Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

31/12/2008

My ozouni.

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 19:35

Ozouni is a traditional Japanese dish for New Year’s Day. It is generally had in the morning, after having toasted in the sunrise with sake, and is a significant cause of death for old people. There are as many recipes as people, plus a few more. Mine is vaguely Eastern Japan-ish, but vegan. Serves four-ish.

For dashi:
Piece of dashi konbu

For fake fish roll:
about a third of a block of konnyaku
a few drops of red food colouring (yes, there is vegan red food colouring out there)
very strong konbu dashi

The rest:
3 dried shiitake
about half a carrot
a block of firm tofu, cut into big triangular chunks
some greenery (not available this time)
1 tbl shouyu
1 tbl sake
one piece mochi per person
dried yuzu peel

Set the shiitake to soak. Slice the carrots and use a fancy cutter to make them an interesting shape. Bung the konbu and the bits of carrot you cut off into a pan with plenty of water, bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour or so. Drain, retaining the liquid.

Cut round or flower shapes out of the konnyaku. Put it in a small pan with enough strong dashi to cover (I cheated and used instant for this) and the food colouring. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, and don’t forget about it! Strain – no need to reserve the liquid.

Put the home-made dashi back into the big pan, and add the shiitake soaking water, the shouyu, the sake and more water if needed (you know how big your soup bowls are!). Bring back to the boil whilst thinly slicing the shiitake, discarding the stems. Add the shiitake and tofu to the dashi and simmer for 5 minutes, the add the carrots, the fake fish rolls and the greenery.

Continue simmering while you prepare the mochi.

The best place to get mochi is a health food store – I use the Mitoku brown rice ones which Real Foods sell, because I am a Bloody Hippie. Grill the mochi on both sides until they swell up then put one in each bowl. Ladle the soup over the mochi, making sure everyone gets a bit of everything. Sprinkle some yuzu peel over. Eat the mochi carefully – they’re sticky and choking on them is what kills people in Japan.

For a more Western Japanese style, add white miso.

03/02/2008

Yasai Gyoza

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , — Feòrag @ 21:32

Spent the day making gyoza and have added about 500 words to the cookbook’s word-count. The filling I have come up with is rather pleasant and is a way of getting my partner to eat green vegetables:

250g fresh mushrooms
2 cups worth of chopped greens – cabbage, spinach etc.,
2 spring onions
1 small carrot
1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbl sesame oil (frying)

Chop all the vegetables finely. If you have one, pulverise the mushrooms in a food processor or blender. If not, just chop them as finely as you can. Fry all the filling ingredients except the mushrooms in the sesame oil till the cabbage is limp. Add mushroom and cook through. You are aiming for a filling which holds itself together.

I put mine in home-made wholemeal wrappers, which my partner naturally thinks would work really well with cheese gyoza. The cookbook will not mention this! I also opted for “deep fry the buggers” rather than any more healthy means of preparation.

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