Turning Japaneser

3rd November 2009

This week for some unknown reason is turning out to be a Japanese feast. With the weather getting colder I have been craving homely food. And nothing says homely more than the food you were brought up on.

Todays lunch was ramen – a soup based noodle dish. Sometimes I make my own soup using miso, sesame oil and soy sauce, but lately I have been buying the noodles and all in one handy little packet. I luckily have access to quite a few mini Japanese supermarkets so I always have a supply.

This evening we had gyoza, this have to be one of my all time favourite things. I have even been known to have it for Christmas; I think you should have something you really enjoy especially when it is also your birthday! Gyoza are dumplings very similar to the kind you might find in a dim sum selection at a Chinese restaurant. You can buy the skins frozen in either a Chinese or Japanese supermarket, watch out though some brands do contain egg. If you would like to have a go at making them there is a recipe here.

I have been meaning to try out this recipe which uses wonton skins to make ravioli – genius!

This week I am also planning to have Japanese curry, the sauce is a little thicker than you get with Indian curry and if anything like our takeaway less oily. When Sash and I first turned vegan I used to make a big pot of this for dinner and take the rest in to work as our lunch. I think it works really well with sweet potato (as below), but I have a butternut squash to use up so in it’s going!

While we’re here, this is a quick and easy way to use up left over rice. Simply pour hot green tea over it and you have ocha-zuke. I love it with umeboshi, my auntie in Tokyo makes THE best pickled plums herself, but apparently the plum crops haven’t been great so the whole family have been waiting for over a year! They are pretty sour and might be a bit of taste shock to someone who’s never had them before, these will be in the refrigerated section but they are expensive (well they are if you normally get them for free!).

This last one is one of Sash’s favourites. Inari are little pockets made out of a sweetened tofu, this was another lunch I used to make with a side of vegetables in cold sesame dressing.

If you are interested in more (yes there are more) Japanese vegan recipes get Japanese Cooking Contemporary & Traditional by Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner I am pretty sure it has how to make all of these from scratch plus more. I have about a million pages bookmarked in it, but then so do all my other vegan cook books!

There is more of my Japanese food on Flickr.

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