Thursday, September 6, 2007

Vegan Japanese...ish

Vegan sushi: spicy chickpea roll (mashed chickpeas, veganaise, sriracha, scallions, tamari, cucumber), mango nigiri with cilantro, and an "elephant roll" (peanuts, avocado and red pepper, black and white sesame seeds sprinkled on top). Use toasted nori sheets, keep your hands very wet when working with the sticky stuff, and don't forget to to prep that rice with rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt, it makes a BIG difference. Oh, and I just rolled these guys using a big ziplock freezer bag since I didn't have a bamboo mat-- and it worked out pretty well. Still need some help? These nice ladies explain it all. It's actually really fun and pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Will certainly be making again soon.

Perfect vegan tempura: Used this recipe from veg web except I used half AP flour and half rice flour. I battered my veggies (1 sweet potato, 1/2 bunch broccolini and 1 onion) and then dredged them in panko bread crumbs. Fried in some veg. oil (peanut might be even better next time) and served with a simple dipping sauce (tamari, mirin, scallions, sesame seeds).

Fun Fact: shojin ryori is the name of a traditional vegan Buddhist cuisine . While the above especially bastardized meal is in no way an example of it, it's interesting to read about. As Buddhism affected Japanese culture, vegetarian cooking in major cities and temples influenced Japanese cuisine. Not hard too imagine when you think about all the soy and gluten preparations made famous there. (Agedashi tofu!)

For more Japanese food check out The Vegan Ronin's blog with some seriously yummy looking pictures.