Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Aburaage & Spring Cabbage Rolls with Wasabi Sweet & Sour Dressing
Spring in Japan sees frsh and almost cabbages on the markets. These cabbages are so tender that they can eaten raw in many fashions!
Rolling them in aburaage/deep-fried tofu pouches is an excellent recipe for vegans and any priorities!
Wasabi is a local product in Shizuoka (80% of the total Japanese production) and is so valuable both for the extra zip and medicinal values!
Aburaage & Spring Cabbage Rolls with Wasabi Sweet & Sour Dressing
INGREDIENTS: For 4 rolls
-New (Spring) cabbage: 4 leaves
-Carrot: 70 g
-Water: 250 cc/ml
-Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Japanese sake 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 1/2 tablespoon
-Dashi: 1/2 tablespoon (Check Vegan Dashi Recipe)
-Cornstarch: a little dissolved in water
-Wasabi: 1/2 teaspoon (grated)
-Cut out the middle stringy core off the cabbage leaves. Wash them in clear cold water, taking care not to break them. Lay on a tray and cover with cellophane paper. Cook in a microwave oven for 3~4 minutes.
-Cut the carrot into thin 6 sticks in a length equal to that of the aburaage and 1 cm square thick. Lay on a tray, sprinkle with a little water and cook in icrowave oven for 2 minutes.
-Cut the aburaage in halves along their length and open.
-Drain the cabbage well and sponge off any water with kitchen paper.
Put two leaves each on top of each other and cut edges as to leave enough cabbage surface to be slightly wider than the aburaage.
-Lay the open aburaage on top of the cabbage leaves. Lay the carrot sticks on top of the aburaage from the inside edge. Roll the lot away from you with a firm hand. Keep aside.
-In a pan just large enough to contain two cabbage rolls drop in the water, Japanese sake, mirin and dashi. Heat and place the rolls inside “heads up”.
-Cover the whole with foil paper. Put the lid on top and food on a low fire for 10 minutes.
-Turn the cabbage rolls over and cook for 10 more minutes.
-Take the two rolls out and cut each into two equal halves. Place on a serving dish.
-Heat and check the taste of the soup and adjust if necessary. Add the wasabi and mix well.
-Add some cornstarch dissolved in water and stir until syrupy. Pour the sweet and sour wasabi dressing on the rolls. Topp with some chopped green leaves and serve.
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Natto no Age Yaki
My French Friend in Osaka has already extensively written about such recipes, so the present recipe is more a confirmation than an innovation!
It is very popular in Japan, probably more in my region, Shizuoka and Kanto, than in the western part of Japan including Osaka!
First of all, choose some good fresh thin leeks and use a lot for your Vitamin C, fibers and other useful nutrients. Chop them fine and drop them in a bowl.
Add the natto to the leeks. I also add a little light taste soy sauce, a little sesame oil, a little mustard and some chili pepper for additional zip. But this seasoning is entirely up to your preferences and priorities.
Mix well! It must form a really sticky mass.
Aburaage: deep-fried tofu pouches.
If you make them yourself, great!
If you van buy them freshly made at the market, great again!
Now, if you buy them packed, they either come as they are or in brine.
If in brine, throw the brine away and sponge the aburaage of between sheets of kitchen paper.
Cut each aburaage in half, or cut off one “tail” only to form a larger pouch.
With a sharp knife, “open” the aburaage so as to form a pouch.
Fill the pouch with the natto nixture.
“Lock” the pouch with a wooden toothpick as shown on the picture.
Fry on a frypan without any oil (plenty left inside the pouch), unless you are using aburaage preserved in brine.
Fry to a crispy broan colour.
Cut or serve as it is (look at top picture!) with some freshly grated ginger and some ponzu!
Vegan Natto & Cucumber Sushi Rolls
Here is another simple suggestion for making sushi rolls with natto for all to enjoy!
Vegan Natto & Cucumber Sushi Rolls!
INGREDIENTS: For 1 roll
-Nori/dry seaweed sheet: 1
-Rice: 1 bowl Check RECIPE
-Roasted sesame seeds: 1 teaspoon
-Beni shooga/pickle red ginger: 1 tablespoon
-Natto: 1 standard pack
-Cucumber (Japanese style, thin and crunchy): 1/2
-Thin leeks: 1~2
-Chop the beni shooga finely. Add to rice with sesame seeds. Mix well.
Cut the cucumber into long thin strips.
Do the same with the leek.
Mix natto with its seasoning well (if not sold together, use soy sauce, sesame oil and mustard).
On a sushi roll pad, spred the nori/dry seaweed sheet. Cover it evenly with the rice.
As shown in picture above, fill the roll (starting fromabout 1 quarter of the width) with cucumber, leeks and natto.
Roll delicately first, then firmly.
Leave inside the pad until you serve.
Before serving, unroll the sushi roll and cut it with a sharp knife.
Wipe the knife cleanly after each cut!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Lotus Root and Natto Sandwiches
I still have plenty of recipes with natto to publish!
This time I would like to introduce a very simple idea for a cruchy snack (Bazooka Gourmet will certainly have a comment for that! LOL):
Lotus Root and Natto Sandwiches!
INGREDIENTS: For 4 people
-Lotus root/Renkon: 20 cm long piece or the equivalent in 2 or 3 roots
-Natto: 1 standard pack
-Ooba/large shiso leaves/perilla leaves: 1 for each sandwich!
-Leek: as appropriate (chopped)
-Cornstarch: as appropriate
-Soy sauce: as appropriate
-Cut the lotus root into 5 mm/1/2 cm thick slices. Wash in clear cold water.
Mix the natto with the chopped leeks and the tare/sauce and mustard provided in usual packs (if unavailable add some soy sauce, sesame oil and mustard).
Wash the large perilla leaves in clear cold water.
-Take water off both sides of lotus root slices with kitchen paper. Do the same with perilla leaves. Sprinkle lotus root slices with cornstarch on one side only, that is the side which will come in contact with frypan and oil.
Make sandwiches with one slice of lotus root + one perilla leaf + natto mix + one more lotus root slice.
Pour a little oil of your liking in a frypan and fry snadwiches on both sides until the lotus root is cooked and has attained a nice colour.
-Serve with a light soy sauce and yuzu kosho/lime and pepper paste for extra seasoning!
-Enjoy with a beer!
Mabodofu in Japanese or Mapo Doufu in Chinese Mapo doufu, is a popular Chinese dish from the Sichuan (Szechuan) province. It is a combination of tofu (bean curd) set in a spicy chili- and bean-based sauce, typically a thin, oily, and bright red suspension, and often topped with minced meat, usually pork or beef. Variations exist with other ingredients such as water chestnuts, onions, other vegetables, or wood ear fungus, but these are rarely considered authentic Sichuanese.
The Japanese sometimes combine it with natto to create a vegan recipe!
INGREDIENTS: For 2~ people
-Natto: 2 standard packs
-Tofu (silk to fu): 1 standard block/300~400 g
-Leek: 1/2 finely chpped
-Fresh ginger: 3×3 cm cube, finely chopped
-Garlic: 1 clove, finely chopped
-Salad oil or seasme oil: as appropriate
-Soy sauce: 1 tablespoon
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Japanese sake: 1 tablespoon
-Doubanjiang/豆板醤: 1 tablespoon
-Shichuan pepper (if a vailable): a little
-Mix the natto with its tare/sauce. If tare is not provided, mix it with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Press water out of tofu. Cut tofu into small pieces (size of the pieces is up to your preference actually!).
-In a bowl mix soy sauce, Japanese, mirin and Doubanjiang into seasoning sauce. Set apart.
-Heat oil in a frypan. Throw in the chopped leek, ginger and garlic. Stir fry for a while.
-Once the leek have become half transparent throw in natto and the seasoning sauce. Mix and heat quickly for a short while.
-Add tofu, Fry until natto has mixed with tofu.
-If there is not enough water to your preference, add some hot (not cold!) water. Sprinkle with Shichuan pepper and serve atop freshly steamed plain rice!
Vegan Natto & Aburage Tofu
Tofu and natto are both made from soy beans and can be easily combined into vegan recipes!
Natto & Aburage Tofu!
If you have any problems with quantities, look at pics or experiment!
INGREDIENTS: For 2 people
-Abrage/deep-fried tofu: 1 standard pack/2 blocks
-Natto: 1/2 standard pack
-Natto tare/sauce/dresing (sold with pack): as appropriate
-Miso: 2 tablespoons
-Leek: 1/2 chopped
-Soy sauce: as appropriate
-Sponge water the oil and humidity off the aburage with some kitchen apaper. Cut through as to be able to open and stuff the tofu. The best method is to cut at an angle as shown in above picture, leaving half closed. Actually, you had better experiment, although you must keep in mind that the tofu should not be completely cut!
-Add some chopped leeks and the tare/sauce to the natto and stir until sticky. Add remaing chopped leeks and stir well.
-Paste the inside of the tofu with miso. Use a spoon. Stuff each tofu block with half of the natto. Secure with a toothpick.
-Fry until tofu attains a nice toast colour. No need to use oil!
You can also grill inthe toaster!
-Cut to size of your preference or serve it whole. Provide soy sauce for more seasoning if needed.
-Aburage as sold packed in Japan, although you will find them freshly made at any good large supermarket here!
Vegan Japanese Cuisine: Ko Imo No Nimono
In Jpanese Ko Imo/小芋 means small taro tubers, and Nimono/煮物 can be loosely translated as stew.
Imo are great for vegans as they are fulfilling and so healthy!
Ko Imo No Nimono: Small Taro Tubers Stew
INGREDIENTS: For up to 3 people
-Ko Imo/small taro tubers: 15
-Vegan Dashi: 1 cup/200 cc/ml. Check RECIPE.
-Mirin/Sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Japanese sake: 3 tablespoons
-Salt: a little less than 1/2 teaspoon
-Sugar: 1 large tablespoon
-Light soy sauce: 1/2 tablespoon
-Fresh string beans: as many as you want
-Wash the the ko imo/taro tubers throroughly. Cut off both hands and peel “straight” so as to form six distinct sides. Was in clear running water and drain.
-Drop the imo in a large pot and cover completely with water. add a little rice (it will add taste). Cook until you can pass a wooden skewer through the imo.
-Bring the pot at a slant under the water tap and let the cold water flow into the pot and out with the hot water. This simple techenique will get the imo rid of unwanted stickiness. Throw all water out, but keep the imo inside the pot.
-Pour all the sauce ingredients onto the imo. Switch on fire and simmer the imo over a weak fire long enough for the imo to “suck in” the sauce.
-Cut the extremeities off the string beans and boil in salted water until tender enough. The Japanese like them only lightly boiled and crispy.
-Let imo and string beans cool completely. Transfer the string beans with the imo. Chill if necessary.
-Serve in a dish as shown on picture above and press some lime/yuzu over it!
Red Miso Dip Sauce
This posting has also been prompted by my new friend, Maggie Lam, who wanted to get some information for a red miso dipping sauce.
It is only a suggestion open to infinite variations!
INGREDIENTS: For 2~3 people
-Japanese sake (if inavailable, replace with dry white wine): 1 tablespoon
-Red miso: 2 tablespoons
-Sugar: 1 tablespoons
-Ground sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon
-Oyster sauce (vegan and vegetarians can replace it with soy sauce): 1 teaspoon
-Sesame oil: 1 teaspoon
-In a small pan, heat the Japanese sake to have the alcohol evaporate. Do not boil. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
-Let cool completely before using it.
This sauce is especially welcome in summer.
Combine white miso withe red miso for a different colour and taste!
If consumed by adults only, use chili pepper sesame oil!
Red miso Dressing
This posting has been prompted by my new friend, Maggie Lam, who wanted to get some information for a red miso dipping sauce.
Although this particular recipe is more a dressing than anything else, it could be used as a dipping sauce if you mixed in fresh cream. Th cream will solidify when combined with oil.
Unfortunately it will not qualify as a vegan recipe.
I wonder if soy milk cream exists!
INGREDIENTS:: for 60 ml/cc of dressing
-Red miso: 1.5 tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 1/2 tablespoon
-Rice vinegar: 1.5 tablespoons
-Sugar: 1 tablespoon
-Salad oil of your choice: 3 tablespoons
-Ground sesame seeds: 1.5 tablespoons
-Freshly grated ginger: a little
-Freshly grated garlic: a little
-First mix miso, soy sauce, sugar, ground sesame, grated ginger and garlic until you obtain a smooth mixture. Add oil and rice vinegar and stir well.
-Serve it onfresh vegetables and tofu salad!
-Great for taste and look on freshly boiled or steamed vegetables!
Vegan Edamame Tofu
This is the season for fresh edamame and there are so many ways to accomodate them!
Have you ever thought of creating a vegan recipe with them and tofu.
Here is a simple way to please everyone!
Vegan Edamame Tofu!
INGREDIENTS: For about 6 people, unless you have a big appetite!
-Kinu Tofu/Silk Tofu: 400 g
-Edamame: 1 cup (boiled in salted water and extracted from their pods)
-Agar agar: 8g
-Water: 385 CC/about 2 cups
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
-Mirin/sweet sake: 1 tablespoon
-Vegan konbu dashi/seaweed soupstock: Check RECIPE: 1 cup/200 cc/ml
-Mirin/sweet sake: 3 tablespoons
-Soy sauce: 3 tablespoons
-Grated wasabi: as appropriate
-Soak the agar agar in the water for at least two hours or overnight.
-Peel off the thin skin of each edamame. Borin work, I must admit, but worth it!
-Place the tofu over a bamboo strainer/zaru to take as much water off as possible.
Press the agar agar strongly to drain it of any water.
Drop the agar agra in 400 cc of water and simmer on a weak fire until completely dissolved.
-Drop the edamame, tofu, salt and mirin in a mixer/food processor.
Turn until you attain a smooth paste.
-In a large bowl pour the tofu mixture and add the dissolved agar agar a lttle at a time and mix well until all has been incorporated.
Pour the whole into a rectangular mold you will have wetted beforehand.
-Smooth the surface flat with a gum spatula. Knock down the mold on the working table a few times to ensure homogeneousity.
Let cool and place inside refrigerator.
-Mix the dashi, soy sauce and mirin/sweet sake.
Heat to just before boiling point. Switch off fire and let cool completely.
Keep in thefridge.
-Turn the edamame to fu over a cutting board.
Cut into 8 pieces and place them on serving dish as shown above.
Pour dashi drssing around it.
Decorate with a few edamame and some grated wasabi.
Vegan Tofu Fruit Cake
If you have tofu and flour on hand, you do not need eggs or milk to make a tasty cake!
INGREDIENTS: For a pound cake-sized mold
-Tofu: 120 g
-Maple syrup: 80 g
-Oil: 20 g
-Cake flour: 100 g (wheat flour allergics could use another type of flour or rice flour)
-Baking soda: 2cc/ml
-Walnutes: 50 g
-Dried prunes: 50 g
-Let rest the tofu over a plate with small holes or a strainer (“Zaru” in Japanese) for at least 10 minutes to get rid of some water.
Drop into a bowl. Add the maple syrup and oil. Mix well with a hand mixer.
-Thieve the flour and baking soda over the tofu. Add the (cut for size if needed) walnuts and prunes. Mix well with a spatula.
-Line a mold with baking paper.
Pour in the cake mixture.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.
-One can use sweet potatoes instead of the dried fruit. Cook them in microwave until soft first.
One can use apple sauce/jam instead of maple syrup.
Some jellied orange peels could alos add a nice finishing note!
SPRING ONIONS WITH SESAME & MISO DRESSING
Shizuoka Prefecture is famed in Japan for producing the first new onions of the year.
They are very soft and sweet and are much appreciated steamed with a simple seasoning.
If you can grab these onions in your own country or hometown, here is a simple recipe that please everyone!
Spring Onion with Sesame & Miso Dressing!
INGREDIENTS: For 2 people
-New Spring Onions: 2
-White sesame seeds: 1 tablespoon
-Sugar (of your preference): 1 teaspoon
-Soy sauce (of your preference): 1 teaspoon
-Miso paste (of your preference): 1 teaspoon
-Mirin/sweet Japanese sake: 1 teaspoon
In a mortar (“suribashi” in Japanese) drop the white sesame and grind thoroughly with a pestle. Add the sugar, soy sauce, miso paste and mirin.
-Peel the onions. Cut off the pointed tip. Cut through into four quarters down to 9 tenths of its height (do not cut completely as it must “stands” on its own!).
Place each onion on/in its serving dish (preferably earthenware) and wrap with cellophane paper. Cook in the microwave oven long enough for the onions to become soft. This shouldn’t take long if the onions are new. This method will ensure that nothing “escapes” from the onions!
-Pour the seasoning over the onions and serve!
-Grinding your own sesame seeds will provide for a better and deeper taste than using ready-ground sesame seeds!
RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food Daidokoro/Osaka;; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat