Stuffed shiitake mushroom is one of popular dish in Japan.
I made them with Cashew nuts and sunflower seed pate, and using a cast iron pan.
If you are allergic to the cashew, you can increase the amount of sunflower seeds.
<Ingredients>Serving 4 pieces
Shiitake mushrooms 4 pieces
Sunflower seed 1 cup
Flax seed 1 tea spoon
Cashew 1/4 cup
Water 1 cup
Salt 1/2 teaspoon for paste + seasoning
Soy sauce 2 Table spoons
Dijon mustard 1 Table spoons
Oil 2 Table spoons + for roasting
Shichimi tougarashi(Japanese seven spices mix)
Perheat the oven 380 F.
Soak the second to fourth ingredients together for 30 min to 1 hour.
In the mean time, prep shiitake mushrooms. Cut the stems off, keep the stems to mix with the seed mixture. Salt on the shells, set aside.
Put mushroom stems in the seeds and nuts mixture, mix with a hand mixer or a food processor and mix in the oil, dijon, soysauce.
Put the seed paste on the mushrooms, place them on a oilled cast iron pan and drizzle oil on the top, cover with tin foil or other thing to keep the moisture. Bake 40-45 min until the paste became good right brown color.
Finish with Shichimi tougarashi and salt.
Gado Gado. Sounds squeaky? Or many of you guys already knew?
It’s a tasty Indonesian comfort food. If you go to Indonesia, you can find the salad every warung (street cart, or small shop)
Normally with boiled vegetables and tofu, eggs, sweet peanuts vinaigrette.
This is Gado gado in Japanese - western fusion. When I was looking at Smitten Kitchen's cookbook, one of the recipe reminds me Gado Gado. I don't know she meant the recipe inspired by the salad, but the sauce looks similar to it. She made it broccoli and crispy fried tofu. This combination sounds like New yorker's vegan comfort food (to me haha).I'm long time fan for her cooking.
So inspired by her recipe, I tried to make it into my own style.
The method of fried crispy tofu is basically the same as Japanese "agedashi tofu".
Roasted broccoli and green beans gives nice texture to the salad.
I didn't use peanuts - and the vinaigrette is my original version.
Green beans about 50g prepared with cut both top and bottom
Broccoli, about 50g, crowned, small pieces
Oil for roasting
Tofu around 50g, cubed in 1 inch square, 1/4 thick
Corn starch 3 Table spoons
Almond butter 2Table spoons
Oil (any kind of neutral oil) 1 Table spoon
Agabe or other sweetener if Agabe, 1/2 Table spoon others 1 Table spoon
Soy sauce 2 Table spoons
Dijon 1/2 Table spoon
Apple cider vinegar or water 1/4 Table spoon
Mini Tomatoes around 6, halved
Fresh greens as you like
Green onion, 1 piece, chop in thinly slices
Roast green beans and the broccoli.
Preheat the oven 450F, in a bowl, put green beans and broccoli, salt, oil and mix together, spread on a sheet pan with parchment paper, roast them for 8-10 minutes.
Fry the tofu.
Put corn starch in a bowl, and add cubed tofus, put corn starch on each side.
Heat up oil in a small skillet or a pan, fry them until slightly browned.
Mix all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl.
Put roasted green beans and broccoli, fried tofu in the vinaigrette bowl, toss well.
Put greens on a plate. Add roasted vegetables and tofu mixture on the green, sprinkle tomatoes and green onions.
“Nanakusa gayu” (7 spring weed congee)
According to Wikipedia,
“The seventh of the first month has been an important Japanese festival since ancient times. The custom of eating nanakusa-gayu on this day, to bring longevity and health, developed in Japan from a similar ancient Chinese custom, intended to ward off evil. Since there is little green at that time of the year, the young green herbs bring color to the table and eating them suits the spirit of the New Year.”
As well as it is for resting & healing the hard worked stomach from the new year’s rich, festive food.
I can’t have the plants until spring in Vancouver, but wait! Found some green plants outside.
However..I don’t have that much desire to go to wet forest ( Vancouver is rain almost all winter).
So that I made western version of the congee - less number of plants but I’d call “Nanakusa” risotto.
My method is hybrid of risotto & cooking rice in Japanese style. Japanese cook rice very thoughtfully. Control the heat, water- all for the texture of rice.
I found the idea of Risotto is a bit similar to japanese rice cooking method because Italians really think about the texture of rice and the liquid.
Nanakusa risotto - Yeld for 2people
Onion 1/4 piece, small diced
Garlic I clove, minced
Carrot 1 inches Julian
Radish red or white with top 1 piece, radish top : chopped. Raddish : Very thinly sliced
Rapini 2-3 pieces cut in 1 - 2 inches
Watercress cut in 1-2 inches
(If you can find dandelion leaves, that’s great adding too)
Dashi stock 2Lb
Evo 2 TB or more
Nutritional yeast 1/2 tsp
Coconut oil or evo to finish(2TB or as you like)
Salt to taste
Put oil in a frying pan, on medium high heat, stir fry the onion and a little bit of salt until slightly caramelized.
Add rice and toast them until the rice mixture have gotten good smell, then lower the heat as medium heat.
Add dashi stock carefully at first, little by little. You will continue keeping adding liquid, about 1cup each time.
At first 15 min, on medium heat and sort of boil the rice to be fluffed up them but keep stirring. Then change the heat to medium low heat . Keep stirring, wait to add next ladle until the rice absorbed the liquid.
Keep adding the liquid, at this point (photo), lower the heat. Keep stirring sometimes but not too often to avoid breaking the rice.
When the rice get your desired point(aldente or whatever), as well as until the sauce gets creamy, add seasoning.
Nutritional yeast and salt, add rapini, to get them slightly to be cooked.
Add carrot, chopped radish top.
Lastly add water cress and sliced radish.
Finish salt, coconut oil.
Add “good amount” of salt is a key point since the vegetables are just slightly cooked, the moisture would thin out the saltiness.
Happy new year to all.
I was abundant this blog for a while.. It have been crazy busy for two month.
So new year. In Japan we have several new year dishes.Osechi is a new year meal that traditionally in beautiful wooden boxes, every component has meanings.
I made some of them as vegan last year. See my last year's post.
So this year. I didn't have time to make a big project so just had a "new year's mochi soup". We have this soup on the new year's day morning.
Mochi sounds difficult to handle?
You don't need to pound sticky rice or don't need to buy square shaped dried mochis.
You just need sticky rice powder.
Here is an easy recipe.
New year's mochi soup
Yield : 2
Sticky rice powder 1cp
Water 1/2 -3/4cp
A pinch Salt to taste. The soup is going to be salty so not too much.
Ice bath in a bowl
Dashi stock 1L Click to see how to make.
Carrot small piece, thin juliene
Green onion small piece, thin juliene
Boiled green vegetables (if you desired) for garnish
Salt for taste.Very good amount.
Heat up the dashi until boiling. Add good amount od salt, taste like right before sea water (but drinkable) and stop heating.
Salty soup makes the mochi taste better.
Make the mochi.
Boil water in a small pot for boiling mochi.
In the mean time add sticky rice powder and salt in a bowl, adding water little by little with mixing the dough by hands.
As we often use the word for the texture of the dough, "until the softness of your earlobe" .
Then start making the shape. There's no rules but small round, flat shapes are easy to cook.
Get the ice bath bowl near you. Put shaped mochi dough in the boiling pot and wait until they are floating. After floating, wait about three minutes and take them into the ice bath.
If you desired, you can torch the mochi to increase the fravor.
Add vegetables and mochi in a small soup bowl, and pour hot dashi liquid over.
Cookhatter will be back at Juicebar on Nov 19th.(See last post)
Juicebar is a gastown cafe Birds and beets's after hours natural wine bar, it is running by Sion Iorwarth.
Since before I (cookhatter) work with them, I have been a fan of their style.
When I go there, I don’t need to be fancy.
The ambience is still cool and one of a kind, good music, cool selection of natural wines. Existential eating (Heather Dosman)& her showcasing of chef’s charming snacks.
They always bright up my end of day & beginning / end of night.
I feel lucky to be a part of her showcasing chefs.
My snacks are Shojin inspired foods(the food photos below are from the last time).
Western or Asian food meets Japanese simplicity.
Hope see you there.
The snacks from the last time
The photo : Juicebar
Museum eats - AKA Camille Franjack is doing wildcrafting workshops season to season.
She is a teacher for me when I go pick wildcrafting staff for my pop up restaurant. As well as I join her workshops every year.
Her workshops are fun, knowledgefull, good jokes and nice to talk about food and nature with people join there - It is also nice to have a time for simply being in the forest and forget about life in the city for a while.
This year was the best to me because we found so many mushrooms including pine, cauliflower, chanterelle musrooms and more.
This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada - I felt real meaning of thanksgiving - Harvest from nature.
Thank for the land.
Cookhatter will cook at Juicebar (55 Powel street, Vancouver, BC), with Existential Eating on 22nd September (Saturday).
Enjoy cool selection of natural wine & Japanese shojin inspired food (Vegan).
I usually do pop ups as course menus, this time is non course. Just fun snacks, great fit for the wines.
You don't need to get tickets. Come in and enjoy.
I will introduce a recipe of one of a part of the menu -
I have written about nettle goma-ae before, this time is with fruits.
Goma ae sounds like only with spinach - for general, but you can make it with many kind of vegetables, sea weed, even with fruits. They fit well with tahini kind of sauce.
Goma ae is great side dish, or appetizer.
I often use shiro - ae sauce, which with goma ae(sesame) sauce with tofu.
I will serve it with grapes and spinatch for the side of a skewer dish at Juicebar this Saturday.
Anyways. This is goma ae with pear and broccoli.It is nice bite texture from broccoli, good acidity and sweetness from pear. Goma ae sauce is basically a little bit sweet, it is nice with fruits.
The recipe is so simple.
30g soft tofu, squeeze off the moisture, before you start cooking, put tofu in between cutting boads and make the bords angle on a tray of something like, to run off the water from tofu.
1/4 cup sesame paste or finely grind sesame
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Maple syrup or agave
salt to taste
* for veggies
1 stem of Broccoli cut break in small pieces
1/2 Pear cut in cubes
Before start, you need squeeze off the moisture of tofu, as I wrote in the ingredients.
Boil hot water in a pot with good amount of salt to boil the broccoli.
Once it reach the boiling point, put broccoli and boil them. When it got bright colour and no crunchy part of the stem, drain to the sink and soak them in cold water for a while to cool them down.
Put all ingredients for the sauce besides tofu in a small bowl and mix.
Break off the tofu with hand, add into the sauce ingredients.
Drain the broccoli, wipe off the moist with paper towel.
Add broccoli and diced pear into the sauce, mix well.
Shojin means a lot of meaning in Japan.
Basic meaning is "make effort everyday for life"
As food, in Japan Shojin ryori(ryori means cooking) is traditionally food for monks since 6th century after they brought buddhism, influenced by China and India.
In Japan, the basic rule is Vegan, some are strictly ban garlic and allium family and spices etc as well as bold seasoning, but nowadays some are open to use those smelly vegetables but spices. Why? I think they will increase the taste and monks would want to eat more! Hahaha. Because in temples, "Bonnou" (desire for anything like things, food, people) are prohibited.
My Shojin style food - is not strictly at all. This is for good eating.Joy. Adventure. And importantly, good with alcohol!
Opposite thoughts of Shojin food. That's why I don't call my food Shojin. I say "Shojin style". I just use their ideas and technics for my food.
If you are into natural wines and you are in Vancouver, you must try Sion Iorworth's Juicebar at 55 Powel street (start at 6, day time is a cafe Birds and beets) .
They bring neat and nice selection of wines every week.
Their food is running by Existential Eating a.k.a.Heather Dosman, she showcases variety of chefs weekly with her foods.
Cookhatter will cook together with Her at Juicebar on 22nd Sep.
It is like an extension version of my vegan dinner event, Far east. Will serve Shojin style vegan dinner, but tapas style.No need to buy tickets, just come as walk ins and enjoy!
Menu?Still developing. (The photo is from my past creations)I will release an easy recipe from the menu in the next blog. Stay tuned.
Washing rice - I didn't like this process when I was young. My dad's hometown is famous for rice, so he really is stubborn about how to cook the rice.When I am at home..I never cook rice because he knows better about it and if I cooked rice, he complains.
I grew up with that however..this must be a little bit of process for people grew up in other countries.
Don't think its just washing rice. This process makes it difference..like professional.
In strictly traditional Japanese kitchen, they have "rice" person. The position is like "saucier" .In charge of cooking rice.
Anyways. This is the process.
Wash the rice 30 min beforehand.Put the rice in a metal bowl, then put very cold water.Gently running water is better, but at home cooking..doesn't matter.
Wash the rice with a palm likely pushing and rubbing in the bowl with water, then take your drain basket, drain the water.
Again, put the drained rice in the same bowl. Add cold water, wash with the same way.
I would recommend NOT washing in the basket, it would be faster, however it can harm the texture of the rice.Japanese call it "hurting the rice".
Then drain with the basket, and same process again until the water became clear.
The milky look in the water is starch. Some classical Japanese people said it makes smelly rice, but I kind of like the smell of rice. So I usually wash it right before perfectly clear.
As well as the starch creates different textures when you finish cooking rice. You may try and see how much do you like to leave the starch.
So the process is basically just wash the rice in a bowl and water, drain, wash it until the water become clear.
Tomoko Tahara A.K.A.#cookhatter
<Restaurans in Vancouver>
The Acorn : Vegetarian restaurant
The birds and beets : Cafe
Cacao Vancouver:Modern latin
The mackenzieroom:Modern coastal
Birds and beets
Tempea food: tempeh maker
<Restaurant in Japan>
Bon Gout: Bakery and wine
Bar Pancho:Spanish tapas
Takanoya :Gastro pub