vegan

Bento no. 66: Vegan Iridofu Donburi Bento

bento_66c_500.jpg

Bento contents:

  • 1 cup (240ml, about 150g) brown rice, 240 calories
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegan iri dofu, 225 calories
  • Snow peas and pickled red ginger (beni shouga) for garnish

Total calories (approx): 465 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 15 minutes the night before; 5 minutes in the morning

Type: Traditional Japanese, vegan continue reading...

Vegan iri dofu (iri doufu) with garlic chives

iridofu1.jpg

Iri dofu or iri doufu (炒り豆腐) is a simple, homely dish, real Japanese style ‘mother’s cooking’. Probably every Japanese home cook has his or her own recipe, but the base is plain tofu that is crumbled and then stirred around or gently stir fried (the iri 炒り part means that) until it resembles dry scrambled egg. In fact, it’s rather like the tofu version of iri tamago, but with more flavor and texture.

Iri dofu recipes often contain meat (usually pork), dashi or both, but here I have kept it vegan (in keeping with our vegetarian theme for May). I have added umami by including chopped dried shiitake mushrooms, miso and soy sauce. Garlic chives and ginger also add to the flavor, while the sansho pepper (also known as sichuan pepper) adds spice.

The best way to eat this is to simply pile it onto rice. Of course it’s perfect for a easy, healthy bento. continue reading...

Spring maze gohan: Green pea rice, Asparagus rice

The last pea in the pod

A very simple and frugal thing to make with fresh peas like this, and the stalk parts of asparagus. continue reading...

A Frugal Recipe: Curried Lentil Risotto

gp9-lentils2.jpg

In keeping with Frugal Bento Month, this inexpensive yet delicious spicy vegan recipe, which could be a main protein or a combined protein/carb in a bento, is a guest post by Sarah of Get Cooking, where she blogs about her adventures in eclectic home cooking in New York. continue reading...

Updated inarizushi recipe on Just Hungry

inarizushi1.jpg

In case you don’t follow Just Hungry (though, if you want to know about basic Japanese cooking techniques you really should :)) I’ve substantially updated the inarizushi recipe that I originally posted more than 4 years ago. The new article describes in detail how to make your own inarizushi skins, which, if you can get a hold of the aburaage (fried tofu skins), is not hard at all. The technique is useful for people who have had trouble with the infamous Eggs in Treasure Bags recipe!

Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

chijimi1_500.jpg

Buchimgae or jijimi or chijimi is a thin, savory pancake from Korea. It’s similar to a Japanese okonomiyaki, but is a bit less complicated to make. (Also closely related is pajon, a pancake with lots of green onions.) It’s basically a pancake-like batter holding together a lot of vegetables and other ingredients. It’s a great way of using up leftovers, and holds up a lot better than okonomiyaki as a bento item I think. It makes a nice change from rice or bread based bentos.

Here are two batter recipes. One is a traditional one using wheat flour and beaten egg, the other one is a vegan and gluten-free variation. Use the one that suits your needs. The traditional one is a bit lighter and crispier, and the vegan one is denser. continue reading...

Vegan Mochi Tofu Nuggets

mochitofu1.jpg

I was inspired to make these little nuggets of vegan goodness by a recipe for mochi chicken that was posted in the forums by member SojoMojo. He says that mochi chicken is a common dish in Hawaii; he grew up eating them and now loves to use them in his bentos. (As I learn more about Hawaiian cuisine, I realize that it departs from Japanese cuisine in many interesting ways, even if many of its roots are in Japan.) The mochi flour, cornstarch and egg batter produces a coating that is hard and crispy on the outside, and soft and mochi-like on the inside. Chicken lovers should try his recipe for sure!

For this vegan variation, I’ve used kouya dofu, or free-dried tofu. See an indepth description of kouya dofu. You can find it in the dried goods section of a Japanese grocery store, and it should be pretty inexpensive. It keeps indefinitely in the pantry, making it a great item to stock. If you can’t get hold of kouya dofu, see the notes below about how to use regular tofu you’ve frozen yourself. I’ve also eliminated the egg from the coating, but the flavor-filled liquid in the pre-cooked tofu still produces a nice soft mochi-like interior.

As with all the vegan-protein recipes I post here, this tastes delicious to omnivores like myself too. As a matter of fact, when I packed a bento recently for the self-professed “bovo-vegetarian” in the house recently with these nuggets together with something meaty, he said he preferred these a lot more! continue reading...

Bento Filler: Fennel Salad (Fennel no Shiomomi)

fennelsalad.jpg

This is such an easy recipe that it’s barely a recipe at all, but it’s very versatile and quick, so here it is. Fennel bulb has so much flavor on its own that you only need to add a minimal amount of seasonings to make a tasty salad. This method of massaging crunchy vegetables with salt is called shiomomi (塩揉み)in Japanese, and is very useful for making fibrous vegetables easier to eat without having to cook them. continue reading...