This is one of my staple recipes, based on a dish you could get at the Korean food stall in the late, lamented Oriental City mall in north London, and a few recipes from around the internet.
2-3 tbl olive oil
At least 5 cloves garlic, sliced.
1 medium carrot, sliced.
1 medium onion, sliced.
1 sweet red pepper, or equivalent other vegetable of your choice.
1 block tofu, 300-400g.
4 spring onions
2 tbl water
For the sauce:
3 tbl kochujang
2 tbl rice syrup or 1½tbl sugar
2 tbl soya sauce
Fresh red chillies to taste
Up to 1 tbl sesame oil
Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. You’ll have to stir it well to get the kochujang to blend with the soya sauce. Add extra chillies if you want.
Using a wok or a large frying pan, fry the onions, garlic and carrots for a few minutes in the olive oil. You want them to soften, but not to start turning brown. Then add the peppers/other veg, the tofu and spring onions and gently stir in the sauce until all is well-coated. Add the water, stir again, cover and simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Optionally mix in some sesame oil just before serving. Serve over rice.
Kochujang (sometimes transliterated gochujang) is a Korean paste which is basically a hot and spicy dark miso. It comes in bright red plastic tubs and is available from most Chinese supermarkets. A similar, but non-spicy, bean paste comes in tan-coloured tubs, should you not want the heat.
As a way of getting this kick-started, here are my Japanese vegan recipes which I’ve already posted to my LiveJournal and elsewhere.
There are plenty more of these, and the observant might have noticed references to a cookbook. Yes, I’m working on one.
It’s disgustingly hot here in Scotland at the moment, and my mind has turned to salad. I came up with the following, based on this dead animal recipe and adapted to the ingredients I had, and the fact that I don’t like celery!
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 tin of chinese ‘mock duck’ or similar wheat gluten product
1 tin chick peas
1 tin red kidney beans
2 (Granny Smith) apples
1 100g tub of olives in oily dressing stuff (basil, garlic and chili in this case)
1 green pepper
1 spring onion
Put the rice on to cook as normal.
Drain the gluten and dice. Put it in your big salad bowl.
Open the tins of beans and put them in a sieve to drain.
Quarter the olives and put them in the bowl. You can chop them smaller if you have more patience than me. Bung the oil in too. You’ll probably have to wash your hands at this point.
Chop up the pepper and throw it in. Core and chop the apples, and add them to the mixture. Ditto the spring onion.
Add the beans and mix it all up.
When the rice is done, add it to the bowl, mix it all up again, allow to cool and chill. If necessary, add a tiny bit of salad dressing just before serving.
Alas, I made too much rice (the recipe above gives the right quantity) and will have to leave the salad till tomorrow while I work out what to with the leftover rice. I have been nibbling, though.
This is one of those “post it before I forget what I did” recipes. I just got one of those George Foreman grill things, and made this up as I went along so I could play with it.
1 sweet red pepper
Approx 250g lump of tofu, sliced into two ‘steaks’
2 tbl pale barley miso (use shiro miso of your choice here)
2 tbl sake
Oil the grill and turn it on. Cut the pepper into chunks and, when hot, place on grill. They’ll be done in about 5 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a pan. Put a small amount of oil on the tofu and put it to grill. Grind the peppers to a pulp with a hand blender (or whatever) and mix with sake and miso. Put on a very gentle heat to warm through – do not let it boil, or the goodness of the miso will disappear.
When the tofu is done, place on plate and pour sauce over – serves two, as part of a meal which included brown rice noodles and mixed oriental mushrooms braised in sake and soy sauce, sprinkled with yuzu (citron).
The sauce is a flavour explosion, and it was amusing to see the single drip of oil in the drip tray.
This is something I invented for my tea tonight, and it turned out quite well:
Nuttolene and Green Pepper Curry
1 tin Nuttolene
2 small onions
1 green pepper
2 tsp curry paste
1 tin chopped tomatoes
oil for frying
Chop onions finely and fry in oil until soft. Add the curry paste stir-fry on a medium heat for a minute or so. Add the tomatoes, and an equivalent amount of water (use the tin as a measure, and get the rest of the tomato juice while you are at it), and turn the heat back up. Extract the Nuttolene from the tin without removing any of your fingers. Dice it and add to pan. Chop the pepper, add to pan. Bring to boil and simmer until done, which is when the oil separates from the tomatoes. Serve with organic brown basmati rice – feeds two hungry ones.
Notes: Nuttolene is a peanut-based canned savoury ‘nutmeat’ thing made by Granose. I’m sure there will be a US equivalent. I use Patak’s Madras curry paste, which I actually saw in the US last time I was there…