Daily Vegan Lunch: Umami Fried Rice

vegan pickled plum fried rice
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NGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups cooked rice, chilled (I used rice I had saved and frozen)
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup green onion, minced
1.5 cups (approximately) mushrooms, I used maitake
1 tablespoon pickled plums (umeboshi) minced
Soy sauce to taste
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

DIRECTIONS:

Chop and prepare all ingredients.  Since I was using frozen peas, I combined peas and chopped carrots, covered them with water, and heated them in the microwave for two minutes.  You could also cook them on the stovetop until peas were warmed through and carrots were at the beginning of being tender.  Drain and set peas and carrots aside.  Chop green onions, mince pickled plum and discard the pit, set them aside.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan on high heat until it smokes.  Break the mushrooms up if needed and add them to the oil.  Stir fry 30 seconds to seal in the flavor.  Add the peas and carrots, stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add the rice, pickled plum, and green onion and stir fry for about a minute more.  Add soy sauce to taste and finish with sesame oil.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 25 December, 2013: Nametake Style Daikon Noodles and Enokitake

tofu enokitake
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NGREDIENTS:

1.5 cups tofu, cut into large cubes and patted dry
2 cups fresh enoki mushrooms
1 cup shredded daikon radish, I used a julienne peeler
1.5 cups vegetable broth with 2 squares of kombu seaweed added
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch plus 1/4 cup additional water

DIRECTIONS:

Combine enoki mushrooms, shredded daikon, and broth, kombu squares, soy sauce, and sake in a medium sized pan or pot at medium high heat.  Allow it to heat through until the mushrooms wilt and start looking like noodles.  Heat the tofu separately on a plate.  Mix the arrowroot and 1/4 cup of water thoroughly and then add to the pan with the enoki mushrooms, stir until a sauce is formed. Turn the heat off and wait for sauce to thicken.  Pour the enoki/daikon with sauce over the tofu.  Serve with steamed bok choy or other steamed greens.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 December: Japanese Hot Pot

vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot vegan sukiyaki japanese tofu hotpot
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NGREDIENTS:

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (1.5 cups reconstituted)
2 carrots (approximately 2 cups) peeled and chopped roughly
1.5 cups leeks, chopped
3 kombu seaweed squares
3 cups water
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups cooked noodles — I used soba
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups tofu

DIRECTIONS:

Cook soba noodles or any other kind of long, thin noodles according to package directions, set aside.  You can use anything from tofu shirataki to ramen noodles to thin spaghetti or no noodles at all, it just depends on what you like.

Drain the tofu and cut it into thick slices.  Blot the slices with a paper towel or a clean towel to absorb excess water.  Cut the tofu into cubes.  In a medium sized pan that can withstand high heat (I used a cast iron pan) heat one tablespoon oil until it smokes.  Add tofu to the pan.  Toss the tofu around until it browns on all sides, about two minutes.  Take the tofu off heat and set it aside.

Soak the whole dried shiitakes in enough water to cover them (they will float) for 15 minutes in a bowl.  Reserve the soaking water.  In a medium sized pot, combine carrots, kombu squares, mushrooms and their soaking water, and three cups of water.  Let it come to a boil and then reduce to medium.  Allow it to simmer until carrots are slightly tender, about 7 minutes.  Add leeks, soy sauce, and sake.  Heat through, about one minute, then take off the heat.

Serve sukiyaki by ladling all the separate ingredients into bowls — carrots, leeks, mushrooms, tofu cubes, noodles — and then spooning broth over the whole thing.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 17 December, 2013: Seitan Combo, Stuffed Tofu, and Pickled Plum Maki Sushi

 

seitan sushi maki
INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sushi rice (approx. 2.5 cups cooked) and water to cook
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup daikon radish, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned

2 cups green salad mix
1 tablespoon pickled plums (umeboshi) pitted and sliced very small

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup black sesame seeds

6 fried tofu pouches — also known as abura-age (pr. Ah-boo-la-ah-gay) available premade from Asian grocers in the refrigerated tofu section

SEITAN INGREDIENTS:

1 cup vital wheat gluten
3/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon kombu dashi (squares of kombu seaweed ground up in the coffee grinder or blender/food processor)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

4 sheets nori seaweed

DIRECTIONS:

Make the seitan.  Combine vital wheat gluten, konbu dashi, and salt in a bowl.  In another bowl or large cup, combine water, soy sauce, tahini, and sesame oil, mix well.  Now combine wet and dry ingredients and a dough will form.  Bring enough water to cover the seitan to a boil and drop the seitan in gently.  Turn the heat to medium-high and allow the seitan to boil for 45 minutes.  Drain seitan, allow it to cool, and

Rinse the rice well.  Make the sushi rice by cooking rice according to package directions.  I use my rice cooker for this.  Combine the vinegar, sugar, and a teaspoon of salt.  Cook in the microwave or on the stovetop until the sugar melts, take off heat and set aside.  Once the rice is cooked, pour the vinegar mixture into the rice and stir it to incorporate the vinegar.

Lay the nori on a clean surface and spread with rice.  Then lay a row of vegetables.  I used two combinations for the rolls this time: pickled plum plus salad greens and sliced seitan plus daikon radish and cucumber, but you can use anything you like.  Just know that pickled plum are very salty so it makes sense to use them very sparingly.  I used about 3/4 cup of rice per nori sheet and 1/4 cup filling in a small row down the center to one side.

Roll away from yourself, trying to make the  roll tight by tucking under as you go with your fingertips.  Let it rest seam-side down on a flat surface so the moisture from the rice seals the roll.  Slice with a serrated knife, thickness is up to you.

As for the abura-age, cut them in half and stuff each half with a heaping tablespoon of rice each pouch.  Then gently dip the top in sesame seeds.  You can use two colors if you want to be fancy like me but it isn’t necessary.  I like to toast the seeds first in a dry pan on medium heat for about five minutes but it’s not a crucial step.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 11 December, 2013: Fast Teriyaki Udon Stir-Fry

fast vegan udon teriyaki IMG_3814

INGREDIENTS:

2 packages udon noodles (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, or vegan Worchestershire sauce (each will yield a slightly different flavor)
1.5 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used some from a jar)

DIRECTIONS:

If you’re using dry udon noodles, cook them according to package directions and drain. If you’re using frozen ones, take them out of the plastic packaging and thaw them until just defrosted. I used refrigerated udon noodles which need no cooking. Set the prepared noodles aside.

Bring a frying pan to medium heat. Lay the broccoli and chopped red pepper evenly in the pan and add 1 tablespoon of water. Cover and allow to steam 3 minutes. Add the noodles, adding an additional tablespoon of water if you are using refrigerated ones to help them break apart. To the same pan, add oil, soy sauce, sugar, and black bean garlic or other sauce. Stir until everything is incorporated and heated through, about 3 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 9 December, 2013: Quick Rice Soup with Broccoli and Chickpeas

rice soup with broccoli and chickpeas IMG_3808

INGREDIENTS FOR ONE BOWL:

2 cups vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon mixed with water)
1.5 cups cooked white rice — this is a great recipe to use if you accidentally overcook rice and it’s too mushy to use for anything else
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon chopped pickled plums
1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon roasted pine nuts
Nori seaweed, cut into strips, to sprinkle

DIRECTIONS:

Combine rice, broth, onion, chickpeas, pickled plums, and broccoli in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on high. Alternately, combine the same ingredients in a small pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil, turning heat down to medium as soon as it boils and simmering five minutes.

Roast pine nuts by placing them in a pan without oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Be careful to watch them so they don’t burn.

Top the soup with shredded nori and roasted pine nuts.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 4 December, 2013: Unchicken Udon

Udon is the fastest meal in the East or the West. It is a street food in Japan. I like udon because the noodles don’t need cooking — they only need to sit in hot water long enough to separate. Even the frozen or dry ones don’t take very long.

un-chicken udon vegan

IMG_3789

2 packages dry, frozen, or refrigerated udon (I used refrigerated)
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine, alternately, use any dry white wine and add a couple teaspoons of sugar)
2 tablespoons sake
1.5 cups green onions, chopped
Salt to taste

4 – 5 Gardein chicken tenders or 2 cups any vegetable protein (seitan, tempeh, smoked tofu) cut into bite sized chunks

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare veggie chicken by baking at 400 for 20 minutes on a cookie sheet. Turn over and let them cook for 5 more minutes.

Finely chop green onions and set them aside.

Mix broth, soy sauce, mirin, and sake in a pot on the stove and heat until nearly boiling on medium-high heat.

Remove noodles from packaging and drop them directly into the broth. Frozen or dry noodles will take up to 4 minutes longer than refrigerated ones.

If using refrigerated noodles, turn off the heat immediately. For frozen or dry, wait until the noodles are al dente.

Add onions and mix.

Top the soup with pieces of unchicken or other veggie meat.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 December, 2013: Homemade Tofu Unchicken and Soba Noodles

soba and unchicken IMG_3779
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NGREDIENTS:

1 package firm tofu

Tofu slurry
3 bunches soba noodles
1.5 cups broccoli stalks, julienned or shredded (I used my julienne peeler)
3/4 cup green onion, chopped
1 cup dried shittake mushrooms, soaked to reconstitute (will approximately double in size by soaking) or 2 cups fresh shiitake mushrooms

1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar

TOFU SLURRY INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon peanut butter or tahini
1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sesame oil or cooking oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

DIRECTIONS:

Take tofu out of packaging, drain, and put into a large, sealable container.  Put tofu into the freezer and freeze overnight.  Tofu will become much larger and will look kind of ugly the next day.  Take the tofu out of the freezer and let it thaw on the countertop for 8 hours.  Alternately, microwave it for 10 minutes at half-power.  Once the tofu is thawed, squeeze it out like a sponge.  Notice the texture is completely changed.  Tear the tofu into bite sized pieces.  Mix the tofu slurry ingredients — peanut butter, vegan mayonnaise, etc — in a small bowl.  Mix the bite sized tofu and the slurry together in a bowl, tossing gently to coat.  Transfer the coated tofu to a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 10 – 15 minutes or until tofu browns.

Soak shiitake mushrooms for at least 20 minutes in water to reconstitute.  Save soaking water for later if desired to append the amount of vegetable broth.  You can also use fresh shiitake (or any variety) of mushrooms.

Prepare broccoli shreds and onion.  Boil soba in water for 2 minutes or just until the noodles go from straight to al dente.  Drain soba and set aside.

Prepare broth by mixing in soy sauce and sugar and heating on the stove or in the microwave until sugar dissolves.

Assemble a bowl by layering cooked noodles, mushrooms, broccoli shreds and onions, and baked tofu pieces in a bowl.  Pour a half cup of broth on it to serve.  (Makes 3 servings)

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 October, 2013: Jackfruit Crab-meat Salad Sushi Rolls

I was actually shocked to find there were no jackfruit crabmeat sushi recipes online yet. As far as I know, I am the first to attempt a jackfruit sushi maki. Jackfruit, which is often used for vegan pulled pork, reminded me way more of crabmeat the first time I worked with it. I don’t miss seafood so much anymore, however, these rolls are very seafood-like. They’re very much like the sushi rolls with imitation crabmeat in spicy mayonnaise so popular in American sushi restaurants.

vegan jackfruit crab salad sushi maki

vegan mock crabmeat salad sushi rice roll

vegetarian sushi no dairy no meat crab sushi jackfruit

INGREDIENTS FOR 2 ROLLS:

About 3.5 cups cooked sushi rice
2 nori sheets
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1 cup boiled jackfruit (I was able to find a fresh one) or jackfruit from a can (get it in brine, not syrup)
1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese
2 teaspoons chili sauce or Sriacha
1 teaspoon dulse flakes or ground up kombu (or any seaweed powder)
Salt

DIRECTIONS:

Make the crabmeat salad by boiling peeled, seeded jackfruit chunks for 10 minutes. Alternately, buy prepared jackfruit in brine. Strain the jackfruit and allow to cool if you boiled it. Fork mash the cooled jackfruit and place the jackfruit in between 3 or 4 paper towels. Roll the jackfruit in the paper towels to get the moisture out. This is an important step if you want to make it into sushi maki because otherwise the salad makes everything too wet to roll.

Transfer the dry chunks of jackfruit to a food processor with onion, cream cheese, chili sauce, and seaweed flakes or powder. Pulse until jackfruit is smaller but do not completely puree. Transfer the jackfruit crab salad to a small bowl.

Mix vinegar and sugar together and microwave for 30 seconds so sugar dissolves. Add vinegar/sugar to cooked sushi rice, mix until incorporated.

On a clean surface, make inside out rolls.

Roll in sesame seeds and cut with a serrated knife.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 13 October, 2013: Sushi Maki With Cooked Fillings

more vegan sushi

INGREDIENTS:

2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1.5 cups spinach leaves
1 cup maitake or oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

4 cups cooked sushi rice (I used Botan calrose rise)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

3 nori sheets

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS: Rinse and cook sushi rice according to package directions. Mix vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave until sugar dissolves. Dump the vinegar mixture into sushi rice and stir. Taste and add salt if needed.

Oil a large pan and bring to medium heat. Sauté carrots, mushrooms, and spinach on 3 different sides of the pan. Keep them separate and add water a teaspoon at a time to the spinach pile until the spinach pile wilts. Once it does, take the spinach out. The mushrooms, now slightly browned, can be taken out. The carrots will soften in about 5 minutes. Take them out before they lose too much firmness.

Roast the sesame seeds by putting them in a small, dry pan (no oil) at medium heat. In about 5 minutes, they will start becoming golden-brown. Take them off the heat as soon as they start browning noticeably. Set aside.

Make the rolls. Place nori sheet shiny side down on a clean, dry surface. Start by spreading about 1.5 cups rice evenly across a nori sheet. Next, lay a strip of carrots, mushrooms, and spinach about 1/4 of the way in to the nori. Sprinkle with a big pinch of roasted sesame seed. Roll the fillings into the roll. Some people use a mat for this but I do not. Set the roll seam side down on a clean surface. Once you have finished rolling all three rolls, cut them into bite sized pieces with a serrated knife.

Heat