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.

09/12/2008

Kinugoshi no gomadare (Silken tofu in a sesame sauce)

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 13:36

Kinugoshi no gomadare (Silken tofu in a sesame sauce)This is a really simple recipe, that can be made to look incredibly posh.

Ingredients (four servings)
One cake firm silken tofu (e.g. Mori-nu)

sesame sauce:
8 tsp white sesame seed
4 tsp soya sauce
4 tsp sake
8 tsp mirin (use an expensive one, like Clearspring’s Mikawa Mirin)

topping:
2 tsp white sesame seed
A sprinkle of nori flakes, or perilla if you can get it.

Blend the sauce ingredients together and divide between four small bowls.

Cut the tofu as shown below and place one piece of tofu in each bowl.

cutting-tofu

Toast the other sesame seed in a heavy pan and put approximately ½tsp on top of each piece of tofu. Sprinkle the nori or perilla on top of this. Serve as one element of a Japanese meal.

Variations:
This dish is made chilled. It could be heated in a microwave before the toppings are added, but I haven’t tried this. Adding brown rice syrup to the sauce would turn it into a dessert.

23/01/2008

Saute shiitake and parsnip

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 13:44

I’ve been bashing on at the cookbook in fits and starts, and today have added a couple more recipes. I’ve been experimenting with using parsnip to replace burdock, because the quality of burdock available here is awful. This recipe, based very loosely on a beef fried with burdock recipe, was particularly successful:

Saute shiitake and parsnip

1 small, ideally long and thin, parsnip
1 large shiitake mushroom
sesame oil
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp sake
2 tsp shōyu

Scrub parsnip. Cut off shavings, like sharpening a pencil with a knife (this is easier if you put the parsnip flat on your chopping board and, surprisingly, use a large knife). Alternatively cut into julienne strips.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan, add the parsnips and fry them while you cut the mushroom up into julienne strips. Add the mushroom to the pan and continue to fry for a minute or so. Add the mirin, sake and shōyu mixture and simmer until the parsnip is just tender – probably only another minute at most, depending on the size of the pieces.

Notes: This recipe is based on one that originally featured burdock. If you are able to get hold of a nice, fresh burdock root, this will need about a 20cm length and will take slightly longer to cook. Either fresh or dried shiitake can be used, as can any mushroom with a strong flavour.

07/06/2007

Fried Asparagus and Braised Shiitake.

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 16:25

A Japanese lunchTwo Japanese style dishes which formed part of my lunch today. The recipes below each make an individual portion when served as part of a Japanese meal

Fried Asparagus
6 spears green asparagus
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¾ tsp sake
¾ tsp dashi

Cut the asparagus into 5cm (2″) lengths, discarding the tough ends. Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok, add the asparagus and stir-fry quickly. Drain off any excess oil. Add the sake and dashi to the pan. When the stock thickens, the dish is ready. Serve sprinkled with sesame seed.

Braised Shiitake
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
sesame oil for frying
1 tsp sake
1 tsp shōyu

Soak the mushrooms for 15-30 minutes, then cut off the stems. Reserve a few spoonsful of the soaking water and add the sake and soy sauce to it. Heat the oil in a frying pan or wok and place the mushroom caps in it, gills down. Fry for a minute or so, then flip over and fry the caps. Add the reserved soaking water. The dish is ready when it has boiled dry.

In the photo, this is shown served on top of grilled tofu, which was done in a grill pan as slices, then cut up into chopstick sized pieces.

22/05/2007

Black Beans and Hijiki

This recipe was adapted from one in Kyoko Honda’s Tofu and Soybean Cooking. The original used soya beans, and used more sweetener and seasonings.

1 can black beans
10g dried hijiki (about 1/3 cup)
3 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 sheet abura-age (fried tofu sheets)
1 small carrot
½ sachet dashi (vegan ones do exist, honest)
4 tbsp shoyu
2 tbsp brown rice syrup
2 tbsp sake
1½ tbsp sesame oil

Put the hijiki to soak in 1 cup warm water; soak the shiitake mushrooms in enough water to cover them. Put on some brown rice.

Rinse the abura-age in hot water to defrost and get rid of the oil. Pat dry in a tea towel and slice into julienne strips. Slice the carrot into julienne strips. Combine the shoyu, brown rice syrup and sake in bowl. Drain the tin of beans.

Go away and read teh internets for 10 minutes or so.

Drain the seaweed and mushrooms, retaining the soaking water. Cut the stalks off the shiitake and bung them in the stockpot (or the bin, depending). Slice the caps.

Heat up the oil in a wok or large saucepan. Add the carrots, mushrooms, hijiki and abura-age and stir fry for a couple of minutes (don’t skip this for health reasons – much of the good stuff in sea veg is oil-soluble). Add the beans, soaking water and dashi powder, bring to the boil. Add the combined shoyu etc – you might have to add a bit of the hot water from the pan to get all the syrup out, then allow to simmer until dry.

Serves 2 as a one bowl meal with rice. Serves lots and lots as a small dish presented as part of a Japanese style meal.

28/01/2007

Sprout tops and daikon soup

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 13:05

Our local wholefoods shop has started selling the tops of brussels sprouts as a vegetable in their own right. They recommend cooking it like spring cabbage (the dark green type of cabbage), and at 35p for a whole top (which includes a few sprouts hidden in there) it was worth a try. Today I was in a Japanese soup mood for lunch, and decided to experiment.

2 cups konbu dashi
5cm (2") piece of daikon
3 leaves from the brussels sprout top
approx ½ tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sake
¼ tsp soy sauce
nanami (shichimi) togarashi
a pinch of sesame seeds

Put the dashi on to boil, and while waiting, cut the daikon into fine julienne strips. Fall further in love with the very sharp Japanese knife your beloved recently bought you as a present. Add the daikon to the pot. Roll up the leaves and slice them so you get fine strips. Bung ’em in. Add the sake and soy sauce and simmer until the daikon is tender. Add the ginger. Pour into a bowl, and sprinkle nanami togarashi and sesame seeds on top. Serves one.

17/11/2006

Cabbage rolled in Abura-age

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 12:06

The veg box this week included an enormous cabbage, so I’m very interested in your cabbage recipes. Last night, I made a recipe from Japanese Vegetable Cooking by Asako Tohata, and I’ve added my notes to it:

4 large cabbage leaves (3 will be more than enough if your cabbage is the size of mine!)
2 sheets abura-age (deep fried tofu – obtainable in the freezer section of anywhere selling Japanese food)
40cm (16″) kanpyo (dried gourd strips) – (actually, twice as much is needed)
broth: ½ cup konbu dashi;
1-1/3 tbsp sake;
1-1/3 tbsp mirin (left out due to it hiding);
1-1/3 tbsp soy sauce; salt (omitted – there’s enough in the soy sauce!)

Put cabbage leaves in boiling water until tender, cut out stem portion of leaves and discard (put into soup or something).

Rinse abura-age in boiling water to get rid of excess oil. Slit around three sides opening the abura-age out into a single sheet. Rub kanpyo with salt until soft (not necessary; didn’t bother) and boil in water (just long enough to soften – a couple of minutes).

On a cutting board, place abura-age inside up and spread cabbage leaves on it. Roll together (so the abura-age is on the outside and the cabbage inside) and tie with kanpyo in two places (a quarter of the way along from each end).

Cook in broth slowly (about 15-20 mins, less if you like your cabbage crunchy). Cut into two (between the tied parts).

I served this with chestnut rice.

23/08/2004

Grilled tofu with roast pepper miso sauce

Filed under: Japanese — Tags: , , , , , , — Feòrag @ 20:08

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
sesame oil

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.

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