Here is a simple recipe that blends many culinary cultures:
Aubergines/Egg-Plants Carpaccio!
Incidently, you can easily make it vegan!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Egg-plants/Aubergines: 2
-Grated fresh ginger juice: as appropriate
-Fruit tomatoes: as appropriate
-Lucolla: as appropriate
-Garlic: 1 clove
-Dressing: vinaigrette as appropriate
-Olive oil: EV as appropriate


Grill the egg-plants/aubergines directly on a grill over the fire. Turn them around until they are properly cooked.
Peel them as soon as possible.

-Place the peeled hot aubergines into a bowl with vinaigrette and ginger juice. Let cool completely. Chill inside refrigerator.

-Take out serving dishes. Cut the garlic clove in halves and brush the plate with them for plenty of taste!
If you have any left chop it finely and add it to the egg plants/aubergines.

-Take the aubergines out of the bowl (proceed one at a time). Wrap each in cellophane paper. Press it with your hand to make it flat. Take out and cut into slices to the appropriate size.

-Arrange the slices as you would do with carpaccio.

-Cocasse/cut in small squares the tomatoes. Place them with some luccola atop the egg-plants/aubergines.

-Delicately pour good quality EV olive oil all over the carpaccio.

Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Yuki Nabe/Tofu Pot au feu

The Japanese have a very simple and healthy tofu recipe called Yuki Nabe/雪鍋 (“Snow Pot) which can be loosely translated as Tofu Pot Au Feu.
By just adapting the dashi soupstock to a vegan seaweed dashi, vegans and vegetarian can enjoy it!

Before reading the ingredients, check:
Vegan Japanese dashi soupstock recipe

INGREDIENTS: For 5 people

Tofu/Kinudofu/Silk tofu: count 1 block per person (1 block is about 300~400 g)
-Freshly grated daikon: 2 cups/400 cc
-Salt: 2 teaspoons
-Dashi: 5 cups/1000 cc
-Mitsuba/Trefoil/Japanese Honeywort: 1/2 cup/100 cc (Chopped). (if unavailable use fresh coriander or thin leeks, although the taste will be a lot stronger. Chopped shiso is fine, too)


-Lightly press grated daikon to take out excess water.

-In a large Japanese nabe/pot (earthenware pot) pour the dashi/soupstock.

-Heat over a medium fire. Once the dashi starts boiling add the freshly garted daikon. Once it starts boiling again add the tofu cut into fairly bite-sized pieces.

-When it starts boiling again, lower the fire to very low and add the mitsuba and salt (if needed).

-Ask the guests to seve themselves with a ladle into individual bowls. Eat with a Chinese soup spoon (“renge” in Japanese).

-Have some grated lime skin, grated fresh ginger and even grated wasabi ready in small dishes for adults wishing for some more zip!


Chinese (and Japanese) Cuisine can easily be adapted for vegans and vegetarians and deserrves to apprecaited by all.
Vegan and vegetarians recipes are easier and probably healthier!
As for the ingredients, make sure of what the warppers are made of. They can be either made with wheat flour or rice flour. Your choice!
Choose a frying oil of your preference, too.

As for the dip, I leave it to you, although I will check if I can find one for your prirorities!

INGREDIENTS: For 10 rolls

-Spring roll wrappers: 10


Mizuna (Japanese: 水菜 ‘water greens’), also called Xiu Cai, Kyona, Japanese Mustard, Potherb Mustard, Japanese Greens, California Peppergrass, Spider Mustard, etc., is a Japanese name used primarily for cultivated varieties of Brassica rapa nipposinica but also for Brassica juncea var. japonica.

Mizuna and Daikon Salad

In addition to the term “mizuna” (and its alternates) being applied to at least two different species of Brassica, horticulturalists have defined and named a number of varieties. For example, a resource provided by Cornell University and the United States Department of Agriculture lists sixteen varieties including “Early Mizuna”, “Kyona Mizuna”, “Komatsuna Mizuna”, “Vitamin Green Mizuna”, “Kyoto Mizuna”, “Happy Rich Mizuna”, “Summer Fest Mizuna”, “Tokyo Early Mizuna”, “Mibuna Mizuna”, “Red Komatsuna Mizuna”, “Waido Mizuna” and “Purple Mizuna”.[

-Mizuna: as appropriate
-Carrot: as appropriate
-Flour: a little
-Rice vinegar: as you like
-Chili pepper: as you like


-Cut Mizuna in 6 cm long pieces.

-Cut carrot in 6cm long thin strips.

-Place mizuna and carrot on the first third of the wrapper.

-Roll as above. To securely close it apply a little water mixed a little flour on the inside of the wrapper (only on the end!).

-Deep-fry until it has become crispy and a nice light brown.
Bear in mind that the vegetables contain water. Don’t overfry them!
As soon as they look crispy, scop out and lay on a grill or kitchen paper to take off excess oil.
Dip in rice vinegar seaoned with chili pepper (mustard is great, too).

This is only the basice recipe. One can add all kinds of vegetables. The point is that they must be cut in the same size for even cooking!
Koyadofu Agedashi Appetizer!

As I said before, Koyadofu is one kind of tofu that can beasily arranged into all kinds of interesting appetizers in Japanese Homes’ Gastronomy!
Here is a simple suggestsion for a yummy lunch to be eaten by all, vegans, vegetarians or omnivores:

Koyadofu Agedashi Appetizer!

Before reading the ingredients, check:
Koyadofu Recipe

Vegan Japanese dashi soupstock recipe

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Koyadofu: 1 sheet (multiply everything accordingly for mor!)
-Cornstarch: as appropriate
-Deep-frying oil: a appropriate

-Dashi soup stock: 1 cup (vegans, check recipe!)
Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 tablespon
-Fresh grated ginger juice: 1/2 teaspoon
-Green shiso/perilla leaves: 2~3 (if unavailable, use stron flavour leaf vegetable)


-If dry, let the koyadofu saok in plenty lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
In a pan drop the dashi, soy sauce and sweet sake/ mirin. Cook on medium fire for a little while without boiling too much. Switch off fire and add ginger jice. Mix.
Chop/finely cut green shiso and leave in cold water.

-Take kyadofu out of the water. Press water out hard. Cut into 8 pieces.Roll in cornstarch. Deep-fry at 150~160 degrees Celsius until they have attained a nice brownish colour (if the oil is too hot, it will “smoke”). Let rest on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

-Let the deep-fried koyadofu soak in the dashi soup until completely cooled down.
Chill the whole for a while in the refrigerator.

-Serve in a dish with the soupstock.
Drain and press water out the chopped green shiso and place on top.

-You can also serve it hot.
In this case after you have deep-fried the koyadofu and let it rest on a pice of paper kitchen to take excess oil, heat the soupstock. Add cornstarch dissolved in some lukewarm water and make a sweet and sour sauce (“ankake”) and serve it as shown in pic above.

As I said before, Koyadofu is one kind of tofu that can beasily arranged into all kinds of interesting appetizers in Japanese Homes’ Gastronomy!
Here is a simple suggestsion for a yummy lunch to be eaten by all, vegans, vegetarians aor omnivores:

Vegan (Japanese) Tofu Curry!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Koyadofu: 5 sheets/85 g
-Carrot: 1 medium
-Onion: 1 medium
-Potato: 1 medium
-Shiitake mushrooms: 10 small
-Green peas: the equivalent of 1 small can/60 g
-Curyr powder (of your preference): 1~ tablespoon (I would use 2)
-Soy sauce: 2/3 tablepsoon
-Garan masala powder: 1/2 teaspoon

-Salad oil

-Steamed rice: count a large bowl per person


-Cut the koyadofu into small bits and let them (if dry) soak in lukewram water until they get soft. Press the water out of them and keep in separate bowl. Finely chop the carrot, onion, potato, and shiitake mushroom. Keep in separate bowl. boil the green peas beforehand if necessary.

-Fry all choped vegetables in salad oil for a while until the onions become translucent.

-Add some water and bring to boil. Remove any unwanted matter if necessary. Add chopped koyadofu. Cook until carrot are sufficently soft. Switch off fire. Add curry powder and mix quickly. Add soy sauce and garam masala and mix quickly. Switch on the fire and cook over small fire until you are satisfied withe the consistency of the whole.

On a dish turn over a bowl of rice and surround it like in the toppicture with curry to which you add the green peas at the last second (on directly “seeded” over it) for good effect.

Vegan Japanese Tofu Gratin

Gratin can become a problem for vegans as they usually involve the use of butter and milk.
Here is a simple recipe that will help you solve that problem:

Japanese Beans Gratin!

INGREDIENTS: For 1 person

-Tofu (kinudofu/Silk tofu) 1 block/300g
-Onion: 1
-Shiitake Mushrooms: 3
-Oil: 2 tablespoons
-Flour: 2 tablespoons
-Soy milk: 1 cup/200 cc/ml
-Miso: 1 tablespoon
-Salt & pepper: as appropriate


-Cut/Dig out tofu block to a depth of 2 cm and leaving a 1 cm wide rim.

-In an oven dish cook the tofu block for 2 miutes 30 seconds in the microwave oven, take out and let rest for more than 3 hours.

-Chop the onion finely and cut the shiitake mushrooms in 5 millimeter/half a centimeter strips.

-Wrap the chopped onion in cellophane paper and cook in microwave oven for 1 minute.

-Pour some oil in a frying pan and sautee the onions. Once a nice smell cmes out the onions add the shiitake mushrooms and fry. Season with salt and pepper.

-Switch off the fire. Add the flour and mix well with a soft spatula.

-Add the soy milk and miso and mix. Switch on the fire and cook until the sauce has acquired a smooth texture. Switch off fire. (you may add the tofu dug out of the block!)

-Pour some oil in a clean frying pan and fry the tofu block on both sides until it attains a nice colour (see picture above).

-Serve the fried tofu on a dish and pour the onion-mushroom sauce on it!


-If you want to really look it like a gratin, you may grill the lot!

-Decorate with some leafy greens!
Koyadofu/Pressed Tofu Recipe

As promised here is the basic recipe to make Koyadofu/高野豆腐 or pressed tofu.

Koyadofu is extensively used in veganand vegetarian food in Japan.

It can also be deep-fried into great crunchy morsels!


-Tofu: 1 block/400 g (actually it is up to you!)


-Place the tofu in a plate/bowl and let rest there for 10 minutes.  Throw away the water that comes out naturally. Cut the tofu into 3 “slices” across the width. You may skip that step and proceed with whole block.

-Wrap the tofu into cellophane paper and freeze the tofu inside the freezer of your refrigerator.

-Will be ready once completely frozen.
The trick is to press water out of the tofu once you have thawn it.
The tofu will have taken its colour and consistency naturally.

Recipe suggestion:

Prepare a stock soup with 1 cup of seaweed dashi/soup stock, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a little salt, 1 and a half teaspoons of mirin/sweet sake, and 1 and a half teaspoons of soy sauce.
Cook the koyadofu in it and serve once soft enough.

Here is another simple recipe to convince my friends that Japan is a great country for vegans and vegetarians (and omnivores!)!

Vegan Japanese Burger!


Koyadoufu as sold in Japan either in single sheets or ready cut.

Koyadiufu cuisine example

Koyadoufu/高野豆腐 is tofu which has been pressed hard to almost a solid state although it still possesses an elastic and tender quality.
It is available in Asian markets either dried or preserved in light brine.

I will post the recipe very soon!

-Koyadofu: 1 “sheet” or approximately 100 g (wet weight)
-Boiled soy beans: 1/2 cup
-Carrot: 1/2
-Cabbage: 2 leaves
-Black pepper: a litle
-Miso: 1 teaspoon
-Tomato puree: 1 teaspoon
-Oil: 1 tablespoon
-Flour: 2 tablespoons
-Potato: 1
-Soy milk: 5 tablespoons
-Salad oil: 3 tablespoons
-Salt: a small pinch


-If the koyadofu is dry let in rest in lukewarm water until it has come back to its soft state. Press the water out hard and chop finely.

-Drop the boiled soy beasn in a food processor/mixer to “chop” finely. Don’t make a paste!

-Chop the carrot finely. Cut the the cabbage leaves into very thin strips>

-Fry the carrot and cabbage in a fry pan with oil and black pepper.

-Once the oil has coated the carrot and cabbage well, reduce fire to low, cover with a lid and steam fry for a while.

-Once the carrot and cabbage are cooked add the miso, tomato puree, chopped koyadoufu, soy beans, and continue steam-frying for a little while.
Switch off the fire.
Add the flour and mix.

-Let cool long enough to be able to handle it.
Form a burger and place on an oiled oven hot plate.

-Peel the potato and cook it in a microwave oven until tender (or boil it beforehand).

-Let the potato cool down before dropping itin the food processor with the soy milk and salad oil. Mash the potato, but don’t process too long or te potato willbecome glue!

-Season with a little salt and cover the burger with it.

-Bake for 10 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius or until it has reached a clour of your liking!
Wasabi, Umeboshi & Avocado Salad

INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons

-Avocado: 1 (choose a ripe one!)
-Umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum: 1 (if you don’t want too much salt, choose a sweet one!)
-Mayonnaise: 1 teaspoon
-Wasabi paste: 1/2 teaspoon
-Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon
-Lemon juice: as appropriate
-Nori/dry seaweed: as appropriate


-Cut avocado in halves, peel, discard seed and cut into samll enough pieces. Drop them in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and stir delicately. Very iportant as it will preserve the colour of the avocado and add to taste.

-Take out and discard the umeboshi seed and chop/mash fine. Add to avocado and stir delicately.

-Add mayonnaise (or vinaigrette), wasabi, soy sauce and stir/mix delicately.

-Serve in a bowl topped with dry seaweed cut in short and thin strips.


-Add peeled orange wedges for looks and taste!

So easy, isn’t it?
Vegan Japanese Snack: Imo & Wasabi

Living in a Prefecture that grows 80% of all wasabi in Japan, I thought it was about time I came up with a few recipes with wasabi!

I fully understand that wasabi and wasabi paste is not readily available outside Japan, but if you have the chance to get at least a tube of real wasabi, I a a few recipes for you that requires only a little of the precious stuff.
Bear in mind that wasabi is a natural medicine by itself, one more reason for you to buy some.
The present recipe also include yama imo/山芋, or long yam, which also so good for stamina and health!

Vegan Japanese Snack: Imo & Wasabi

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Long yam (fresh): 7 cm long piece
-Mitsuba/Trefoil/Japanese honeywort
-Dry seaweed/nori: as appropriate
-Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon
-Wasabi paste: 1/2 teaspoon
-Soy sauce for “washing”: 1 teaspoon


-Peel the yam and cut into pieces of your preferred size.
If you are sensitive to the yam “juice”, freeze it first!

-Boil the trefoil lightly and for only a short time. Drain and press water out. Add the soy sauce “for washing”, mix and press the the trefoil again!
Cut the trefoil into 1 cm long pieces.

-In a bowl mix the yam and trefoil with the soy sauce and wasabi. Mix well.
Place in serving dish topped with dry seaweed cut into short thin strips.

-You may add many green leaf veg to this recipe of course and decorate it with sliced red radihes for example!

Vegan Japanese Non-Wheat Steamed Bread

Although I’m not, I understand that being a vegan or vegetarian can be trying at times, and even frustrating when looking for new reipes.
Now, if on top of that you suffer from allergies such wheat allergy it can easily become a nightmare.
Here is one vegan bread recipe that does not make use of wheat flour!
And it is Japanese, although all Asians could say the contrary!LOL

Vegan Japanese Non-Wheat Steamed Bread


-Rice flour: 200 g (sold as “riz blanc”/リブラン in Japan)
-Brown sugar (fine): 100 g
-Cornstarch (vegan one): 2 tablespoons
-Baking powder (vegan one): 2 teaspoons
-Salt: a pinch
-Salad oil or olive oil: 1 tablespoon
-Soy milk: 200 cc/ml


-Pour the rice flour, brown sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a vinyl pouch and shake until well mixed.

-Pour rice flour mix in a rice steamer/cooker mold. Add soy milk and mix with a spatula. It will appear as slightly more liquid than a pancake mixture.

-Add the oil and mix well. Steam until satisfaction. Don’t hesitate to continue steaming if not satisfied with the consistency. Actually steaming it twice will achieve proper results!

Vegan Japanese Bread

Everyone likes his/her bread but some pople do have priorities!
Here is a simple recipe for vegans and vegetarians!

Vegan Japanese Bread!


-All-purpose flour: 260 g
-Salt: 4 g
-Brown sugar: 20 g
-Fermented soy milk margarine: 20 g
-Water: 130 ml/cc
-Soy milk: 50 ml/cc
-Baking powder: 2 g


-For quick results us a HB (stands for “Home Bakery” in Japanese) bread cooker.

-In a bowl drop and mix flour, salt, sugar and fermented soy milk margarine.

-In the HB “pan” pour the water and soy milk and stir.

-Add the flour, salt, sugar and fermented soy milk margarine mixture and stir.

-Add yeast powder, stir and close the HB. Switch on and wait!

Simple, isn’t it?
The HB is worth the investment, I can tell you!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Yuzu Miso Dressing

Vegan and vegetarians do sometimes experience problems making dressings for their food.
The Japanese have an easy and very tasty way to remedy for such an issue:
Yuzu Miso Dressing/Lime and miso dressing!

INGREDIENTS: To accompany 5 steamed turnips

-White miso: 150 g
–Dashi: (Check HERE for Vegan Recipe!): 2~ tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 2 tablespoons
-Sugar: 2 teaspoons
-YUzu/lime juice: 2 teaspoons
-Yuzu/Lime zest (finely chopped or better, grated): 1/2


-In a pan drop the white miso, sugar, sake and dashi. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Switch on fire.

-Cook on a small fire for 7~8 minutes. Switch off fire. Add the yuzu/lime juice and grated yuzu/lime zest. Mix well.

-Pour over steamed vegetables and serve immediately.

Easy, isn’t it? But delicious!
Vegan Chinese Carrot Salad

Chinese Cuisine, especially salads can be easily adapted for vegan and vegetarian priorities as shown in this simple and adaptable recipe!

Note on Zha cai

Zha cai (literally “pressed vegetable”) is a type of pickled mustard plant stem originating from Sichuan, China. Other transliterations might include cha tsai, tsa tsai (from Mandarin Chinese); or jar choy, jar choi, ja choi, ja choy, or cha tsoi (from Cantonese). In English, it is commonly known as Sichuan vegetable, Szechwan vegetable, or Chinese pickled vegetable (although all of these terms may also refer to any of a number of other Chinese pickles), including the several other types in the Sichuan province itself.

The pickle is made from the knobby, fist-sized, swollen green stem of Brassica juncea, subspecies tatsai. The stem is first salted, pressed, and dried before being rubbed with hot red chili paste and allowed to ferment in an earthenware jar.

INGREDIENTS: For 1 person

-Carrot: 1
-Zha Cai: 1 small tin
-White leek: 1
-Vinegar Rice: 2 tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
-Salad Oil (of your choice): 1 tablespoon


-Cut the carrot into thin and narrow strips.

-Do the same with zha cai.

-In a bowl drop the carrot and zha cai strips. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and salad oil. Mix. Check taste and rectify if deemed necessary. Bear in mind that the zha cai contains salt.

-Cut the white leeks into very thin strips.
Mount the salad as shown in above picture.

-the beta carotene contained in the carrots will be better assimilated by the body thanks to the oil!

Dried Persimmon Appetizer

If you cannot find fresh persimmons, you still can create great and simple appetizers with sun-dried ones!

They make for very sweet preseve fruit but also combine so well with sour vegetables as an appetizer!

Dried Persimmon Appetizer!


-Dried persimmon: 1
-Japanese sake: a little
-Sugar: a ;itt;e
-Rice vinegar: a little
-Light soy sauce: a little

-Grated daikon: 1 cup/200 ml/cc
-Sugar: 5 tablespoons
-Rice vinegar: 3 tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 1 teaspoon


-Take off the the stem part of the persimmon. Cut in half lengthwise. Sprinkle with Japanese sake and let it marinate for an hour. If the dried persimmon is hard, marinate for a whole night.

-Cut it in sticks/strips 3mm thick and drop the pieces in a bowl: Add a little sugar, rice vinegar, and soysauce. Mix and marinate for a couple of minutes.

-Grate the daikon and press water out. Drop the grated daikon in bowl and add the sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Mix.
Put a layer of persimmon on the bottom of a plate.
Top it with grated daikon in a plate and surmount the lt with another strip of persimmon as shown in above picture.
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Persimmmon Salad

Persimmons are still found anywhere in Japan and more and more abroad. Sweet they might be but they do provide a great taste when combined in salads with supposedly sour ingredients.

Here is a simple appetizer/salad recipe that should tempt everyone!

Persimmon salad!

INGREDIENTS: For 5~6 people

-Daikon: 170 g
-Carrot (choose a red Kyoto carrot if available: 40 g
-Cucumber: 120 g
-Squat sun-dried persimmon: 1~2
-Water: 3 cups/600 ml/cc
-Salt: 1 tablespoon (for salted water)
-Japanese sake: 5 tablespoons
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
-Light soy sauce: 1~2 teaspoons
-Rice vinegar: 2~3 teaspoons


-Cut the daikon into 3 cm long matchsticks and then chop finely. Let rest in water and salt for a while.

-Cut the cucumber into 3 cm long sticks and chop finely. Drop them into the slated water containing the daikon.

-Cut the persimmon into sticks a bit thicker than the above.

-Pour the seasoning ingredients into a separate bowl and mix well.

-Take daikon and cucumber out of water. Drain well. Drop them with the persimmon sticks into the sauce.

-Mix and serve as shown in above picture.
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Triple-Taste Aubergines/Egg-Plants

As I already repeated time and time again, the Japanese cuisine/gastronomy has a lot to offer to vegans and vegetarians for the simple reason that such priorities are typical of the Buddhist monks (I mean the real ones!) in this country.

Here is a very simple but very Japanese recipe with aubergines/egg plants:
Triple-Taste Aubergines/Egg-plants!

INGREDIENTS: for 4 people

-Egg plants/Aubergines: 5
-Green leeks: 1 tablespoon (chopped)
-Ground sesame seeds: 1 nad a half tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 1 and a half tablespoons
-Sugar: 2 teaspoons
-Rice vinegar: 2 teaspoons
-Ground chili pepper: 1/3 teaspoon


-Cut both extremities of egg plants/aubergines off. Cut them in halves lengthwise and steam them in a steamer until soft.

-Spread them over a strainer dish or a “zaru/Japanese bamboo strainer” and let them cool down.
Cut to your prefeered size.

-In a bowl, drop ground sesame seeds, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili pepper. Mix well, Drop inthe cut aubergines and mix gently. Last add chopped leeks and mix gently.

-Serve the equivalent of one egg plant/aubergine in four individual dishes or all in the same serving dish. Look at the picture for a presentation suggestion!

Easy, isn’t it?
Great with beer!


The Japanese use the word “curry” for almost anything Indian in concept, although most of the curries eaten in Japan are more of Thai origin than else. One more reason to wonder about the word “cyrry”!LOL
This recipe, simple and very Japanese makes use of ingredients that should please any culinary priority!
Serve it with plain steamed rice and plenty of vegetable salad!

INGREDIENTS: For 8 people

-Onions: 3 medium-sized
-Celery: 2 large leaves
-Red sweet pimento: 6 small
-Carrots: 2
-Eringe mushrooms: 1 handful (if not available use anothre kind of firm fresh mushroom)
-Parsley: 3 sprigs
-Garlic: 3 cloves
-Fresh ginger: a little
-Lemon juice: half a lemon
-Aburaage (deep-fried tofu sheets): 4
-Sesame oil: 6 tablespoons
-Curry mixture (powder) of your choice: 1/2 cup/ 100 cc/ml
-Salt: a little


-Cut the aburaage into 7 mm cubes and let soak in water for 10 minutes in a bowl closed with a piece of cellophane paper. Drain well and leave inside refrigerator.

-Thinly slice celery, red sweet pimento, carrots, eringe mushrooms. and onions. Finely chop parsley, garlic and fresh ginger. Press juice out of lemon.

-Heat a wok. Pour 3 tablespoons of sesame oil and fry onions, carrots and eringe mushrooms over a medium fire until the onoin become transparent.

-Add garlic, ginger, red sweet pimanto, celeryand fry over a medium fire for a while . Transfer into a separate bowl.

-Pour 3 tablespoons of sesame oil into the same wok (do not clean it!) and lightly fry the aburaage until dark spots appear onthe surface of the cut pieces.

-Add the fried vegetables and the curry mixture powder, salt. Add black pepper and thinly sliced chili pepper if you like your food hot. Misx well and keep frying.

-Add lemon juice. Stir, check the taste and rectify if needed.

-Once you are satisfied with the cooking, and only then add chopped aprsley and celery and mix and serve immediately for best taste.

-You can eat this vegan vegetable curry cold. In this case do not add the parsley and celery yet. Let the curry cool down completely and store it in the fridge in a tupperware. Add and mix inthe parsley and celery just before serving.


-You may heat the cut aburaage in a microwave oven to get rid of all humidity.
-Served cold, it can be eaten as a salad inside lettuce of soft cabbage leaves.
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Cauliflower and Lime

Vegansarus and vegan freinds should know by now that Japanese gastronomy is a whole fireld to study for their culinary priorities. Not only it provides ideas for nutritious food but alo elegance!

Cauliflower and Lime!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Cauliflower: a little less that 3 cups/550 cc, broken into small “branches/flowers”
-Sweet white miso: 1 tablespoon
-Rice vinegar: 1 large tablespoon and a little more
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1/4 teaspoon
-Lime zest: 1 lime
-Sugar: if wished for, as deemed as appropriate
-Water for boiling (with a little sake)


-Break the cauliflower into small “branches/flowers” and boil in salted water to the softness/hardness of your choice.

-In a bowl drop the sweet white miso, rice vinegar and mirin/sweet sake and mix. Check taste and rectify with sugar if deemed appropriate. Add thinly cut lime zest and mix.

-Choose a nice vessel and place the boiled cauliflower in it (look at the picture above). Pour the seasoning ver it, taking care of placing the lime zests on top in an artisitic manner (use chopsticks!).
A couple of very thin chives would do well for decoration!

Great with Japanese sake or beer!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Lotus Root Steaks

This is the third (and not fianl, I hope!) of a series of vegan recipes for such friends as Vegansarus prepared with lotus root or renkon/蓮根 in Japanese. These should be easier and easier to get these days. They do provide a great bite on top of their nutritional value!

By cutting lotus roots into thick slices you can eat them like steaks!

Lotus Root Steaks!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~ paople

-Lotus roots: 2~ large ones
-Olive oil (EV): as appropriate
-Salt: a reasonable quantity
-Freshly ground black pepper: as much as you want!


-Peel and cut lotues roots into 1 cm-thick slices. make sure of getting rid of any blemish. Wash them in clear cold water and drain thoroughly.

-Pour enough olive oil in frypan. More than less oil is better as it will be sucked in by the lotus root. Place lotus roots on oil. Cover with lid. Cook over a medium fire. Fry both sides of the slices until they have reached a nice brown colour.

-halfway through cooking, when lotus root slices are starting changing colour sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.

When ready serve as they are, or with some reen leaf vegetables.
A little chili pepper or a final seasoning for people who like their food spicy!
Simple, isn’t it?

Great with Japanese sake or beer!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Lotus Root Chips

This is the second of a series of vegan recipes for such friends as Vegansarus prepared with lotus root or renkon/蓮根 in Japanese. These should be easier and easier to get these days. They do provide a great bite on top of their nutritional value!

Potatoes are great as chips, aren’t they? Now, lotus roots are too! Moereover, they can be used for striking decoration in salads!

Lotus roots Chips!

INGREDIENTS: For 1 person

-Lotus root: 1~2 medium size


-Cut the lotus root root into 2 mm thick slices and wash them lightly in water.

-Drain them thoroughly. Take out all excess water by pacing them between two sheets of kitchen paper.

-Fry them slowly in oil at about 150 degrees Celsius. keep in mind that overfried lotus roots (dark brown to balckish9 become sour and tasteless!

-Scopp them out when they attained the right colour and let them rest on a sheet of kitchen paper to take out excess oil.

-After letting them cool a bit, drop them in a (clean!) vinyl pouch with a little salt and shake them around for an even taste!

Great with Japanese sake or beer!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Sweet & Spicy Lotus Roots

This is the first of a series of vegan recipes for such friends as Vegansarus prepared with lotus root or renkon/蓮根 in Japanese. These should be easier and easier to get these days. They do provide a great bite on top of their nutritional value!

Sweet & Spicy Lotus Roots!

INGREDIENTS: for 2 people

-Lotus root: a 20cm long piece
-Fresh ginger juice: 1 teaspoon
-Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Rice vinegar: 1 tablespoon
-Cornstarch: as appropriate
-White sesame seeds: as much as you want
-Salad oil (of your choice): 1 tablespoon


-Slice the lotus roots to the thickness of your preference. A lttle thick will provide a satisfying bite.

-Coat the lotus root slices with cornstarch.

-Fry the lotus root slice in oil until both faces have attained a nice brown colour. let them rest on a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.

-In a bowl, prepare the sauce by mixing the fresh ginger juice, soy sauce, mirin/sweet sake, rice vinegar.

-In a clean frypan drop the fried lotus root slices. Heat them again. Pour the sauce on them and fry until they become “sticky”.

-Serve them immediately with some white sesame seeds!

Great with Japanese sake or beer!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Fried-Stewed Kabocha

I’ve already have introduced a similar basic recipe, but with dashi and and without precise ingredients quantities.
Many people in Japan believe that Kabocha originates from Japan.
Actually it was introduced to Asia a long time ago after it was discovered on the American Continent.
Even the etymology is not Japanese as it refers (apparently, but nothing sure about that!) to the varieties first grown and developped in Cambodia, according to the same Japanese who can’t get enough of them and mostly import them from Tonga, of all places!
Here is a more precise and little different recipe of this vey popular vegetable:

Kabocha no Itame-ni/南瓜の炒め煮/Fried-Stewed Kabocha!
Dedicated to my new friend, Vegansarus!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~4 persons

-Kabocha/Pumpkin: 500 g
-Leeks: 1/2 cup/100 ml/cc (finely chopped)
-Oil (of your choice): 3 tablespoons
-Fresh ginger: 5~6 thin slices (fresh ginger)
-Water: 1 ~ cup/200ml/cc~
-Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
-Sugar: 1 tablespoon
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon


First take the stem end out. It sounds evident, but you will make things hard for you if you skip that simple step!

Turn the kabocha over (now you understand why you have taken the stem out?). Cut in half through the middle. Take care not to slip and cut your fingers!

Having cut the kabocha in half, cut it again in half (fourth). The raw kabocha might be hard to cut. There is no need to use brute force. Cut it slowly!

This will make it easy to scoop out (and discard the seeds).

Cut each quarter again across as shown in above picture.

Then cut again as shown in above picture for individual pieces.

The next step is bit of a pain, but absolutely necessary.
Cut away the skin edges as shown in above picture.
-1) for a more even cooking.
-2) the edges will turn hard and will be diificult to bite through. You might even cut your lips. Believe me!
-3) the kabocha wedges will not break down upon stewing.

The kabocha wedges as they should be before stewing!

In a saucepan drop the oil, leeks and fresh ginger. Fry them for a while, then drop in all the kabocha. Fry for a while on a medium fire.

-Add water, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Lower fire. Cover with lid. Stew for 15 minutes or until the kabocha is soft. The point for better taste is the preliminary frying!
Deep-fried Tofu Balls

Meat balls, or any balls for that matter, don’t have to be made with meat, eggs or dairy products to be attractive and tasty.
It is quite a simple task to create them when you have tofu around!

Here is an easy and healthy recipe:
Deep-fried Tofu Balls:

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people or 16 balls

-Tofu: 350g of well pressed kinu/silk tofu
-Hijiki/sweet seaweed: 1 tablespoon (water-softened)
-Burdock root: 20 cm long piece (finely chopped)
-Carrot: 2~3 cm long piece (finely chopped)
-Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Sugar: 1 tablespoon
-Flour: 1 tablespoon
-White sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon
-Leeks: 1 tablespoon (finely chopped)
-Ground black pepper: a little
-Fresh ginger: 1 teaspoon (grated)

No need for salt as it is contained in the soy sauce.
You may add a little miso paste and p0nzu for further seasoning.


-Pour a litle oil in small frypan and throw in the choopped burdock root and carrot, the hijiki/sweet seaweed, soy sauce, sugar, grated ginger and fry until most of the misture has disappeared. let cool down.

-In a bowl throw in the tofu (well pressed to get rid of excess humidity) and break it into fine lumps. Add the fried vegetables, flour, sesame seeds, chopped leeks and mix well.

-Shape balls and deep-fry until they have become a nice brown colour.

-Serve with short pieces of thin leeks topping.
Daikon Chrysanthemums

Here is a simple and “artistic” recipe using daikon and yuzu/lime.
It’s called 菊花大根/Kikuhana Daikon which can be translated as Chrysanthemum Daikon.
You don’t need Chrysanthemums, but only cut the daikon into the shape of the flower!


-Daikon: Roughly a quarter.
-Lime: 1
-Salt: a little
-Sugar: 3 tablespoons


-Cut the daikon into slices you will then trim into the shape of flowers with a knife or a mold. As for the trimmings you may add them to the whole marinade and serve them with another salad or side dish.

-Sprinkle the daikon flowers with a little salt and let them marinate for 10~15 minutes.

-Peel the lime and cut the skin/zest into thin strips.

-In a bowl, press out the lime juice. If you don’t get enough, add rice vinegar to it until you obtain the equivalent of 3 tablespoons of “juice”. Add the sugar and lime zest strips and mix well.

-Drain the daikon flowers (and trimmings if included). No need to press them hard. Add them to the marinade. Cover with cellophane paper and let marinate inside the fridge for a whole day.

-Serve it in a nice “artistic” fashion!

Vegan Caprese-Style Tomato & Tofu Salad

I’ve already introduced vegan tofu salads for my firends.
This is another one with a lttle twist!

INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons

-Tofu (kinu tofu): 1/2 block: 200g
-Tomato: a large whole one
-Basil leaves: 10 (large and fresh!)

-Wine vinegar: 1/4 cup: 50 cc/ml
-Salt: 1/3 teaspoon
-Whole black peppers: 3 seeds, ground (use a bottle!)
-Garlic: 1/2 clove (fresh!)
-Red chili pepper: 1/2 (fresh if possible) (Chopped finely)
-Olive oil (EV): 1.1/4~ tablespoon
-Onion: 15 g (Fresh and new if possible!)


-Cut the tofu in 1 cm-thick slices.

-Cut out the stem end off the tomato and cut into half-moon slices.

-Crush the garlic and throw it into a small pan with the wine vinegar, Salt, black pepper, and red chili pepper and heat it until reduced to half.

-Transfer the dressing into a bowl floating on a larger bowl half-filled with water and ice and leave until chilled.

-Take out unsightly pieces out of the dressing. Grate the onion over it and mix. Add the oil oil and mix.

-On a serving dish place the slices of tofu and tomatoes and the basil leaves alternatively as shown on picture above. Season with dressing and serve!

-Very low in calories!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: New Lotus Roots & Umeboshi

Lotus roots, when new and fresh, should be prized for their great natural taste. They can even be eaten almost raw after a little marinating. The Japanese have a simple and delicate way to prepare them with umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, which should please vegans and vegetarians (and omnivores). It certainly makes for a great snack with Japanese sake or shochu!


-Lotus root: 1 piece, 10 cm long. Choose it absolutely fresh and comparatively slender.
-Umeboshi: 2
-Shiso/perilla leaves: 2
-Japanese sake: according to taste and preferences.
-Soy sauce: according to taste and preferences.
-Rice vinegar: according to taste and preferences.


-Peel and cut the lotus root into hin slices. Wash them 2 or 3 times in cold clean water.

-In a pan heat some water to just before boiling point. Add some rice vinegar and cook the lotus roots in eat until they become translucent.
Do not overcook them. Drain them thoroughly and put aside.

-Take the seeds out of the umebshi and sieve the meat into a bowl. Add Japanese sake (or cooking sake) to make it into a thin liquid paste. add a few drops of soy sauce for seasoning. Taste. If it is too sour to your liking add some mirin/sweet Japanese sake.

-Add the umeboshi to the lotus roots slices and mix well so as to cover all the lotus root slices surface.

-Cut the shiso/perilla leaves in 3 first, then chopp them fine across.

-Serve as in the picture, lotus root sliced mounted on top of each other and topped with chopped shiso leaves.
Vegan French Cuisine: Quinoa, Green Vegetables & Vanilla

Spring is coming fast (at least in Japan!) and whatever your culinary priorities, all kinds of green vegetables are coming around the corner!
Here, in Shizuoka especially, broad beans, corgettes/zucchinis and broad beans are readily available!

Quinoa with Green Vegetables and Vanilla!

INGREDIENTS: for 6 persons

-Quinoa: 250 g
-Young spinach sprouts (small leaves): a fistful
-Zucchini/Courgette: 1 small green and firm
-Broad beans (fesh!): 500 g (pods included)
-Vanilla: 1 pod
-Salt (fleur de sel if possible), black pepper (ground): to taste
-Olive oil (EV): 80 ml/cc


-Cook the quinoa al dente in lightly salted water.
Cool it under running cold water. Drain well.

– Take broad beans out of their pods and drop into boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool them under cold running water. Delicately peel them.

-Cook the broad beans again in slightly salted water for 3 minutes just under boiling temperature. Cool under cold running water. Drain well and put aside.

-Wash then cut the zucchimi/courgette in small pieces. Wash and drain well the spinach sprouts.

-Cut the vanilla pod along ts length and take flesh/seeds out with the point of a knife and mix with the olive oil in a small bowl.

-In a large bowl mix all the vegetables and then the vanilla sauce.
Leave inside refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

-Before serving, add a little salt and plenty of pepper.

-Drink a white sparkling wine with it!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Fried Bell Peppers, Shimeji Mushrooms & Umeboshi

There is a wealth of vegan/vegetarian recipes in Japanese cuisine to the point that people with such priorities might feel attracted by this country. Don’t forget there is a traditional Budhist (I’m not) vegetarian gastronomy which can be easily amended to vegan tastes!

A note before I continue:
A vegan friend pointed out that honey is not vegan when I advised to use honey-pickled Japanese plums. I shall leave that to you.
Just bear in mind that non-honey Japanese pickled plums are higher in slat, although the same salt can be used as the seasoning itself.

Green peppers, or bell peppers are full of extremely important beneficial elements, so here is a very simple way to accomodate them:

Fried Bell Peppers, Shimeji Mushrooms & Umeboshi!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people

-Shimeji mushrooms: 1 pack or a large fistful

-Bell Peppers: 2

-Umeboshi/Pickled Japanese plums: 2

-Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
-Black pepper: to taste
-Soy sauce: a little

Optional spices (chili pepper): to taste


-Take seed out of umeboshi/pickled Japanese plum and cut to a pulp with a knife.

-Cut the bell peppers in trips. Make sure you have discarded all the seeds. They are not easily digested.

-Separate the shimeji mushrooms.

-Pour the olive oil on a frypan and stir fry the bell peppers and shimeji mushrooms until as soft as you wish.

-Add umeboshi, balck pepper, soy sauce and optional spices. Mix and stir-fry for a few seconds.

-Serve topped with some fresh green sprouts.

Easy again, ain’t it?
Vegan Japanese Dessert: Sweet Potato, Apple & Gardenia Seeds Kinton

It is always a bit complicated for vegans and vegetarians alike to create desserts without using eggs or dairy products, unlessyou start using derivatives and susbstitues, which is not always a good idea.
The Japanese must be, without knowing it, the greatest creators of vegan desserts thanks to such techniques as found in the making of wagashi!

One variety of wagashi is called Kinton.
Kinton, or きんとんin Japanese is a Japanese tradtional dessert made with chestnuts/kuri/栗 and sugar.
Originally created in Gifu in the late 1870’s it is now found and available almost everywhere in Japan for the pleasure of all, vegans and vegetarians included.

Kuchinashi (Japanese) or Gardenia jasminoides (also known as Gardenia augusta) is a fragrant flowering evergreen tropical plant, a favorite in gardens worldwide. It originated in Asia and is most commonly found growing in Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan and Japan.
The fruit is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food (including the Korean mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk).
Medicinal uses:
Gardenia jasminoides fructus (fruit) is used within Traditional Chinese Medicine to “drain fire” and thereby treat certain febrile conditions.

Kuchinashi no Mi/Gardenia fruit.

Kuchinashi no mi/Gardenia fruit, dried as found in Japanese stores.

I took the precaution to go through these preliminary explantaions before introducing the following dessert:

Sweet Potato, Apple & Gardenia Seeds Kinton!


-Apple: 1 large
-Sweet Potato/Satsuma Imo: 1 medium
-Lemon juice: 1/4
-Sugar: 1 tablespoon
-Gardenia seed/Kuchinashi no Mi: 1


-Peel the sweet potato, cut in four legthwise and across again every 2 cm. Leave aside in clear cold water.

-Peel the apple, cut into 8 wedges and slice again every 5 mm. Drop in a stainless pot. Add lemon and sugar. Cover with lid and simmer on a low fire until softened.

-Cut the kuchinashi no mi/Gardenia seed in two and insert it in a small cooking bag (gauze as for bouquet garni).

-In a different pan, drop the sweet potato with ebnough water to boil them. Add teh kuchunashi no mi/gardenia seed. Boil until the sweet potato is soft enough to be easily skewered with a bamboo/wooden toothpick.

-Throw the water of the sweet potato out. Keep cooking the sweet potato to let their water evaporate.

-Add 1/3 of the apple to the sweet potato and mix well.

-Serve the sweet potato topped with the cooked apple.


-Roast some some walnuts and top the dessert with them!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Bamboo Shoots Tips & Umeboshi

Here is anothe Japanese vegan recipe for bamboo, especially young new bamboo shoots which are around the corner.

This particular recipe is called 筍の姫皮の梅肉和え/Takenoko no Himekawa no Umeniku Shitae.

Himekawa are the very tip of young bamboo shoot, not the bamboo shoot which is found in tinned bamboo shoots, but actually the inner soft part of “leafy end” of the shoot. If you have the fresh bamboo shoot, you may of course add the tip of the bamboo shoot itself.

As for umeniku, it means the “flesh” (not the seed!) of a Japanese pickled plum.
Chose large plums. I fancy the honey pickled ones for their small amount of salt!


-Himekawa/Bamboo shoot inner tips
-Honey pickled umeboshi (low salt content)
-Cooking Japanese sake
-Soft taste soy sauce
-Dashi: (Check HERE for Vegan Recipe!)

All ingredient quantities are up to you! Do experiment!


-Cut the tip of the bamboo shoot. Discard any leafy, hairy, hard or dark part.

-Cut the bamboo tips in short strips.

-Boil the bamboo tips in dashi and soy sauce just enough to soften them a bit more and season them.

-Mash the umeboshi/Japanese pickled plum with a knife.
Season the drainedbamboo tips with the umeboshi, cooking Japanese sake and a little soy sauce in a bowl and mix.

Serve in individual plates.
This can also be served as part of a salad or a side dish. Decorate with green shoots for better impression.
You may add spices, but you will have to be careful when experimenting!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Simmered Bamboo Shoots

In Japan, and in Shizuoka in particular, the bamboo shoots season is about to come.
Fresh, they are so tender and provide a good bite sensation for people with vegan and vegetarian priorities.
Naturally you can buy them tinned all year round, but the quality just does not compare!
The Japanese are very found of new shoots grilled with their “skin” around them to later peel and eat them almost like corn ears!
By the way, did you know that bamboo is not a tree, but a grass?

Here is a simple vegan Japanese recipe. All ingredients hopefully can be found in Asian markets abroad:

Simmered Bamboo Shoots/Waka Take Ni/若竹煮!


-Bamboo shoots: 2 small, fresh if possible
-Wakame: as appropriate (can be boughtin Asian Markets in sachet/bags. Wash their salt off first and soften them if necessary)

-Ki no Me (see above): Ki no me is also also called Sansho or Japanese pepper, especially when fresh and in leaves. It is called Shishuan pepper when dried: as appropriate. If unavailable, use leafy greens or fresh spouts of any kind!

-Dashi: 2 cups/400 cc/ml (Check HERE for Vegan Rcipe!)

-Salt: 1/2~teaspoon
-Soft taste soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 1 tablepoon (if unavailable, experiment with white wine!)
-Mirin/sweet sake: 50 cc/ml


-Peel bamboo shoots if necessary. Cut them along their lengths into 6 radial trips.

-Wash wakame in clear cold water and cut into bite size.

-Pour the dashi, soy sauce, sake, salt and mirin in a pan. Simmer the bamboo shoots and wakame in the mixture for 20 minutes on a medium fire, taking care not to overboil it.

-Serve hot or chilled with its soup decorated with some frsh ki no me or other greens


This is the “soft style” recipe. You may vary the amount of salt and add spices.
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: New Cabbage In Sweet Vinegar Marinade

New cabbages are coming to the markets in Shizuoka!
They are both juicy and crunchy and are just great raw!

Here is a simple recipe for vegans to enjoy:

New Cabbage in Sweet Vinegar Marinade!


-New Cabbage: 4~5 leaves
-Graound sesame seeds: 2 tablespoons
-Sugar: 1 tablespoon
-Rice vinegar: 1+1/2 tablespoons
-Light taste soy sauce: 1/2 tablespoon


-Cut the cabbage leaves in 4 cm square pieces.

-Heat salted water in a pan to boiling point.

-Throw in the cabbage.

-Take cabbage out just before boiling point and set aside.

-In a large bowl, mix ll ingredients with cabbage while they are still hot.

-Let it cool down completely.

It can actually be savoured warm, lukearm or chilled, although the quicker you eat it, the better!

Add some leafy greens or sprouts for decoration!

Simple again, ain’t it? (I tend to repeat myself! LOL)

Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Tomatoes marinated in Sweet Vinegar

Like the Aubergines/Eggplants, Tomatoes are available all year round!

Here is a very simple and healthy recipe that anyone can use and eat at will!

Tomato No Amazu tsuke/Tomeatoes marinated in sweet vinegar!


-Tomato: 250 g
-Onuon: 15 g (finealy chopped)
-Celery: 10 g (finely chopped)
-Coriander: to taste (fresh and finely chopped

-Sugar: 2,1/2 tablespoons
-Rice vinegar: 50 ml/cc
-Water: 100 ml/cc


-Pour allthe marinade ingredients in a saucepan and heat until just before boiling point. Switch off fire, let cool completely and chill.
Chill chopped onion, celery and coriander inside the fridge.

-Plunge the tomatoes in hot water, then ice-cold water and peel.
Cut into small enough pieces and add them to the marinade. Chill inside fridge.

-Serve tomatoes with chopped vegetables on topas shown in above picture.

You may add optional chopped vegetables and leaves.
As for salt ot spices I would experiment very carefully!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Marineated Aubergines/Egg plants

Aubergines/egg plants are available all year round and are so versatile.

Here is a simple recipe for vegans and vegetarians to expand on:
Marinated Aubergines!

INGREDIENTS: for 2~3 persons

-Aubergines/egg plants: 3
-Garlic: 1 clove (thinly sliced)
-Capsicum/red chili pepper: 1 (Cut into thin rings)
-Wine vinegar: 1 tablespoon
-Olive Oil (EV): 3 tablespoons
-Mint leaves


Cut the aubergines into 5 mm thick slices.
line them in a dish with salt.
After 15 minutes, the aubergines should have expelled enough water.
Wipe the aubergine slices with some kitchenpaper.
Sprinkle with salt and deep-fry.

-In a dish spread the aubergines on top of each other. Place the thin garlic slices over the top layer. Place the thin rings of capsicum over the garlic. Sprinkle the whole with wine vineagar and olive oil. Place plenty of mint leaves over the top.
Chill thoroughly inside the refrigerator.
Mint leaves might change colour with the wine vinegar. You may add them last when you serve the aubergines.

You may add more garlic slices in between the aubergines layers for stronger taste.

Serve as shown in above picture.

Easy again, isn’t it?
Great with beer!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Taro and Sesame

Here is another vegan recipe that is not only healthy and easy to pprepare but will also give you plenty of satisfaction:
Tarao and sesame!

INGREDIENTS: For 3~4 people

-Taro/sato imo: 3 medium to large
-Miso: 1 tablespoon
-Sugar: 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 1/2 tablepoon
-Ground sesame seeds: 1/2 tablespoon


1- Wash the taro/sato imo and wrap as they are in cellophan paper. Cook them in a microwave oven at 600W for 7 minutes. Turn them over halfway.

2-Take them out and peel them. Shi\ould be easy by hand.. Cut them into pieces of your preference.

3-Mix the miso, sugar, mirin and ground sesame and season the taro/sato imo with them.
Serve in individual or large plate.
Add some freshly chopped greens or sprouts.

Bear in mind that depending on the size of the taro/sato imo, you might have to amend the cooking time.
Don’t forget to turn them over once halfway.
You can also vary the quantity of ground sesame!

Easy again, ain’t it?
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Grilled Aubergines-Egg Plants and Garlic Chives Dressing

Looking through my notes I found another easy vegan Japanese recipe with aubergines/egg plants that requires only little work and provides plenty of beneficial elements!

Chinese Chives, or Garlic Chives (English), Ciboule de Chine (France), or Nira/韮 in Japanese have a dintinct taste and are widely used in Japanese cuisine for fried foods.
Both leaves and the stalks of the flowers are used as a flavoring similarly to chives, green onions or garlic and are used as a stir fry ingredient.

Garlic Chives and tofu.

The flowers may also be used as a spice. In Vietnam, the leaves of garlic chives are cut up into short pieces and used as the only vegetable in a soup of broth.

Grilled Aubergines/Egg Plants and Chinese Chives Dressing!

INGREDIENTS: For 3~4 people

-Aubergines/Egg plants: 3
-Garlic Chives/Nira: 1 bunch
-Soy sauce: 1.5 tablespoons
-Rice vinegar: 1 tablespoon
-Sugar: 1/2 tablespoons
-Sesame oil: 1/2 tab;espoon
-White sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon


-Chopp the garlic chives finely. Drop tthm in saucepan with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Mix well. Let marinate for 15 minutes, stirring form time to time.

-Cut the stem end of the aubergines./ egg plants
Grill the egg plants/aubergines directly over the flame on a grill.
Doing it in the oven is fine, too.

-Once the the egg plants/aubergines have been evenly grilled and become soft inside, peel them completely.

-Cut the aubergines/egg plants into bite-sized pieces and serve topped with plenty of garlic chives dresing.

-Can be savoured hot, lukewarm or chilled!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Egg plants/Aubergines & Miso Caviar

This recipe is another/different version form the previous egg plants/aubergies recipe to cater for vegan priorities.
Back in France, we do call aubergine paste, aubergine caviar (probably because of the sometimes reminiscent dark colour).
The process is almost the same, and it is of course open to variations, especially as far spices are concerned.

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Egg plants/Aubergins: 3~4
-Rice vinegar: 1 tablespoon
-Miso (of your choice): 1 tablespoon
-Fresh perilla/shiso leaves: enough for decoration. Chop them finely first.

-Salt: no need as enough is contained inside the miso

-Optional: Spices (of your choice), grated ginger, and so on.


-Grill the egg plants/aubergines directly over the flame on a grill.
Doing it in the oven is fine, too.

-Once the the egg plants/aubergines have been evenly grilled and become soft inside, peel them completely.

-Mash them finely with a knife.
Do not use a food processor as the the egg plants/aubergines will become a messy juice!

-Pour the mashed egg plants/aubergines in a bowl.
Add the rice vinegar and miso.
Mix well.
Served topped with finely chopped shiso leaves.

-Experiment with grated garlic, sesame oil and grated ginger!
Vegan Korean Cuisine: Kimchi Tofu Miso Soup

Although I live in and loves its food, I’ve learnt to appreciate Korean gastronomy through many trips to Seoul and eating at Yakiniku Restaurants here.

I’M sure that vegan and vegetarinas would love a simple tatse of Korean food according to their preferences.
Her is a very simple recipe for cold winters!

Kimchi Tofu Miso Soup!


-Kimchi: as much as you want
-Tofu (soft silk/kinu tofu style): 200 g
-Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
-Leeks: as much as you like (chopped)
-Dashi/Konbu Dashi (vegan dashi)/ soup stock: 1 cup/200 cc/ml (check dashi posting)
-Miso: 1 tablespoon (check miso posting!)

-Optional: freshly cut green leaf vegetables for decoration.


-Heat the sesame oil in a pan. Fry the leeks and kimchi together for a while.

-Add dashi soup stock and bring to boil.
As soon as it boils, lower fire to small.
Add miso and stir and add tofu cut in bite-sized pieces and cooked until tofu is warm enough (never overcook tofu!)

-Pour into serving bowl and eat with chopsticks and Chinese spoo (or just with a spoon!).
-I like it served with freshly chopped thin leeks or coriander!

Simple again, isn’t it?
Taro & Tomato Stew

Benn rummaging through my notes and discovered another simple and hearty recipe for my vegan and vegetarian friends!

Taro & Tomato Stew!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Taro/Sato Imo: 4
-Carrot: 1
-Onion: 1
-Garlic: 1 clove
-Tomato: 100~200 g (canned with their water, or fresh, peeled and seeded)
-Cabbage: 3 leaves
-Miso: 2 tablespoons
-Water: 1/2 cup/100 cc/ml
-Mirin/sweet sake: a little for taste and seasoning


1-Peel taro and cut into big pieces. Cut carrot into large pieces. Cut onion into 4 quarters. Cut the garlic into thin slices. Cut the cabbage into rough pieces.

2-In a pan drop the taro, carrot, onion and garlic with the tomato and switch on fire. Bring to boil and then lower fire. Cover with lid and cook until vegetables are soft.

3-If you have a pressure cooker, pour everything into it, heat and cook on a low fire for 5 minutes.

4-Add cabbage, miso, mirin and water and cook for a while until cabbage has become soft. Rectify/season with a little salt if necessary although miso contains enough salt.


-Any miso can be used according to your preferences.
-I personally add some lemon juice.
-When servin in bowls, I top it with chopped thin leeks. Fresh coriander would be great, too.
Water Spinach Miso Soup

Water Spinach is called Kuushinsai/空芯菜 in Japanese.
Ipomoea aquatica, latin foe Water Spinach is a semi-aquatic tropical plant grown as a leaf vegetable. It is known in English as Water Spinach, Water Morning Glory, Water Convolvulus, or by the more ambiguous names “Chinese spinach” and “swamp cabbage”. It has many other names in other languages. It is found throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world; it is not known exactly where it originated.

Water spinach

Ipomoea aquatica is most commonly grown in East and Southeast Asia. Because it flourishes naturally in waterways and requires little if any care, it is used extensively in Malay and Chinese cuisine, especially in rural or kampung (village) areas.

The vegetable is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes. In Singapore, Indonesia and Penang, the leaves are usually stir fried with chile pepper, garlic, ginger, dried shrimp paste (belacan/terasi) and other spices. In Penang and Ipoh, it is cooked with cuttlefish and a sweet and spicy sauce. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore in World War II, the vegetable grew remarkably well and easily in many areas, and become a popular wartime crop.

In Chinese cuisine (traditional and simplified Chinese: 空心菜) there are numerous ways of preparation, but a simple and quick stir-fry either plain or with minced garlic is probably the most common. In Cantonese cuisine, a popular variation adds preserved tofu (furu, Mandarin). In Hakka cuisine, yellow bean paste[clarification needed] is added, sometimes along with fried shallots. The vegetable is also extremely popular in Taiwan, where it grows well.

In Thailand, where it is called phak bung (Thai: ผักบุ้ง), and in Burma, where it is called ga zun ywet, it is frequently stir-fried with oyster sauce or yellow soybean paste, and garlic and chillies. It can also be eaten raw, for instance with green papaya salad.

In Vietnam, it once served as a staple vegetable of the poor (known as rau muống). In the south, the stems are julienned into thin strips and eaten with many kinds of noodles, and used as a garnish as well. Ipomoea aquatica has become a common ingredient of Vietnamese cuisine.

In the Philippines, Ipomoea aquatica is usually sauteed in cooking oil, onions, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce. This dish is called “adobong kangkong”. It is also a common leaf vegetable in fish and meat stews like sinigang. There is also an appetizer in the Philippines called “crispy kangkong”, in which Ipomoea aquatica leaves are coated with batter and fried until crisp and golden brown.

Here is a simple vegan Japanese-style recipe with miso soup:

Water Spinach Miso Soup!


-Water Spinach/Kushinsai: 1 bunch (leaves only)
-Wakame/seaweed (if dry, soften in lukewarm water first): as much as you want!)
-Aburaage/deep-fried tofu sheet: 1 half (cut according to preferences)
-Dashi/ Konbu dashi/ Seaweed dashi: 1 cup/200 cc/ml (check dashi posting)
-Miso: 1.5 tablespoons (check miso posting!)
-Chopped thin leeks


1.Wash the water spinach, cut out the leaves and drain.
Leave the aburaage in some lukewarm water for a while to take off excess oil.

2.In a pan pour the dashi. Add aburaage and wakame. Heat till just before boiling point (Boiling miso is not a good thing!).
Add miso and mix until well incorporate. Add water spinach and cook until the vegetables are cooked to satisfaction (completely raw water spinach are a bit hard on the system!).
Serve in bowl sprinkled with chopped thin leeks.

Avocado’s hard! No worries! Deep-fry it!

Coming back to a comment and question about what to do with an avocado you peeled away before realizing it was to hard to prepare for your California Roll, Avocado Soup or Avocado Salad, there is no need to worry.

No worries! as they say in Australia!

The same Australians might be tempted to tease you with a few jokes of their own.
A habit they have is to scream “good nut!” when one of their bowler throws an excellent ball to a befuddled batsman during a cricket match.
The same “nut” could be rightfully construed to another word meaning exactly the same when our yankee friends play “hard ball” at Baseball!

I can hear some of good-natured friends saying that once again the old geezeer is laying on it heavily, but have you heard of the real meaning of the word “avocado” in its country of origin?
About time I stop, or some unwanted spammer will find his/her/its way in!

Alright, you found out your avocado is too hard.
Just peel it completely.
Cut it into appropriate “wedges”.
Sprinkle them with a little salt and deep-fry them as they are for 2 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.

Serve them with a good beer.
You’ll find they are crispy outside and so sogt inside!
You could sprinkle them with a little lemon juice or some chili powder for more taste.
Plenty of possibilities here. Great snacks for our vegan friends!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Kabocha No Amakarani

Many people in Japan believe that Kabocha originates from Japan.
Actually it was introduced to Asia a long time ago after it was discovered on the American Continent.
Even the etymology is not Japanese as it refers (apparently, but nothing sure about that!) to the varieties first grown and developped in Cambodia, according to the sam Japanese who can’t get enough of them and mostly import them from Tonga, of all places!

“Kabocha No Amakarani”, or 南瓜の甘辛煮in Japanese means simmered/stewed sweet and spicy kabocha.
It is very easy to make, even if it entails some handiwork. and can be enjoyed by all, vegans or not!

The following recipe being the basic one, I will keep to the method and leave the exact quantities to your preferences!


First take the stem end out. It sounds evident, but you will make things hard for you if you skip that simple step!

Turn the kabocha over (now you understand why you have taken the stem out?). Cut in half through the middle. Take care not to slip and cut your fingers!

Having cut the kabocha in half, cut it again in half (fourth). The raw kabocha might be hard to cut. There is no need to use brute force. Cut it slowly!

This will make it easy to scoop out (and discard the seeds).

Cut each quarter again across as shown in above picture.

Then cut again as shown in above picture for individual pieces.

The next step is bit of a pain, but absolutely necessary.
Cut away the skin edges as shown in above picture.
-1) for a more even cooking.
-2) the edges will turn hard and will be diificult to bite through. You might even cut your lips. Believe me!
-3) the kabocha wedges will not break down upon stewing.

The kabocha wedges as they should be before stewing!

put all the kabocha wedges into a large bowl. Add sugar and mix. Leave it to marinate for at least 3 hours. It will soften the kabocha. It will also enhance the “umami”/taste. Water that will have seeped out will be used when simmering/stewing the kabocha. Don’t throw it away!

Place the kabocha wedges in a larg pan skin down (at least at first!).
Pour their water on top.
Pour dashi so as to cover them.
See dashi recipe HERE.
Cover with lid and cook for a while over a medium fire.
Once it starts to boil, take off lid and season with a little soy sauce and spices if wanted.
Cover again and stew over a low fire until liquid/juices have disappeared.
Can be eaten hot or cold!

Gazpacho is a world popular cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup, originating in the southern region of Andalusia. Gazpacho is widely consumed throughout Spain, neighboring Portugal (where it is known as gaspacho) and parts of Latin America.

But sometimes vegans have some edifficulty in reproducing it according to their preferences.
Here is a simple Japanese version using natto and avocado that any vegans and vegetarians can enjoy!
Actually the Japanese believe that Gazpacho is beneficial to human skin!

Vegan Japanese Gazpacho


-Tomato juice: 1 standard can (of course you can/may prepare your own from organic tomatoes!)
-Natto: 1 standard pack: 50 g
-Avocado: 1 half (Jenn, asked me how to proceed to prevent avocado from chamging colour. Simple. sprinkleit with lemonjuice!)
-Garlic: 2 cloves
-Sesame oil: a little
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Optional spices (chili, nutmeg, etc.)
-Optional Vegetables (celey, coriande, etc.)


-Cut avocado in pieces. Grate garlic.

-Mix the natto wll with a little sesame oil.

-In a large bowl pour the tomato juice and natto. Add salt, pepper and spices.

3- Heat the whole for 1 minute.

4. Let cool completely and leave in refrigerator.
Eat/drink chilled topped with some freshly cut greens.

Avocadoes are great and versatile vegetables/fruits that can be combined in so many ways.
They also have the marked advantage to provide much-needed calories and beneficial ingredients.

Here is a simple but hearty way to prepare them:

Sauteed Avocado!

INGREDIENTS: For one person (can be multiplied accordingly!)

-Avocado: 1 half
-Long leeks: 1 half, chopped
-Shiitake: 3 (fresh)
-Seasame oil: 2 tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 1.5 tablespoons


-Cut the avocado in proper (to your liking) size pieces. Do the same with the shiitake. Chop the leeks finely

-in a frypan pour the sesame oil and fry the leeks first.

-Add the shiitake and fry to satisfaction. Add avocado and soy sauce and turn the whole in the frypan a few times.

-Lastly season with black pepper and serve.


-If you happen to have unripe and hard avocado, fry them first until crispy outside. You’ll find out they’ll be very soft inside.
-For extra seasoning you may use chillies or curry powder!
Vegan Japanese Deep-fried Taro/Sato Imo Age

Taro or Sato Imo in Jpaanese, can also for some great and hearty dishes for c\vegans and vegetarians, too!

Hre is a very simple recipe that can be enjoyed by all!
As for the Dashi, or Jpanese soup stock, check HERE for the basic recipe!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Taro/Sato imo: 16 small
-Dashi: 4 tablespoons
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 4 tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 3 tablespoons
-Sugar: 2 teaspoons
-Oil for deepfrying


-Clean the taro/sato imo quickly.
Boil them in water for 15 minutes.
Peel them.

-Heat the deep frying oil to 170 degrees Celsius and deep fry the taro/sato imo until they obtain a nice brownish colour.

-In a pan drop dashi, mirin, soy sauce and sugar and heat (and stir) until the sugar has completely dissolved. Transfer the taro/sato imo into the pan and cook for a while in the sauce.

-Simmer until the sauce has reached a thick consistence.
Serve at once.
A few chopped greens would make for a good seasoning.
You may add spices of your liking to the sauce (grated ginger, chilies, etc.).

As promised, back to my vegan and vegetarian friends to whom I promised this series of dashi-based (for most of them) soups (and other dishes).
Miso is increasingly becoming popular.
Check the miso posting!
And check the dashi posting, too!

Vegan White Miso Soup!

INGREDIENTS: For one person

-Egg-plant/aubergine: 1 half
-Onion: 1/4 (sliced)
-Konbu dashi/seaweed soup stock: 1 cup/ 200cc/ml
-White miso paste: 1 tablespoon
-White leek cut into very fine strips for decoration and finishing taste point


1-Cut the egg-plant/aubergine into thin slices. Wash in water.

2-Pour some oil in a frypan and fry the egg-plant/aubergines slices until both sides are slightly brown.

3-Pour the konbu dashi into a pan. Add the sliced onion and simmer for a while until onuon are soft enough.

4-Add fried egg-plant/aubergines. Add and mix in white miso paste.

5-Serve in a bowl with chopped white leeks.


The miso contains enough salt, so no need to add any really.
I also add ground sesame seeds before serving.
One can add some sesame oil when frying the egg-plants/aubergines.
Add spices according to preferences.
Vegan Japanese Pickled Turnips

As i said in my previous posting, for too long, turnips have been considered food for the poor and destitutes.
In France it is also the symbol of a bad play or movie!
Actually they make for great vegetables, cheap and easy to cook!

The Japanese have come with all kinds of ways to prepare them forthe pleasure of vegans, be they Japanese or expats in this country.
The following recipe is called “Kabu no Kiku Hana Zuke/かぶの菊花漬け or:
Japanese pickled Turnips in the shape of Chrysanthemums!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Turnips: 8 small
-Sugar: 3 tablespoons

-Rice vinegar: 1/2 Cup/100 cc/ml
-Red Chili pepper (dried, 1 whole)


-Peel the turnips carefully and take out leaves and their green spot from the top of the vegtables. With a sharp knife make incisions two thirds deep all around the top of the turnips.

-Place the turnips side by side inside a bowl. Cover them completely with salted water. Leave them marinate for 15 minutes to soften them.

-Mix rice vinegar and sugar.
Drain the turnips thoroughly.
Pour the sweet vinegar over the turnips and let marinate for a whole night.

-Take turnips out and press out the vinegar only lightly.
Open and spread the indented parts as to give tem the shape of a looming flower like in the picture.
Top with a small circle of cut chili pepper.

Enjoy as a snack any time of the day or use as a central part of a vegetable salad!
Vegan Japanese Tomato Turnips

For too long, turnips have been considered food for the poor and destitutes.
In France it is also the symbol of a bad play or movie!
Actually they make for great vegetables, cheap and easy to cook!

Here is a very simple recipe with simple cheap ingreadients for “poor” vegans.
Great for kids, too!

INGREDIENTS: 1 person?

-Turnips: 2 (organic!)
-Onion: half 1 (organic!)
-Aburaage/fried tofu: 1 (sliced into 5 cm long thin strips)
-Olive oil: for frying
-Tomato juice (organic, please, or makeyour own!): 300 cc/ml
-Salt: 1 teaspoon (can be reduced, especially for kids!)
-Ground black pepper: to taste


1 Cut turnips into wedges. Slice the onions thin.

2 Pour some olive oil in a fry pan. Fry sliced turnips, onions and aburaage, bearing in mind turnips become soft very quickly.

3 After frying on a medium fire for about 3 minutes, add tomato juice, salt and simmer for about 8 minutes on a low fire.
If and when the turnips are cooked, switch off fire and sprinkle with ground black pepper.

Simple, isn’t it? The point is to stew/simmer the vegetables in tomato juice. Aburaage will provide some bite!

The same as for shakes, vegans should not worry about ingredients when making a pudding!

Here is a very simple way to make a healthy appetizer the Japanese way!

Japanese Vegan Avocado Pudding!

INGREDIENTS: For 3~4 people

-Agar agar: 2~4 g (depending how solid you like your pudding!)
-Tofu (kinu/silk tofu): 1 standard portion~400 g
-Avocado: 1 ripe
-Very fine salt, ground white pepper: to taste and according to preferences
-Spices: if preferred


-Mix the agar agar in a little water.

-In a pan drop the tofu and agar agar. Heat over a medium fire and stir into smooth paste. As soon as the agar agar has dissolved into the tofu. Switch off fire and take away the pan from the fire.

-Drop the tofu inside a food processor. Add the avocado cut into rough pieces and seasoning, and process until smooth.

-Pour the mixture inside lightly oiled molds. Let cool completely and leave inside refrigerator to chill and harden.

Great with wasabi dressing, or ponzu!
If you like your pudding solid, pour it into a rectangular mold and cut it in slices like sashimi!

I wonder if there is a country where one cannot find some kind of shake!
But, they use ice-cream and dairy products to make them!

Well, there is a simple way to make them vegan!
How about this one:

Vegan & Avocado & Banana Shake!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people
-Avocado: 1/2 ripe
-Soy milk: 200 cc/ml
-Banana: 1
-Lemon juice: 1 reaspoon
-Honey (liquid): 2 teaspoons
-Mint leaves: for decoration.


-Leave banana and avacado in refrigeartor long enough to get them really chilled.

-Cut avocado and banana in small enough pieces.

-Put everything into blender and mix well.

-Pour in glasses and serve topped with mint leaves.

How simpler can you make it? LOL
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Taro & Bamboo Shoots in Sweet and Hot Miso

Not ready yet to give up on those simple and healthy recipes with taro, or sato imo/里芋 as they are called in Japan that should please my vegan and vegetarian friends (omnivore friends, just be a little more patient!)!

This one is called “Taro & Bamboo Shoots in Sweet and Hot Miso/里芋と竹の子の甘辛味噌煮”, or Sato Imo to Take no Ko no Amakara Miso Ni”
It is another very simple dish that should provide food with a filling sensation to vegans.

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Taro/Sato imo: 3~4 middle-sized specimens
-Bamboo shoots: 1 cup (cut to size. Canned Bamboo Shoots are fine)
-Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongur Tuber: 2/3 cup (cut to size. Canned specimen are fine)
-Japanese sake: 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Konbu/seaweed dashi/Soup stock: enough to submerge all ingredients upon cooking
-Salt: a pinch
-Salad oil: 1 tablespoon
-Sweet Miso (red miso base): 1 tablespoon
-Yuzu koshio/Lime & Chili Pepper Paste: to taste


-Peel taro/sato imo and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut bamboo shoots in approximately size (if needed). Cut the konnyaku/devil’s tongue tuber in slightly smaller pieces.

-Boil the Taro/sato imo a little beforehand to soften them.

-In a pan drop the half cooked taro/stao imo, bamboo shoots and konnyaku. Pour dashi until dashi until it had submerged everything.
Switch on fire.

-Add sake, mirin and salt and bring to boil. Lower fire to low~medium and simmer/stew until soup/stock has disappeared.

-Once the soup has disappeared, a frying sound will be heard. At that moment add the oil and stir fry the lot.

-Once the oil has coated everything, add the miso and mix gently as the taro will be soft by then.

-Add the yuzu koshio/Lime and chili pepper mix just before serving.


-For variation you may use chopped lime skin/zest or/and hot chili powder

Easy once again!

Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Taro & Soy Milk Gratin/Sato Imo & Tonyu Gratin

Still working on a whole bunch of simple and healthy recipes with taro, or sato imo/里芋 as they are called in Japan that should please my vegan and vegetarian friends!

This one is called “Taro & Soy Milk Gratin/里芋と豆乳グラタン”, or Sato Imo & Tonyu Gratin”
It is a very simple dish that should provide food with a filling sensation to vegans. Great for kids, too!

INGREDIENTS: for 1 plate/serving

-Taro/sato imo: 2
-Oil (of your choice): 3 tablespoons
-All-purpose Flour (of your choice):2 tablespoons
-Soy Milk: 1 cup/200 cc/ml
-Sweet white miso paste ( as you like)
-Tinned corn or freshly boiled corn (a you like)
-Panko/breadcrumbs (as you like)


-Peel the taro/sato imo, cut them in 1 cm thick slices and boil until soft. Drain.

-In a fry pan, heat the oil on a low-middle fire. Add flour and mix well with a spatula. Add soy milk and sweet white miso.

-Keep stirring. The mixture will eventually thicken. Lower the fire and keep stirring well until it has reached the thickness of a white/bechamel sauce for gratins.

-On an oven plate place the taro/sato imo. Pour the gratin sauce all over. Top with corn and breadcrumbs.

-Cook in oven (180 degrees Celsius) until it has attained the colour of your liking!


The picture above was taken before sprinkling the gratin with breadcrumbs.
You can use the same recipe with vegan pasta instead of the taro/sato imo!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Taro, Natto & Grated Daikon/Natto no Tororo Donburi

I’ve found a whole bunch of simple and healthy recipes on taro, or sato imo/里芋 as they are called in Japan that should please my vegan and vegetarian friends!

This one is called “Natto no Tororo Donburi/納豆のとろろ丼”, or Taro, Natto & Grated daikon (on a bowl of rice).
It is a very simple traditional Japanese dish that will provide a very healthy meal to vegans!

INGREDIENTS: For 1 person

-Steamed rice: 1 bowl
-Taro/sato imo: 2
-Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Salt: a little pinch
-Cornstarch: 1 teaspoon
-Natto/Japanese fermented beans: 1 pack
-Grated daikon: 1~2 tablepoons ( you can mix it with a little chili powder or grated wasabi!)
-Seaweed: as much as you want


-Peel the taro/satoimo and cut them into 1 cm-sided squares

-Boil the taro/satoimo in seaweed dashi stock soup or water, salt and soy sauce until tender enough.

-Mix the cornstarch in the same amount of water and add to taro/satoimo to obtain a smooth soup.

-Add natto and cok for a minute or two. Switch fire.

-Fill a bowl with rice with frshly steamed rice.
Top with seaweed, then pour the the taro/satoimo over rice.
Top with grated daikon.


-Mushrooms, like namakotake or shimeji can be added for more taste to the taro/sato imo.
-As said above adding chili powder to grated daikon is very popular in Japan!

Simple and easy!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Taro in Sweet and Sour Sauce/Sato Imo Ankake

I’ve found a whole bunch of simple and healthy recipes on taro, or sato imo/里芋 as they are called in Japan that should please my vegan and vegetarian friends!

This one is called “satoimo nakake/里芋餡かけ” or taro in sweet and sour sauce.
It wiil make for an excellent snack to go with a drink!

INGREDIENTS: for 2 people

-Taro/sato imo: 4~5 small
-Dashi (use konbu dashi/seaweed soup stock): 125 cc/ml or 1/2 cup
-Japanese sake: 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Fresh grated ginger: 1/8 teaspoon
-Cornstarh: 1 teaspoon
-Water: 1 tablespoon
-Salt: to taste
-Chopped leeks (for topping)


-Soften the taro/sato imo inside a microwave oven.
Peel them and cut them in halves.

-In a pan, pour yhe dashi/soup stock, sake, mirin and grated ginger. Let simmer for a while. Add salt for taste.

-Mix the water with the cornstarch and add to soup sauce. Stir well until smooth.

-Roll taro/sato imo in cornstarch and deep-fry in 180 degrees Celsius oil until they are cooked to a saisfying colour.

-Place deep-fried taro/sato imo on a grill or kitchen paper to take off exces oil.

-Place taro/sato imo in a dish, pour the sweet and sour sauce all over it. Top with chopped leeks and serve!
Vegan Steamed Organic Vegetables at Uzu

Shizuoka Prefecture is increasingly becoming renown all over Japan for its organic (biological/macrobiotic) vegetables and it has become a mind-boggling business to keep track of them all!
To (pleasingly) compound the problem, Shizuoka is the mildest area in Japan after Okinawa, with the direct consequence of yearlong uninterrupted culture.
For example, Shizuoka Prefecture produces half of all celery and Chinese leaf vegetables grown in this country. It is also the first to put out delicious white or yellow winter onions on the markets.

Uzu Izakaya in Shizuoka City is always on the look-out for new vegetables (we are planning to visit an upriver market next month together!), especially organic ones.
This particular way of serving organic vegetables steamed for an unadulterated tasting is their trademark.

I’m no vegan or vegetarian, but I can assure you I won’t let such a dish away from me!

The picture above was taken last night during that memorable dinner at Uzu.
All vegetables are grown organically in Shizuoka Prefecture: carrot, white, red and green daikon, white-fleshed and purple-fleshed sweet potatoes. Don’t you think they look like fruits?

Barnyakauda Sauce

Uzu prepare and sell their own dressing/sauce for such steamed vegetables, although it is not vegan or vegetarian.
As an alternative, vegans and vegetarians could experiment with a sauce/dressing based on soy milk and curry seasoning!

Shizuoka City, Otowa-cho, 3-18
Tel.: 054-249-6262
Business hours: 17:00=23:00
Closed on Mondays and first Tuesday
Reservations recommended
Credit cards OK
HOMEPAGE (Japanese, but have a look at the pics!)

Bazooka Gourmet made the mistake to suggest that I should post a carrot cake recipe (I’m laying it thick, LOL). Well, he’s getting more than he asked for as I found no less than three of them in my notes!

As for the second one, it is a very simple heathy pound cake fit for everyone, vegans included!

Vegan Soy Milk Carrot Pound Cake!


-Whole wheat flour: 100g
-All-purpose flour: 80g
-Brown sugar: 50 g
-Baking powder: 2 teaspoons
-Cinnamon: 1~2 teaspoons
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
-Carrot: 1
-Black sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon
-Raisins: 50 g
-Soy milk: 100 cc
-Olive or Sesame oil: 100 cc


-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Cesius.
Mix flour and baking powder and sieve.
Grate the carrot.

-Drop all ingredients into a larg bowl and mix.
Mix until the flour lumps have disappeared (important).

-Bake for 35~40 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
Check if properly cooking by stabbing pound cake with a thin skewer. It should come out smooth and clean.
Let cool completely.
Could be served as it is or grilled.


-If sesame oil is available, it would be better than olive oil, altough experimentation would be welcome as half of each oil could be interesting indeed.
Salt is necesary to subdue the cloying taste of the brown sugar a little.

Easy again, isn’t it?

“Agedashidofu” or (Tofu first deep-fried, then served with dashi soup” is a very popular Japanese dish that can easily be adapted to fit vegetarian and vegan priorities!
Moreover, whatever dashi/soup is left can be poured onto a bowl of freshly staemed rice for a fillingand healthy suppelementary dish!

Veagn Agedashidofu!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people

-Tofu (momen tofu) 1/2 a large piece (can of course be increased!)
-flour: 1 tablespoon (whatever flour as this could add an interesting variation!)
-Cornstarch: 1 tablespoon
-Oil for deep-frying
-Freshly grated daikon (to taste)
-Thinly chopped leek (to taste)

-Dashi (konbu/seawed dashi): 100 ml
-Soy sauce: 2 tablespoons
-Mirin/sweet sake:2 tablepoons

-You may add spices of your choice, especially grated ginger and hot chili powder!


1. Pressas much water out the tofu as possible.
Cut the tofu into large pieces. Take as much as humidity off their surface by wrapping inside a clean cloth for a while.
Mix the flour and cornstarch.
Roll the tofu pieces into the flour and cornstarch so as to cover all sides.
If you don’t have enough flour/cornstarch, prepare more.

Drop in deep-frying oil at 170 degrees.

2. Prepare the dashi soup by heating the konbu dashi with the soy sauce and mirin (and extra spices if wanted).

3. Pour the dashi in individaul dishes.
Place fried tofu in the middle.
Top tofu with freshly grated daikon and chopped leek.


Boil some cut mushrooms in the dashi before serving them together with the tofu!

Easy and healthy, isn’t it?

It is sometimes a hard world for vegans when it comes to find new ideas and recipes, even you love tofu!
Here is a simple way to prepare and enjoy tofu as it was a big piece of cheese!

Vegan Smoked Tofu!

INGREDIENTS: for ? People

-Tofu: a large piece 300~400g or more
-Miso of your liking, as much as you wish
-Soy sauce, not too much (beware the salt)
-Sake or mirin, a little just for the taste
-Spices, if you wish!


-As the tofu shouldn’t be too soft, choose “momendofu”, or slightly solid.

-Place the tofu on a clean cloth.
-Top it with a clean plate or board.
-Put a heavy weight on top.
-Leave it like this for half a day. The tofu will reduce to half.

-Smear the whole tofu on every face with plenty of a mixture of miso, soy sauce and other ingredients of your choice. The more, the better.

-Wrap it carefully in cellophane paper and leave it in the fridge overnight.

-Take it out of the fridge and take off the cellophane paper.
-Let it dry for 2 hours at room temperature over a piece of kitchen paper.

-Smoke inside a Chinese smoking set for 1 hour.

-Very practical for smoking small quantities!

-Here you are! Enjoy!


Just discovered this cupcake recipe for my vegan (I’m not) friends with the extra bonus of possible variations!

Japanese style vegan rice cupaakes!

INGREDIENTS: For 1 mug cup (arrange quantities accordingly for a greater number)

-Rice powder (Ris Blanc): 4 tablespoons
-Cornstarch: 1 tablespoon
-Sugar (of your choice, honey might be feasible): 1 tablespoon
-Baking Powder: Half a teaspoon
-Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
-Soy milk: 4 tablespoons



-In an oven ramequin or mug cup first pour rice powder, cornstarch, sugar and baking powder and mix well.
Next add olive oil and soy milk and mix well.


-Depending on the kind of rce powder and soy milk you use, you may have to increase the amount of one or both for a smoother mixture. Experiment!


-Cook insid emicrowave for 2 minutes or more. Check by pushing a thin wooden or meddle stick. It should come out clean. The taste is light. You may add sugar.

-Have a good look at the cake while it cooks. It should not be more than 2 minutes 30 seconds.
If you use kabocha powder, you will need 1 small teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon of water.


-The above green cupcake was made by adding 1 teaspoon of spinach powder and 1 teaspoon of soy milk!


-Add 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of soy milk for a cocoa cupcake!


-Add 1 tablespoon of carrot powder and 1 teaspoon of soy milk for a carrot cupcake.


-Add crushed apple for the above!


This is a slightly different version of the Japanese style vegan tofu cupcake I introduced a couple of days ago. It will give you an idea of how to play on that idea!

INGREDIENTS: For about 16 cakes

-Tofu (kinu tofu): 180 g
-Sugar (of your choice): 0 g
-Soy milk: 3 tablespoons
-Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
-Olive oil: 2 tablespoons

-Flour (use chestnut flour if you are wheat allergic): 160 g
-Baking powder: 2 teaspoons

-Grated lemon skin: 1 whole lemon
-Dried English tea leaves, finely chopped ( the contents of 1 tea bag is adequate)


-Mix flour and baking powder well.
Mix soy milk and lemon juice separately and and set apart.

-In a large bowl drop in the tofu and sugar. Mix well until you obtain a smooth paste. Add the soy milk, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix the lot thoroughly with a whisker.

-Add the all flour and baking powder mixture and mix in with a spatula until floury lumps have disappeared, but don’t mix too much!

-Pour mixture into cups and sprinkle them with grated lemon skin and dried tea.

-Bake inside oven for 16 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius.
If you make mini cupcakes, 12 minutes should sufficient.
keep looking at the colour of your cupcakes!


Cupcakes are the norm all over the world when it comes to bakery and tofu is a must for vegans.
Now, it is possible to make very simple cupcakes for vegans!
Wheat flour allergics can replace the wheat flour with chestnut flour like the Corsicans and Portguese do in their traditional food!
This is only the basic recipe to which you can add fruits and vegetables!

Vegan Tofu Cupcakes!

INGREDIENTS: For 5~6 cupcakes

-Tofu (kinu toufu): 300 g
-All-purpose flour (for substitutes, read above): 100 g
-Sugar (white, cane, or even honey): 30 g



-Get ingrediens ready and pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.


-Mix tofu and sugar. Mix well.


-Sprinkle flour over tofu and mix roughly so as to leave a little flour on the surface.


-Bake for 25~30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius or until desired colour.


-Dead simple, aren’t they?
Now your skills will reside in what you add!


I’ve been in tofu recipe search mode for quite a while, and I finally found one to please my vegan friends who can’t boast a carpaccio of their own!
It is ridiculously easy, but it makes for great impression!
Choose the best ingredients!

Vegan Tofu Carpaccio!


-Tofu (kinu tofu/silk tofu): as much as you like?
-Salt (Guerande for example): to taste
-Black pepper (freshly ground only, please!): to taste
-Lemon juice (organic lemon, please!): to taste
-Olive oil (EVO): to taste
-Pink pepper/baies roses: to taste

As you can see, it is basically up to you!

Look for some great organic green leaf vegetables to make a “bed” for the tofu.


-Wrap tofu inside a large piece of kitchen paper.
Put the wrapped tofu inside a tupperware box (no lid, please) and top the tofu with a light weight.
Leave overnight (a full day, if you can) inside the refrigerator.

-Take out the tofu (discard the water).
-Cut it slices and plave it on a bed of leaf vegetables.
-Sprinkle in that order with salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil.
-Srop a few pink pepper grains for decoration and taste.

Simple, ain’t it?


The Japanese come with some simple and tasty new ideas for Vegans and Vegetarians!
I just discovered this recipe. It is basically a Cabrese-style salad.
The twist is that the cheese is replaced by tofu!

Vegan Italian Tofu Salad:


-Tofu (kinu dofu): half/200g
-Tomato: 1 large
-Sweet basil: 10 leaves

Wine vinegar (white): 1/4 cup
White wine: 1/4 cup
Salt: 1/3 teaspoon
Whole black pepper: 3 grains, crushed
Garlic: 1/2 clove
Fresh red chili: 1/2

Olive oil (EVO): 1.1/4~ tablespoon
Onion: 15 g, grated


-Cut tofu into 1 cm thick slices.
-After taking out the stem part, cut tomatoes into half moons.
-Leave tofu tomatoes in a bowl full of iced water.
-Crush and mince garlic. Mix it with the wine vinefar, white wine, salt, pepper and chili. Cook in a pan until the lot has reduced to half. Let cool.
-Take tomatoes and tofu out the iced water (drain as much water as possible) and drop them in a large bowl. Add onion and olive oil. Mix well.
-Place tomatoes, tofu and basil alternately as shown in picture on a srving dish. Pour dressing all over.


-For calorie conscious vegetarians, tofu has almost none while chesse has loads of them!
Vegan Japanese Dessert: Tofu Puddings!


It’s been some time since I have featured a recipe for the Tofu Tribe, (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer !
I though it was about time I introduced them to a very easy way to make a dessert with tofu!


INGREDIENTS: for 5 ramequins

-Water: 100 ml
-Agar agar powder: 3 g
-Tofu: 400 ml
-Sugar: 30 g
-Lemon juice: 1 lemon


-Heat the mashed tofu without bringing it to a boil. Add sugar and let it dissolve into the tofu. Mix if necesary.

-In a deep pan pour the water and add the agar agar. Mix well as you heat on a medium fire. Once cissolved continue mixing until the water has become transparent.

-Take off fire. Add tofu to agar agar water little by little and mix well. Add lemon juice and mix. Wait for a little while. Pour in ramequins or recipients of your choice.
Chill well before serving!


Same recipe as above but replace water with English tea!
Vegan should make the tea with soy milk or water only!


Same with orang juice!
In this case use 100 ml of water and 200 ml of organice orange juice!


For this one replace orange juice with pineapple juice!
Vegan Japanese Dessert; Fruit Jelly


The Japanese do have some simple ideas to please vegans and vegetarians alike, especially when it comes to simple, tasty and healthy desserts.
Here is a simple fruit jelly dessert you can adapt according to seasons and availability (try it with your kids!):

INGREDIENTS: For 2 large cups
-100% orange juice (organic if possible) 200ml
-Water: 200 ml
-Agar agar: 2^4 g (depending how solid you like your jelly)
-100% apple juice (organic if possible): 200 ml
Water: 200 ml
-Agar agar: 2~4 g
-Grapefruit: 1 peeled and and quartered (all skins off)
-Mint leaves and blueberries for final touch


-Pour water in a pan. Add agar agar. Heat a little to dissolve agar agar. Add orange juice. Pour into two glass cup of your choice and leave inside the fridge until it solidifies completely.

-Add grapefruit.

-Reapeat with apple juice: pour water in a pan and add agar agar. Heat slowly to dissolve agar agar. Add fruit juice. Pour the lot over the grapefruit.

-Add grapefruit and mint to your liking and put inside refrigerator to solidify.

-Variation with 3 layers!

-As it appears on your spoon!

-The other way round!

Vegan French Cuisine: Green Peas & Mint Chutney


I’ve said before that the French are also fond of vegetarian and vegan cuisine and are always ready to adapt their traditional rcipes to different priorities.

Here is a French-style chutney that even my Indian friends will appreciate:
Green Peas & Mint Chutney!

INGREDIENTS: for 4~6 persons

-Fresh green peas: 300 g
-Small new onions: 2, thinly sliced
-Olive oil (EV): 2 tablespoons
-Brown sugar (light brown variety if possible): 1 tablespoon
-Freshly grated ginger: 1 teaspoon
-Mint: 3 large sprigs, finely cut (reserve a few leaves for decoration)
-Green lemon juice: 1
-Salt & pepper to taste


-Cook the gree peas (out of their pods!) in a pan full of boiling salted water for 4~5 minutes. Try and preserve some firmness. Cool completely.

-At the same time cook the onions in the oive oil for 2~3 minutes, taking car not to “colour” them.
Add grated ginger, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Let simmer for 2~3 minutes.

-Mash the green peas (keep some whole for better effect the you will add at the end) and add to the onions. Let simmer for 2^3 more minutes. Lats add the finely cut mint and transfer the chutney into a bowl.
Serve cool or slgtly chilled.

You can mash all the green peas, but keeping a few whole added with a few mint leaves will look great!


Sorry Holly , but I will have to take a (very small) break away from leeks after this article, otherwise Comestiblog will really think I’m leaking from everywhere!

This is a very easy recipe that you can use as an appetizer or on top of freshly steamed rice.
“Ponzu” is a kind of light Japanese sweet rice vinegar based dressing one can use instead of soy sauce with the immediate result of reducing salt intake.

Leeks Marinated with Ponzu & Mustard!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 persons

-Long leeks (Japanese style): 1
-Ponzu: 3 large tablespoons
-Mustard (containg seeds)/You can improvise here and introduce various kinds of mustards, such as cassis mustard and so on!


-Cut the leek in 5~6 cm long pieces

-Fry the leeks in oil of your choice until they change colour a little.

-If you wish to eat it hot, season with mustard and ponzu, saute just a little and serve.

-If you wish to eat it cold, Mix with mustard and ponzu in a bowl, let cool and place in the fridge.

-One can improvise the amount of sauce to one’s liking.
I personally like it served as in above picture.

Simple and healthy!


Here is another posting for Holly who has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks. This mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks will also please vegans and vegetarians!

Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people

-Shiitake Mushrooms: 6~8 fresh
-Leeks: 2~3 depending on their size. Choose them long and mostly white
-Sesame oil: to taste
-Salt & pepper: to taste
-Soy sauce: to taste


-Chop the leeks fine and mix with sesame oil in a bowl

-Take the stems off the mushrooms. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt and pepper. Fill with plenty of chopped leeks.

-Bake in oven for 4~5 minutes until they acquire a pleasant colour.

-Season with soy sauce before serving.


You ca easily bring variations with chili pepper, Thai sweet and hot sauce, and chopped herbs of any kind!
Eat as soon as out of the oven (with a beer?)



Here is the next posting for Holly who has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks. This mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks will also please vegans and vegetarians!

This particular recipe can serve as an accompaniment for many things, especially rice!

Leeks & Miso Savoury Sauce!

INGREDIENTS: For one serving
-Leek/green outside layer is best: 2 or 3 layers/chopped very fine
-Garlic: 2 cloves/crushed and finely chopped
-Fresh ginger: same volume as garlic/grated
-Miso (of your choice. I like it fairly strong): 150 g
-Sugar: 2~3 large tablespoons
-Japanese sake (cooking sake is fine): 2 large tablespoons
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 large tablespoon
-Sesame oil: 1 large tablepoon

-Heat sesame oil in frypan. Throw in chopped leeks, grated ginger and chopped garlic and sautee over a medium fire.

-Once the leeks are cooked soft, switch off fire. Add miso, sugar, Japanese sake and mirin and mix well.

-Put back onto fire. Taking care not to “boil” it, cook it for a while stirring regularly.

-Pour it inside a glas jar and securely close it. Can be kept safe for up to 2 months.

Choose your leeks as fresh as possible.
Check the sugar for taste.


Since Holly has showed such an enthusiasm for leeks, I had a look in my Japanese recipe notes and came with a mini-series of very simple recipes on leeks that will also please vegans and vegetarians!

As it is also very easy tofu recipe, he “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer should be interested!

Leeks 6 Tofu!

INGREDIENTS: for one hungry person

-Tofu: 1 cho: 250 g
-Leek: 1 (choose it long and thin)
-Salt: a big pinch
-Sesame oil: 2 large tablespoons


-Take as much water off the tofu as possible.
This can be done by envelopping it into a clean cloth and putting a weight on top.

-Chop the leeks very finely, as much a syo like (the more the better) and drop them into a bowl. Add the salt and sesame oil.
Mix well and delicately pour it on top of the tofu you will have place on a serving plate.
One may season it with a little chili pepper or black pepper.

Eat it with a spoon and have a beer with it!
Vegan French Cuisine: Crunchy Quinoa and Seasonal Vegetables in Honey


French Cuisine can easily be adapted to vegan priorities and needs.
Quinoa is an excellent source of proteins, making it more valuable for vegans!
Note: Rinse quinoa just before usng it to eliminate its tartness.

Crunchy Quinoa and Seasonal Vegetables in Honey!

INGREDIENTS: for 6 persons

-Quinoa: 300 g
-Fennel bulbs: 2
-Carrots: 3
-Turnips: 2 large
-Onions: 2 large
-Honey (liquid): 4 large tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 4 large tablespoons
-Fresh coriander: enough to taste and chopped/thinly cut
-Olive oil (EV)


-Cook quinoa in 700 ml of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and keep warm.

-Peel and clean all the vegetables. Cut the fennel, onions and turnips into small wedges and slice carrots. This is where you can improvise!

-Heat 1 large tablespoon of olive oil (EV) in a large frypan (a wok would be best!). First drop the carrots and turnips and fry them on a strong fire for 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid honey and cook on a medium fire for 7 minutes, stirring from time to time.

-Transfer the vegetables into a large plate. Wipe the frypan with kitchen paper. Heat 1 large tablespoon of olive oil (EV). When it is hot enough drop in the fennel and the onions and fry over strong fire for 3 minutes.

-Add the turnips and carrots with 2 more large tablespoon of honey. Let cook over a medium fire, stirring form time to time for 5 minutes.
Add the soy sauce and the last large tablespoon of honey. Fry over a medium fire, stirring from time to time, for 5 more minutes.

-Season with pepper and mix. Sprinkle with plenty of fresh coriander.
Serve immediately over the crunchy quinoa and eat while it is hot.

Simple ane easy, isn’t it?
Bon appetit!
Japanese Vegan Udon, Dried Shiitake and Konbu Salad


I’ve been looking around me recently for ideas so as to help my vegan and vegetarian friends with new ideas. Here is a simple one I just found for a healthy and tasty salad:
Japanese Vegan Udon, Shiitake and Umeboshi Salad!

INGREDIENTS: For one dish

-Udon: 1 pack of boiled udon ready for use
-Dried Shiitake Mushrooms: 4
-Salad Oil: 3 large tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Mirin/sweet sake: 50 ml
-Real mineral water: 100 ml
-Cucumber, lettuce, mini tomatoes: as per taste

-In a pan, drop cut dried shiitake, cho@@ed konbu/seaeed and oil. Fry gently.

-On a low fire add soy sauce and mirin.

-When you are satisfied that the shiitake are soft enough, drop the whole into mixer,nlender. Add water and process unti you obatin a sauce like in the picture.

-Boil udon quickly. Cool them under running clear water. Drain throuroughly and place on a dish.

-Arrange lettuce, cucumber on top of udon as on the picture, showing up enough of the udon.

-pour the sauce on top and decorate with mini tomatoes.

Easy Vegan Tomato Appetizer


Just found the idea in a Japanese cookbook for an easy vegan/vegetarian appetizer based on tomato:
Agar agar Tomato Jelly!

-Tomato Juice: 300 ml (make your own juice form tomatoes freshly bought or picked!9
-Orange Juice: 250 ml (same a for tomato juice. Choose biologically grown ones!)
-Sugar: 3 large tablespoons
-Agar agar powder: 4 g

-Pour all ingredients into pan. Het until suagr and agar and agra are completely dissolved.
-Pour into recipients o your choice and let cool.
-Put inside the fridge and serve when the jelly has completely solidified.

This is a very basic recipe, which calls for variations and ideas:
-If on a diet, discard sugar, and add a lttle celery salt, white pepper and spices of your choice. ecorate with basil leaves.
-Can be used as solid base under fruit or vegetable salads!
-Mixing alcohol with it, vodka for example, and you have jelly cocktail.

Have some good fun!
Japanese Vegan Snack: Ume-Shiso Kyuuri/Cucumber, Pickled Plums & Perilla Salad


Here is one simple recipe I consider as a Japanese “National” snack that will have all vegans and vegetarians rushing for:
Ume-Shiso Kyuuri/Cucumber, Pickled Plums & Perilla Salad!
Ingredients might not be easy to find, although they are probably available on the Internet under various forms.

-Cucumbers. If possible, Japanese style, long, thin and crunchy
-Shiso/perilla leaves: 4
-Umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums (there are salty and slightly sweet varieties. Either is fine!)
-Salt: 2 small pimches
-Sesame oil: a little

-Wash cucmbers under running clear water and wipe them thoroughly with kitchen paper.

-Cut both ends of cucumbers and discard. Tight-seal cucumbers inside a vynil pouch and break (instead of cutting) them roughly into bite-sized pieces by hitting them with pestle over a kitchen wooden board.

-Discard pip/stone inside umeboshi and cut into small pieces.
Cut the shiso into very thin strips.

-In a bowl, mix thoroughly by hand cucumber, umeboshi and shiso.
Add salt an sesame oil. Stir and serve.

Note: Will be very tasty after being chilled inside the fridge.
The best umeboshi for this recipe are the sweet ones pickled into honey.
Make sure that the cucumber are dry after first washing them or the dish will be running with water.
I personally add some sesame seeds for effect and taste!
Seaweed-pickled Cucumbers


Cucumbers are in season, and the Japanese pickle a lot of them before they become scarce and more expensive!
Here is a very simple recipe to preserve them and enjoy them anytime (with a cool drink?):
Seaweed-pickled Cucumbers!

INGREDIENTS: For 1~2 persons
-Cucumber: 1 fairly long. Japanese cucumbers are comparatively thin and crunchy. Be aware that the large soft cucumbers found in “Western” countries might not be appropriate. Moreover, the Japanese eat the cucumbers whole.
-Salt: a pinch
-Salted seaweed (shio konbu): to taste. I personally like quite a lot!
-Sesame oil: to taste (do some pesonal research/experiments as to how much you would fancy!)
-White sesame seeds: to taste. i use quite a good amount myself!

-Cut both extremities of the cucumber and discard.
Wash rapidly.
Close inside a vynil pouch and strike cucumber with a wooden pestle or the equivalent to break cucumber in uneven pieces.

-Take out. Drop cucmber pieces into a bowl. Add salt. Stir with yoyr hand. Let rest for a while.
Discard water which has seeped out of the cucumber.
Add salted seaweed. Stir the whole gently by hand for a little while.

-Transfer onto a dish. Arrange it for presentation. Sprinkle with sesame oil, then sesame seeds.

Note: Some people like it without the salt.
Washing the cucumber will take acidity out.
Breaking the cucumber by beating it will allow other ingredients to penetrate it more efficiently. If you don’t like the breaking method and prefer to cut the cucmber instead, let it rest for 10 minutes before adding the salt.
Zucchini and Potato in Soy sauce Marinade


As Lojol rightly said, zucchini is a very versatile vegetable that can be paired with all kinds of other ingredients.
Here is a simple recipe to illustrate:
Zucchini and Potato Soy Sauce Marinade!

INGREDIENTS: For 3~4 people
-Zucchini: 1 medium large, 200 g
-Potatoes: 2 small, 200 g
-Olive Oil (for frying)
-Salt and pepper: a little to taste
-EV Olive Oil: 1 large tablespoon
-Soy sauce: 2 large tablespoons


-Withe a vegetable peeler, peel small strips of zucchini skin for better pattern.
Cut Zucchini into 8 mm thick slices and again across to create “half moons”.
Peel skin off potatoes, cut in 8 mm thick slices and clean in clear cold water.

-Drain potatoes (don’t wipe them) and put them inside a heat-resistant bow. Cover bowl with cooking cellophane paper. Leave 4~4:30 minutes inside Microwave oven at 500W.

-Pour soy sauce and EV oil in another bowl and mix well with an electic whisk.

-Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry zucchini over a fairly fire.

-When the zucchini has aattained a satisfying color on both sides, add potatoes. Fry for 1~2 minutes. Add a little salt (not much needed there) and asome pepper ( a little more might be welcome.
Mix and drop everything into the soy sauce-olive oil marinade while it is still hot.

-Turn over for time to time until it has completely cooled down.

-Serve with a few small tomato slices for better colour presentation!
Non-Mayonnaise Avocado and Soy Beans Coleslaw


Here is a simple coleslaw recipe that vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike can enjoy in Summer:
Non-Mayonnaise Avocado and Soy Beans Coleslaw!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Cabbage: 4~5 leaves
-Onion: half a large one, shredded, washed in cold water and drained before usage
-Avocado: 1 large
-Lemon Juice (or apple vinegar): 1 large Tablespoon
-Soybeans: 100 g. Boiled in water, cooled and drained (if uanavailable, can be replaced with any kinds of beans or chick peas)
-Salt and Pepper: to taste

Cut the cabbage in vey thin strips (chopped). Drop into a large bowl. add a little salt. Mix and little while.
As explained above, mince onion, washi in clear cold water and drain thoroughly to take off the onion acidity.


Once the cabbage has become softer, mix with onion, cut avocado and lemon juice. Mix the whole, crushing/mashing the avocado in at the same time.

Once mixed to you liking, add soy beans and check taste. Rectify if necessary.


Note: Put chopped onion inside a stocking-style fined netting piece. Keeping it close with your hand, dip it in cold clear water for a while, then take out and press water out. If you do it stongly enough, no need to waste kitchen paper!
Careful about the amount of salt added to the cabbage. Too much and the cabbage will become soggy. If there is too much salt, watch it with clean cold water. The cabbage will taste and feel better if still a little crunchy.
Serve inside a half avocado “skin” (keep some sprinkled with a little lemon juice and securely closed inside a Tuperware box in side the fridge until usage).


Here is a very simple and basic recipe for a summer snack or starter that should please vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike: Avocado and watermelon sala!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 ~3 people
-Watermelon flesh without skin or pips/seeds: 50~60 g
-Freshly pressed lemon juice: half a large tablespoon
-Avocado: 1 whole, ripe
-Thinly chopped onion: 1 large tablespoon
-Shiso/perilla leaves: 2~3
-Salt: 1 pinvh
-Soy sauce: a little (according to taste)
-Coarsely ground black pepper: a little (according to taste)

-Cut watermelon in 7~8 mm cubes and sprinkle with lemon juice.
Chop shiso/perilla thinly after having rolled them together.
Take meat out of avocado and mash it.

-In a bowl mix avocado, chopped onion and shiso together. Add salt and soy sauce. Mix well.

-On a plate place avocado mix first. decorate with watermelon. Last sprinkle the coarsely ground black pepper on the watermelon.

This still leaves you with plenty of leeway for improvisation and variation!


Here is another very easy recipe to help you and the “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer modify and preserve tofu for all kinds of usages!
I’d like to take the opportunity to apologize to Tinako for my past mistake!
Tofu and Wakame Salad!

INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people
-Tofu: 300 g
-Salt-preserved wakame: 20 g
If bought dried, let it “come back” in lukewarm water first.
If you are worried about the salt, let them rest in water for a while first and drain.
-Kawaire daikon, or any fresh sprouts available: To taste.
-Ponzu: 2 large tablespoons
-Sesame oil: half a large tablespoon
-White sesame seeds: to taste


Leave tofu in clean cold water for 30 minutes. Wash and clean wakame seaweed and cut in bite-sized pieces. Cut sprouts in thirds.


In bowl mix seaweed, sprouts, ponzu and sesame oil.


Drain tofu and cut in bite-sized pieces. Mix in.
Place salad in serving bowls and sprinkle white sesame seeds.

Note: You can use either kinu tofu or momen tofu.
You may use green shiso/perilla leaves vinaigrette instead of ponzu.
In summer add cut plum tomatoes.
I personally like to add a little sweet umeboshi/pickled Japanese plums!


Here is an easy recipe to help you and the “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer modify and preserve tofu for all kind of usages!
Tofu Shiozuke/Salt-preserved Tofu!

-Tofu: 1 “cho”/200 g (Kinu or Momen type)
-Salt: 2g


Take tofu block out of its package and put it kitchen working plank. Sprinkle it with 1 g of salt.


Cover with a sheet of kitchen paper.


Cover the tofu and its kitchen paper with a plastic Tupperware-type box.


Turn box and plank over holding them together.


Take off plank and sprinkle the tofu bottom face with 1 g of salt.


Close paper kitchen over tofu.


Close the box and leave inside refrigerator in the evening.


Next morning there should be about 20cc of water having seeped through the kitchen paper. Discard water.


Wrap again in new clean kitchen paper. Put back into dry Tupperware-type plastic box and close. Put back into fridge until the next morning.
The tofu will have reduced size by half by then.


That’s how it would look. Smaller and firmer. More water should have seeped out. Discard it.



On a bowl of freshly steamed rice serve with with thinly sliced raw okra, preserved chrysanthemum leaves. Then pour hot tea on top!


Pickle it with fresh miso for one night and eat it as a snack!


Beautiful in salad with avocado slices!


Served with chopped vegetables and garlic chips!


Stuffed inside Aburaage with boiled beans then grilled and seasoned with seaweed dashi/stock and ponzu!


I was thinking of the “Tofu Tribe” (Terecita, Elin, Jenn and Jennifer) when riding the bu to work this morning. No bicycle these days as we are in the midlle of the rainy season!

The day before the Missus had served a quick snack (see pic above) consisting of tofu on which she poured extra virgin olive oil, coarsely ground black pepper and a little salt.
Very simple. Not very artistic, I admit, but the idea was there.

Now, many vegans and vegetarians like their tofu, but are running out of ideas…

How about, for example, creating a plate (use a large one with “compartments” for better effect!) with an assortment of tofu pieces seasoned with different varieties of oils, ground peppers and other spices, finely chopped vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers for good colouring. I love my tofu mounted with chopped shiso/perilla leaves, umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums meat and a dash of ponzu!
And what about natto/fermented beans with chopped shiso leaves and grated fresh ginger?

You could do the same thing with fried tofu, deep-fried tofu and aburaage.
How about a piece of fsh tofu mounted with freshly cut and fried aburaage, wasabi, grated fresh ginger and ponzu?

Endless bliss!

Will be introducing oils in my next posting!
Tofu recipe: Tofu Manju with Ankake Sauce/Tofu Dumplings in Sweet and Sour Sauce


Here is another simple tofu recipe dedicated to Elin, all tofu lovers, vegans and vegetarians:
Tofu Manju with Ankake Sauce/Tofu Dumplings in Sweet and Sour Sauce!

-Tofu (momen tofu style9: 1 “Cho”/200 g
-Carrot: one fifth
-String beans: 2~3
cornstarch: 1 large tablespoon
-salt: a pinch

For sweet and sour sauce:
-Dashi (Konbu dashi/seaweeed stock): half a cup/100 ml
-Soy sauce: half a large tablespoon
-Sugar:2 large tablespoons
-Rice vinegar: 1 large tablespoon
-Cornstarch dissolved in water: to one’s personal liking

RECIPE: For 2 people


Press water out of tofu. Sift it completely. Boil finely cut carrots and string beans until soft enough. Drain all water.


drop tofu and vegetables in a mixing bowl. Mix in cornstarch and salt. Divisde in 4 and make balls. Wrap each individually in cellophane paper. Twist cellophane warap and secure with rubber band or string.
Steam for at least 4 minutes.

Sweet and sour sauce:
Heat dashi stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sugar, stirring all the time. Mix in cornstarch dissolved in water.
The sauce is ready.

Serve dumplings on plate and cover them with the sauce!

Vegan/Vegetarian Recipe: Japanese-style String Beans and Tofu


Here is a simple and popular Japanese recipe that can please anyone, vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike: String Beans and Tofu!

INGREDIENTS: For 2 people
-String Beans, 5~6
-Tofu: half a block
-Miso (of your choice), 1 teaspoon
-Mirin/sweet sake, half a teaspoon
-Sugar, half a teaspoon
-Freshly crushed Sesame seeds (do it in a mortar with pestle)

-Drain water form tofu and roughly mix with miso, mirin and sugar.
-Peel away strings if any, cut beans into 4cm trunks and boil for 40 seconds. The beans should still be a bit crispy. Drain and let cool.
-Drop beans into tofu. Mix roughly with a spoon, cutting the tofu into small bits as in above pic.
-Sprinkle with sesame powder before serving.

Naturally, this could be one of a whole plate of vegan/vegetarian snacks.
One can also add lightly boiled carrots. The combinations are endless!

Vegan & Vegetarian feast at Tomii: Sansai/Japanese Mountain Wild Plants


It seems I can’t away from Tomii these days!
The reason (s) is (are) pretty simple:
This Japanese restaurant not only offers the best value for food (although a little expensive), but they scrupulously serve only seasonal culinary marvels!


Its young (33) second-generation chef-owner, Kazuya Tomii, has always been surprised to hear that many expat vegans or vegetarians had a hard time to find appropriate food in restaurants or even markets.

Vegetables and fruit from Shizuoka Prefecture

Having spent 6 years learning his trade in Tokyo, Kyoto, Gifu and Shizuoka before taking over in 2004, he knows very well there is plenty to savour for non-meat eaters!

Sansai/Japanese Wild Mountain Plants from Yamagata Prefecture

When I went there for dinner last Friday, he had just received a whole batch of “Sansai” from a relative in Yamagata Prefecture who owns a mountain (no joke) awash with these succulent wild plants!
I don’t have to tell you that I went vegetarian on that particular night!
I asked him to just prepare them away as he deemed best with some great local Shizuoka Sake!

Here is what I was served (I keep all the items in Japanese in case you have the occasion to find them. Asking in English would be very complicated. If needed, I will send a glossary to any friend who asks for it!):


Hors d’oeuvres/starter:
From top clockwise
-Ichiya Kogomi


Top: Amadokoro with white miso sauce
Bottom: Aka Kogomi

A better view of the sansai from Yamagata Prefecture!

Nice ware to serve hot sake in!


Udo and konyaku kimpira!


Sansai Tempura!
From left to right:
-Aka kogomi
-Tara no me
-Udo leaf
-Amadokoro (long stem)

Note: vegans, when making tempura, should use cornstarch instead of egg whites!


Agedashi yasai with mochi!
Now, this particular dish is absolutely vegan and vegetarian. Very satisfying!

I guarantee you I was full!

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
New Vegetable: urui/Hosta Montana


Last Sunday, while visiting my favourite supermarket inside the Shizuoka JR Station in search of unusual vegetables I had the pleasure to re-discover that increasingly popular Japanese vegetable, namely urui.
Its Latin name id Hosta Montana. If someone knows the English name, I would be very grateful to be enlightened!
Now, originally this vegetable was a “sansai/wild vegetable” until it has been successfully grown almost all over Japan.


The real name of this mountain plant is Oobagibooshi, too long a name to be marketed, hence the “new” name “urui” for the cultivated species.
At full maturity it can reach imposing height and width.
Like asparaguses, it is harvested early before it extends over a foot/30 cm height.


The leaves are still small, thin and tender then.
The whole plant, unless cooked as tenpura or fried, needs to be lightly boiled in lightly salted water beforehand.


To prepare the plant for the evening snack I had in mind for the Missus (Natasha, Tangled Noodle, do you remember? LOL) I cut the plant into 3 equal lengths and boiled the two bottom ones first as they would take longer. Once boiled to satsifaction I took theme out and cooled them under cold water, cut them lengthwise to thin enough strips and laid them onto a sheet of kitchen paper.
I boiled the leaves just long enough to make them tender, cooled them under cold water and spread them on a sheet of kitchen paper.


I had cooked a fine ratatouille beforehand, let it cool completely and added a dressing of my making with soft Dijon mustard, tarragon white wine vinegar, walnut oil, pepper and salt.
Now vegan and vegetarian friends should proceed directly to the dish I created as the rest ill not suit them!


Next I lightly fried small scallops (after marinating then in lemon juice for a couple of minutes) just enough to keep them almost raw inside and put them aside to cool. I did the same, marinade included with some white shrimps.
Note: to attain their “standing shape” is very easy. First “peel” them leaving the tail ends for better “handling”, make a shallow cut along their back, take out the innards and fry just enough to cok both sides to a nice color and keep them almost hlf raw inside. This way they will be firm but extremely tender.


As for the dish itself, vegan and vegetarian friends can forget the seafood and replace it with more ratatouille and edible flowers for example.
I built an “enclosure” with the cut urui stem, filled it with ratatouille. I placed the seafood geomatrically above the ratatouille. Around it I alternately placed urui leaves, trevise with edible flowers and watercress.
I made a point to take a pic before we sprinkled the lot with dressing (I leave the choice to you!)
Great with a Blanquette de Limoux sparkling wine!
Vegan/Vegetarian Japanese Dressing: Gomadare/Sesame Dressing


Following a few queries about gomadare/seasme dressing I (and the Missus) use a lot, I felt a little information and a simple recipe would come in useful.

Gomadare is a great tasty dressing that can be used indifferently with cold dishes as a normal dressing, or in and with hot food, especially nabe/Japanese pot-au-feu, shabu-shabu and any meat or veg actually.
The problem that the gomadare sold over the counter is not vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter (it usually contains egg white and I don’t know what!)

Now, here is a simple recipe that will add that little zest and “consistency” to your favourite food:
Ingredients (for about 2 people):
white sesame seeds: 2 large tablespoons
soy milk: 4 large tablespoons
miso: 1 teaspoon
soy sauce: a little (up to taste)
sugar: a little
ground white sesame: a little

First ground together with a pestle the white sesame seeds, soy milk and miso until it has attained a nice smooth consistency.
If have difficulty mixing it, heat it a little.
Add soy sauce, sugar and ground white sesame to taste.
A little experimentation will work wonders.

Tip: my favourite dish is to peel ripe figs (see pic), cut them in quarters and pour a generous amount of gomadare over it!

Japanese Vegan & Vegetarian Delicacy: “Sea Grapes/Umibudou”


Although not from Shizuoka, this Okinawa delicacy regularly appears in good supermarkets such as Shizuoka JR Station Supermarket and in good Japanese restaurants.

Although called Sea Grapes (Umibudou) for their shape, it is a saweed variety!
Its Latin name is “Caulerpa lentillifera” for the purists.


Apparently they can be found in some islands an seas in South Eastern Asia and Oceania. World vegetarian and vegans, look out for them (I mean discovere and eat them! LOL)!
The whole seaweed can reach betwen 2 and 5 metres, but only the extremities including the “grapes” are consumed.
In Okinawa where they have been eaten eons, they are also called “green caviar”!
You can eat them raw of course with soy sauce or rice vinegar mixed with mustard.


In sushi, as “gunkan/maothership”, they certainly make for great fun and taste!
Beware of counterfeits! No less than the JAS was recently caught selling them in August 2008!
Growing them in Japan has apparently been successful, great news for vegans and vegetarians who will find a great source of iodine and other beneficial elements!
Didi I say it? They are delicious/”oishii”!
“Mukashi Mushi Pan”/Old=fashioned Steamed Bread

Although I’m neither a vegetarian or vegan, I make a point to introduce anything I discover here which might help friends out!

Fukasawa Foods in Shibakawa Cho at the foot of Mount Fuji produces all year round an incredible array of soba/buckwheat noodles, udon/wheat flour noodles, ice-creams, cakes and I don’t know what else.

Now, all their food is organic. No artificial fertilizers are used for whatever they grow or buy, and no additives or preservatives are used in any of their product, which means all have to be properly stored and eaten quickly.

Vegans will be happy to know they use tofu instead of any dairy product.

This particular cake called “Mukashi Mushi Pan” or Old-Fashioned Steamed Bread was made with wheat flour, tofu, brown sugar, raisins, salt, vegetable oil.
That is all!

One cake could have easily been held inside your palm, but it was very fulfilling and delicious!
They have other varieties made with pumpkin and other vegetables.

Fukasawa Foods
Fuji Gun, Shibakawa Cho, Naibo, 3895-8
Tel.: 0544-65-0143
Closed on Tuesdays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Ginger as a Vegetable

Ginger when eaten outside Japan generally comes under its semi-dry or dry root.
Actually here, and in Shizuoka especially, fresh ginger or “Ha Shoga”/Leaf Ginger comes into some great recipes to please any one who does not consume meat (of course ginger is used in many meat recipes!)

Extensively grown in our Prefecture, it can be bought fresh in season in any Supermarket:

There are many ways to prepare and eat it:

Fresh Ginger pickled in miso.
Very practical when you can buy loads in season. Choose your miso paste well so as avoid too much salt!

Everyone knows pickled sliced ginger (use fresh plants only!) served with sushi!

Ginger can be steamed with rice or served very finely cut on top of a bowl of steaming rice!

Ginger is great finely chopped and fried with egg-plant/aubergines, soy sauce and mirin!
(Plan to introduce recipe!)

Fresh thin ginger roots are simply beautiful fried/sauteed with othe vegetables!
(Plan to introduce recipe!)

Myoga as a Vegetable

Myōga (茗荷) or myoga ginger (Zingiber mioga, Zingiberaceae) is an herbaceous, deciduous, perennial native to Japan that is grown for its edible flower buds and flavorful shoots.

As a woodland plant myoga has specific shade requirements for its growth. It is frost-tolerant to 0F, -18C possibly colder.
Some constituents of myoga have shown promise for potentially anti-carcinogenic properties

A traditional crop in Japan, myoga has been introduced to cultivation in Australia and New Zealand for export to the Japanese market. I’ve always wondered if it were available on American and European Markets.
It is a great plant for use in vegetarian and vegan dishes as it adds lots of soft flavors.
Flower buds are usually found finely shredded raw in Japanese cuisine as a garnish.
But there are many other possibilities:

Actually some Japanese restaurants will prepare the flowers as well as tenpura.
Vegans should replace the egg white included in the batter with a little cornstarch.

Myoga in Miso Soup.
Cut the myoga into thin strips and just add them to the miso soup inside bowls before serving it.

Myoga Gohan/Myoga Rice.
Cut the myoga in very thin strips and put it on top of the rice before steaming it. When the rice is cokked, mix in the myoga with rice and serve.
Vegetarians and Vegans may use genmai/whole rice for higher nutritients.
Beautiful when freshly cooked!

Myoga Pickles
Wash myoga quickly under running water. Drain and take excess water with kitchen paper.
Best pickled with amazu/sweet rice vinegar. If not available use rice vinegar, sugar and soft umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums.

Edamame/Japanese Green Soybeans

I’ve always been somewhat puzzled to find the word “edamame” in my U.S. (and European) friends’ blogs. This conspicuous vegetable seems to conjure grand images of Japanese gastronomy in spite of its almost base status in this country.

After all, “edamame” (枝豆/branch bean in Japanese) is nothing but green soybeans, a food mass-produced and heavily exported by North American farmers.
Or, is it that the soybean’s image has fallen so low on the other side of the Pacific because some people grow it for bio-ethanol that restaurateurs feel more comfortable with a grand-sounding Japanese name?

Alright, before I get collared by Foodhoe or Gaijin Tonic for indulging into a cheap rant, let me introduce my own recipe for preparing the “delicacy”:
One does not have to boil it, cool it and serve it sprinkled with salt. This is probably the worst and least healthy way to consume it!
If you can, choose them fresh on the branch(es). This will guarantee they haven’t lost any of their nutrient qualities.
Cut out all the pods and throw away the branches (or re-process them inside your fertilizer box!).
Clean the pods under running water.
Drain water, but do not wipe them dry.
Drop them in an appropriate-sized non-stick pan and hand-rub them in a little coarse salt. The less salt, the better, but enough to season all pods. Experience and personal preferences will tell you how much you need.
Cover pan with a glass lid and switch on fire to medium-low. Cook until water seeps out of the pods. Switch off fire and keep inside covered pan (do not take the lid off!) for a good 5 minutes. By then, they should be sufficiently cooked.
Serve immediately.

In Japan there exists another variety called Kuro Edamame/黒枝豆-Black Edamame.
Actually they are a light brown-green soybean grown in Shizuoka Prefecture and elsewhere. They are definitely tastier and deserve the title of “delicacy”.
The beans out of their pods also make for great addition to salads, artful presentation with meat dishes, and are great mixed inside “nigiri”!



It was another one of my quick “evening breaks” this evening, and I just decided to pop up at Yasatei as I knew I would be able to nibble on a great morsel or two.
Now, what I ordered should please vegetarians and vegans alike (I’m neither), but I suspect Simaldeff (because of his weight problems). Allison (she loves her veg) and Lindsay (always keen on Healthy food) would particularly be curious to find out what I ate.

Well, I ordered “yuuki yasai no sashimi”.
Translation: bio vegetables sashimi.

From left to right:
“Eshyaletto/Japanese echalottes”, “daidai piman/soft orange pimento”, “myoga/ginger sprouts”, “aka radisyu/red radishes”, “shiso/perilla”, “daikon/Japanese long radish”, and “kyuuri/cucumber”.
All vegetables, except for the orange soft pimento also have the merit to be grown in Shizoka Prefecture!


As for “seasoning”, I was offered “goma abura/sesame oil” from Kyoto (see pic) with salt and miso paste.

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Reservations highly recommended

Sushi Iroha Restaurant


Although I’m not a vegetarian nor a vegan, I do understand the needs of people with different regimen and always try to inform them about gastronomic options available in Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture.
Now, sushi for strict vegetarians or vegans exist as sown in those two pictures I took yesterday in a very small but famous Sushi Restaurant called Sushi Iroha in Iwata City, south of Toyoda JR Station.

The picture above features vegetables all grown in then neighbourhood Which were first cooked or/and marinated:
From left to right and top to bottom:
Konnyaku/Devil’s Tongue Yuber Paste (nigiri)
Celery marinated in Amazu/sweet vinegar and Umeboshi/salted Japanese plum (nigiri)
Shiro Negi/white leek (nigiri)
Na no hana/Rape Blossoms (nigiri)
Gobo/Burdock Roots (nigiri)
Satsuma Imo/Yams (gunkan)
Daikon/Japanese Long Radish (gunkan)


Next I was served a sublime creation concocted with Ebine Imo/Ebine Tuber served mille-feuilles style intersped with sushi rice and presnted with dashes of olive oil, seame oil/goma abura and soy sauce/shoyu.

HOMEPAGE (Japanese)


Here are other very typical examples of sushi fit for Vegetarians and even vegans!
So next time you are planning to eat sushi, come armed with your knowledge and tease your favourite sushi chef with it!

Top picture:
From right to left, top to bottom:
Yuuba (tofu sheets), Takenoko (bamboo shoot), Myoga (ginger sprout), Gobo (burdock roots)
Ki no mi (leaf vegetable variety), Awafu (cooked tofu), Kamo Nasu (pickled eggplant/aubergine variety), Hakusai Maki (Chinese cabbage roll)


From top to bottom:
Sugiku no Ha Maki ((pickled chrysanthemum plant roll), Kabu Tsukemono (pickled turnip), Takenoko (bamboo shoot)
Tea Buckwheat Noodles/”Tya-soba”


Shizuoka Prefecture is celebrated for its green tea all the World.
Vegeterians (and vegans!), rejoice! A company called Ikejima Foods in Hamakita Ku, Hamamatsu City has come up with Tea Buckwheat Noodles/Tya-soba!.
Tea comes from the Kawane area which produces some of the best tea in the Prefecture.
The noodles contain no preservatives and neither the noodles, nor the tsuyu/soup contains any animal extracts whatsoever (no milk or egg products).
One pack contains enough for 4 small or 2 medium portions.


As for cooking, here are simple instructions:
Cold Noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup in 100 ml of clean water.
In one big pan heat 2 litres of water. Bring to boiling point. Drop in noodles. Lower fire to samll. Stir with long chopsticks. The noodles are ready when they readily come to the surface. Wash them rapidly under running cold water inside a “zaru”/small basket or inside a bowl full of cold water until noodles are cool enough. Drain water and place on a flat dish over a bamboo net if possible. Eat noodles by dipping them in tsuyu/soup to which you can add freshly cut raw leeks and wasabi (or any spices you fancy!)

Hot noodles style:
Dilute tsuyu/soup into 230 ml of hot water.
Cook noodles as for cold style. Drain and drop into bowl full of tsuyu/soup. Add vegetables, freshly cut raw leeks and spices to taste.

“Meicha Soba”
Ikejima Foods
Hamamatsu City, Hamakita Ku, Terajima, 2351
Tel.: 053-587-1025

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