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.