Posts Tagged ‘asian-inspired’

Rainy Day Soup

In Asian, Vegan on December 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm

At this point Christmas could go either way: rainy or snowy. Today — T-2 days before my entire extended family converges on the former home of my paternal grandparents (what is now my aunt’s home) — rain is a constant, and snow is in the forecast. There, we’ll exchange inexpensive novelty gifts (I’ll be giving away a book entitled Pilates for Men to some unsuspecting couch-bound relative) and baked goods (homemade cinnamon bread and chocolate crinkle cookies are the annual favorites).

For the moment, however, the sky is overcast and weepy, and I have very little desire to leave the comfy seclusion of my warm, dry home. And, after having already had my fill of baked seasonal favorites (both the sweet and savory varieties), I’m craving the crisp bite of fresh vegetables.

This rainy day soup is full of colorful vegetables — carrots, mushrooms, snow peas, and bok choy.  Wheat noodles and whole-grain tempeh drowned in a rich, steamy sesame-infused broth give the soup a certain heartiness that perfectly combats the chill of the weather. And, with a generous amount of fresh ginger, it tastes  very seasonal, too — albeit somewhat unconventionally so.

A while back I typed up the recipe, and have kept it in pdf form; that recipe can be downloaded here: Esculency Rainy Day Soup.

Rainy Day Soup Bowl


Next-day Sushi Bowls

In Asian, Rice, Vegan on December 8, 2009 at 8:52 pm

We made veggie sushi this past weekend, using a patchwork of recipes from Moskowitz and Romero’s Veganomicon and the Southern Sushi Chef (aka Marisa Bagget).

The best thing about the Southern Sushi Chef’s website is that it includes tutorials on how to prepare sushi — they’re great, because a written explanation on sushi rolling will only take you so far. As for me, I got as far has standing before a sushi mat that I had laid carefully out on the table in front of me. Then I abruptly started waving a piece of nori around while saying, “okay, how do I do this again?”

Having a sushi chef, on the other hand, visually walk you through the process step-by-step certainly helped to clarify things (it was at this point in the process that I paused to watch the tutorials — however, I recommend watching them far enough in advance to thwart any unnecessary panic).

Making sushi is about as much fun as you can have while preparing food — particularly if you pair the activity with a bottle of wine, which of course we did. And the outcome was extraordinarily delicious — quite as good as anything we might have gotten that night at a local sushi bar. If I can voice one complaint about the enterprise, it would be that the rice turned out a little too moist, thus making the rolls themselves a bit on the mushy side.  (To combat this problem in the future, I’m thinking of trying out this promising sushi rice recipe).

After we had prepared a sushi stockpile that would have no doubt amounted to well over $100 worth of delectables had we gotten them at a restaurant, we still had a ton of ingredients left over. Hence, the creation of the next-day sushi bowls. They’re a lot less laborious to prepare and taste just as good.

The how-to:

For these bowls, I simply began with a generous scoop of prepared sushi rice in a bowl (which had been cooked according to package directions).

Over 1/3 of the rice, I heaped a scoop of leftover yamroom filling.

Over another 1/3, I heaped a scoop of the spicy tempeh filling.

Over the final 1/3, I layered fresh red pepper, carrot, scallions, cucumber and avacado — all sliced into thin sticks. To this mixture, I also added some blanched asparagus.

Finally — because I love the taste —  I dusted the whole arrangement generously with sesame seeds. I served the bowls with a side of tamari for dipping.

I adapted both of the sushi filling recipes from Veganomicon, but later discovered versions over at the Post Punk Kitchen.

For the yamroom filling (as adapted from this recipe):

Over low-medium heat, simmer 1 -2 handfuls of shitake mushrooms in 1/4 cup tamari sauce (or enough to cover the bottom of the sauce pot) combined with a tablespoon of mirin. Remove from heat after 10-15 minutes.

Clean and peel one large sweet potato (or small yam). Cut into cubes and boil for 10 minutes or until soft. After draining, mash with a fork.

Combine the two ingredients by layering the mushrooms (drained of sauce) on top of the mashed sweet potato.

For the spicy tempeh filling, (as adapted from this recipe):

Steam one 8-oz package of tempeh, cubed, for 10 minutes.

To the steamed tempeh, stir in:

2 teaspoons of hot chili oil

3 tablespoons mayonnaise (I prefer Vegenaise).

1 teaspoon of sriracha

When this filling is added to a sushi bowl, drizzle with a little extra sriracha sauce for an additional spicy kick.

And enjoy!