Daily Vegan Lunch: Umami Fried Rice

vegan pickled plum fried rice
I
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
I
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
I
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 20 December, 2013: Lemon Bok Choy, Tofu, and Mushrooms

lemon bok choi, mushrooms, and tofu IMG_3851
INGREDIENTS:

3 mini bok choys or one normal sized bok choy
1/2 cup dried black fungus, also known as cloud ear mushrooms
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup extra-firm tofu, cubed

4 cups vegetable broth
Reserved mushroom soaking water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic (about 2 teaspoons) minced
Half a lemon’s juice or to taste
1 – 2 teaspoons lemon rind (I used the same lemon I juiced)

DIRECTIONS:

Wash the bok choy and pre-soak the shiitake and cloud ear mushrooms in water until they expand, about fifteen minutes.  Once the mushrooms expand, cut the cloud ears in half and de-stem the shiitakes, slicing them into smaller pieces.  Cut the tofu into cubes.

Prepare the broth.  Combine veggie broth (you can also just use water and salt), soy sauce, and garlic in a large pot.  Add the bok choys, cloud ears, shiitakes, and their soaking water to the pot.  Bring to a soft boil at medium high heat and immediately turn down to medium.  Allow to simmer for about three minutes.  Add the tofu cubes.

Use a lemon zester or the fine side of a grater to make lemon zest (the yellow outside skin is the zest).  Squeeze the lemon and stir the strained juice into the pot.

Serve over cooked rice, ladling the broth over it and sprinkling everything with a little lemon zest.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 22 November, 2013: Two Mushroom Rice Noodles

double mushroom noodles vegan double mushroom noodles vegan
INGREDIENTS:

1/2 package of thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups white or yellow onion, sliced
1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water for at least 20 minutes
1 cup dried cloud ear mushrooms a.k.a. black fungus, reconstituted in water for at least 20 minutes
3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce OR vegetarian mushroom “oyster” sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

DIRECTIONS:

Boil water in a medium sized pot, take off heat and add noodles.  Soak noodles for 5 minutes and drain, set aside.

Fry the onions in a pan in the oil at medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add cabbage and sauté until cabbage begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.  Add drained mushrooms (save water for a later use) and stir fry for about a minute.  Add noodles and soy sauce or mushroom oyster sauce to the pan and stir gently until mixed.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 4 November, 2013: Deluxe Hot & Sour Soup

vegan deluxe hot and sour soup with cloud ear mushrooms

This is the perfect cold weather soup.

INGREDIENTS:

5 cups water
1.5 cups cloud ear mushrooms, rehydrated (you can use any type of mushroom though)
2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon
1 cup shredded bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
1 cup firm tofu, cubed
1/2 cup peas or shelled eda mame (I used eda mame because I am out of peas)

1/2 cup additional water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce or Sriacha
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon sesame oil

Soak the mushrooms for up to 2 hours. Cut them into shreds or bite size pieces. Discard stems. Bring the broth or water and Better Than Bouillon to a boil in a large pot. You do not have to use veggie broth at all in this recipe, just add more salt and soy sauce to make up for the saltiness of broth and don’t forget to add the mushroom soaking water. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the tofu, bamboo shoots, peas or eda make, and mushrooms. Allow it to simmer about five minutes. Meanwhile, mix cornstarch, additional water, black pepper, hot sauce, vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl until it is a slurry. Add the slurry to the soup and stir until thickened. Top with sesame oil before serving.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 1 November: Cloud Ear Mushroom Fried Rice

vegan cloud ear mushroom fried rice

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
2 cups rice, preferably long grain, cooked and then refrigerated or frozen
1.5 cups any kind of mushrooms, I used dried cloud ear mushrooms also known as Chinese black fungus
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup green onions

2 teaspoons mushroom vegetarian oyster sauce or soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Soak mushrooms for 2 hours to reconstitute if you are using dehydrated ones.  Drain them in a colander and set aside.  Prepare ingredients and place them stove side.  Be sure to use refrigerated or frozen rice as only then will it  be firm enough to stand up to heat.

In a large pan, heat the oil to the smoking point.  Add the mushrooms and the rice.  Stir fry about one minute.  Add the spinach, mushroom or soy sauce, and green onions.  Toss to combine until evenly distributed.  Finish with sesame seed oil and salt, mix through, and take off heat.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 October, 2013: Sticky Rice Cake Stir Fry

Sticky rice cakes (tteok) are also a thing in Chinese cuisine. This is based on a Chinese New Year recipe. The tteok I used are Korean but from what I hear they’re virtually the same if they are a Chinese brand.

chinese rice cake stir fry

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups firm tofu
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cabbage, sliced
2 cups sliced bamboo shoots from a can, drained
2 cups sticky rice cakes, pre-soaked for 2 hours plus or boiled for 30 seconds in water
2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water for 30 minutes plus
1/4 cup soy sauce or to taste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons vegetarian mushroom “oyster” sauce, vegan Worchestershire sauce, or salt to taste

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-soak mushrooms, drain and slice them small to prepare them for use. Set them aside. Pre-soak tteok or boil them, also set them aside. Drain and crumble tofu, chop cabbage, drain bamboo shoots, and generally prepare everything to be dumped into a large stir fry pan at once.

Heat a large stir fry pan or wok with oil in it to medium high heat. Add the tofu and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Stir fry tofu until it is slightly brown. Add each of these, waiting about a minute between each addition: cabbage, bamboo shoots, mushrooms. Lastly, add the tteok, the remaining soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese cooking wine, and garlic. Stir well. Add the tteok. Taste test it and add vegetarian oyster sauce or salt if needed. Serve topped with green onions.

You can also omit the tteok entirely and serve the stir fry over rice.

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

Daily Vegan Lunch for 10 September 2013: Mushroom Barley Chickpea Stew

vegan mushroom barley stew
INGREDIENTS:

1 Tablespoon oil
1 portabello mushroom, chopped small or 2 cups button mushrooms, chopped

1.5 cups onion, chopped

1 summer squash, cut into small pieces

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

6 cups vegetable broth

1 cup barley

1/4 cup flour for thickening plus 1 cup water

SPICES/HERBS

1/4 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dill

1 teaspoon paprika

 

DIRECTIONS:

In the bottom of a large stockpot, fry mushrooms and onion in oil on medium-high heat until the mushrooms brown and the onion is translucent.  Add  spices and herbs, allow to fry 30 seconds.  Add broth, turn heat to high  (I usually add water, 1 vegan broth cube, and then salt it to taste  with sea salt instead of adding actual broth).  Add squash, chickpeas, and barley, cook for about 20 minutes until barley is cooked and chewy.

Once barley is done, mix 1 cup water and 1/4 cup flour until well blended.  Add to soup and stir until soup thickens, about 2 minutes.