Tofu scramble (No Oil)

My desperate need to enjoy a tofu scramble that is creamy and fluffy lead me to this creation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients

300g silken tofu
2 teaspoons chick pea (besan) flour mixed with 3 teaspoons of water to make a watery mixture
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon black salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/8 teaspoon turmeric

Method:

  1. Place tofu in heated non-stick or ceramic pan and break up into very large chunks. There is no need to use oil when using a non-stick or ceremic pan.
  2. As the water in your tofu starts to sizzle on the pan, sprinkle all dry ingredients over the tofu. Start to break the tofu into smaller chunks that looks like large pieces of scramble.
  3. Add the besan mixture and continue to cook until the mixture is creamy.

Vegan duck and mushrooms dumplings

I love the sweet and salty flavour of these dumplings, punctuated by a 5-spice aroma. You can get mock duck from most Asian grocers.
Dumplings ingredients:

280g canned mock duck
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 button mushrooms, sliced
2 dried shitake mushroom, soaked in water to soften and sliced
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cups stock
1/4 teaspoon ground 5-spice
250g dumpling wrappers
Dipping sauce ingredients:

1/4 cups soy sauce
1/4 cups rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 chilli sliced
Dumplings method:

  1. Sautee onion in a non stick saucepan. As the onion start to caramalise, add water used to soak the shitake mushroom to prevent the onion for sticking to the pan. If you run out of the mushroom water, you can add some water.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stock and continue cooking until the stock has reduced so you have a sauceless mix.
  3. Allow mixture to cool and remove duck pieces.
  4. Put mixture through the food processor. There is no need to push the mixture on the sides down. Some chunks is good for texture.
  5. Break duck pieces by hand into small chunky pieces and return to the mixture. You now have a filling that is ready to be wrapped into dumplings.
  6. Fill a dumpling wrapper with 1 teaspoon of the mixture, wet half the circumference of the wrapper, fold in half with the filling inside, so it now forms a semi-circle. Form pleats on the outside of the dumpling.
    1. See this dumpling video below to illustrate how it’s done. Credit to Delightful Vegans for this clip.
  7. Make as many dumplings as you have filling or the wrappers. It can be a difficult estimate to have the exact amount of filling for number of wrappers you have. If you have excess wrappers, they freeze well in a ziplock bag. If you have excess filling, they can be eaten on its own or with some rice.
  8. To cook the dumplings, in a hot non-stick pan, put in 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil reaches smoke point, put dumplings in the pan. Add 1/4 cups of water into the pan, it will sizzle. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to its lowest plan and let the dumplings steam in the pan. Once the water is fully absorbed, turn the dumplings and put the lid on. Continue to do this until sides of the dumplings is browned.

Sauce method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Serve with slices of the chilli depending on how spicy you like your dumplings.

Lychee mint daiquiri mocktail

This is the most refreshing drink that has the delicate flavours of lychees that brings me right back to memories of hot summers by the pool. The lemon lime bitters add a beautiful flavour to the mocktail. However if that is too sweet for you, you may use soda water instead. If you do not have an ice crushing blender at home, you may shake the drinks up in a cocktail shaker but you will have to half the ingredients for it to fit in your cocktail shaker.
Ingredients:

250g (approx) canned lychees in syrup, chilled and reserving 6 lychees
15 mint leaves, reserving 6 leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon elderflower syrup
4-6 cups ice
Lemon lime bitters or soda water
Method:

  1. Place half of the ice and rest of ingredients, except for the reserved lychees, reserved mint leaves and soda water into a blender that crushes ice.
  2. Process the mixture into a slushy mixture. You may have to add more ice.
  3. Spoon the slushy mixture into 6 cocktail glasses.
  4. Top with 1/4 cups of the soda water.
  5. Garnish with a lychee and a mint leaf for each glass.

Vegetable dumplings (No oil option)

Making dumplings is always a family affair in my parents’ house. Someone is chopping with a cleaver, someone is kneading dough and many people are wrapping dumplings. These dumplings freeze well and can be added to soups or steamed up quickly for a quick dinner that feels extra fancy. You can pick up dumpling wrappers at all Asian grocers, and some supermarkets.
Dumplings ingredients:

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 small carrots, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 button mushrooms, sliced
1 dried shitake mushroom, soaked in water to soften and sliced
200g firm tofu, roughly mashed
1 small can of bamboo shoots, drained and chopped
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
500g dumpling wrappers
Dipping sauce ingredients:

1/4 cups soy sauce
1/4 cups rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 chilli sliced
Dumplings method:

  1. Sautee onion in a non stick pan. As the onion start to caramalise, add water used to soak the shitake mushroom to prevent the onion for sticking to the pan. If you run out of the mushroom water, you can add some water.
  2. Add ginger and garlic. Then the tofu and all other vegetables except for the bamboo shoots.
  3. Sautee until cabbage softens, add soy sauce and white pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Allow the mixture to cool.
  4. Put mixture through the food processor. There is no need to push the mixture on the sides down. Some chunks is good for texture.
  5. Add the chopped bamboo shoots and stir through the mixture.
  6. Fill a dumpling wrapper with 1 teaspoon of the mixture, wet half the circumference of the wrapper, fold in half with the filling inside, so it now forms a semi-circle. Form pleats on the outside of the dumpling. See this dumpling video below to illustrate how it’s done. Credit to Delightful Vegans for this clip.
  7. Make as many dumplings as you have filling or the wrappers. It can be a difficult estimate to have the exact amount of filling for number of wrappers you have. If you have excess wrappers, they freeze well in a ziplock bag. If you have excess filling, they can be eaten on its own or with some rice.
  8. To cook the dumplings:

Oil free: place the dumplings in a steamer lined with baking paper for 10 minutes.
Non-oil free: In a hot non-stick pan, put in 1 tablespoon of oil. When oil reaches smoke point, put dumplings in the pan. Add 1/4 cups of water into the pan, it will sizzle. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat to its lowest plan and let the dumplings steam in the pan. Once the water is fully absorbed, turn the dumplings and put the lid on. Continue to do this until sides of the dumplings is browned.

Sauce method:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Serve with slices of the chilli depending on how spicy you like your dumplings.

Miso Glazed Eggplant

I love this sweet and salty miso glazed eggplant which is another delicious addition to a buddha bowl, or just served with cooked grains.
Ingredients

2 large or 3 small eggplants
3 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of sesame oil (optional, leave out for oil free option)
Method

  1. Halve the eggplant and sprinkle with salt to “sweat” the eggplant for 15 minutes.
  2. Rinse off salt and dry the eggplant. Cut a criss-cross pattern on the inside surface of the eggplant.
  3. Sear the eggplant on a non-stick pan, face down, until it is slightly brown. Then remove from heat.
  4. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl into a smooth paste. Coat the seared surface of the eggplant with this mixture.
  5. Bake the eggplant in a pre-heated oven to 200C for 20 minutes or until the tops of the eggplant is glazed.

Steamed silken tofu with caramalised onion and mushrooms (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I’ve been missing my Dad of late and trying to recreate some of the dishes that he cooks, although it’s never quite as good as how he does it. I enjoy the delicate texture of the silken tofu with the salty and umami flavours of topping. Some people serve the tofu cold with the topping hot, but I prefer steaming it first.
Ingredients

1 silken tofu
1/4 onion, sliced
1 slice ginger
1 teaspoon fermented blackbeans
2 white button mushrooms, roughly grated
2 dried shitake mushroom, soaked then sliced (reserve soaking liquid)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Chopped spring onion or corriander
Method

  1. Place silken tofu in a bowl and drain it as much as you can then place into a steamer. This is the serving bowl as the silken tofu is delicate and cannot be moved around too much or it will break. Steam for 10-15 minutes.
  2. As the tofu is steaming, in a non-stick pan, sautee the onion, ginger, black beans and mushrooms. Add some of the mushroom liquid as the onion starts to brown to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  3. As the onion and mushrooms start to caramalise, add 1/2 tablespoon of the soy sauce.
  4. Remove the tofu bowl from the steamer carefully as it will be hot. Drain as much of the liquid as you can.
  5. Place onion and mushroom topping on the tofu, pour remaining 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce over topping. Garnish with chopped spring onion or corriander. Ready to serve.

Alfredo (No Oil, No Refined Sugar)

This is a beautiful creamy pasta without the queasy feeling after eating a rich and greasy meal.
Ingredients

250 grams fettuccini
1 cup peas

Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cups cashews soaked for 6 hours and drained
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup cooked cauliflower
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/2 cup broth
Salt and pepper
Method

  1. Cook fettuccini following instructions on package.
  2. Whilst fettuccini is cooking, sautee onion in a non-stick pan. Add a small amount of water as onion starts to caramalise to prevent sticking. Add garlic.
  3. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until a smooth sauce.
  4. One minute before fettucini is cooked, add peas.
  5. Complete cooking pasta and drain pasta and peas.
  6. Return pasta and peas back into pot, toss alfredo sauce through pasta.
  7. Top with chopped chives. Ready to serve!

Pea, Celery and Potato Soup (No Oil, No Refined Sugar, Gluten Free)

I was so inspired by the pea, celery and potato soup I had at Table8 in Tokyo that I had to recreate this. This soup can be portioned and freezes well for a quick, healthy and heart warming meal.
Ingredients

1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cups peas
2 potatoes, cut into big cubes
5 cups broth
Small bunch of thyme and handful of parsley chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Method

  1. Sautee onion in a stock pot, add a little water as the onion start to caramalise to prevent sticking. Add garlic.
  2. Add celery, potatoes, stock and bring to boil. Then reduce to a simmer. Add herbs and seasoning.
  3. Simmer for half hour or until potatoes have soften.
  4. Add peas and simmer for a minute. Turn off heat.
  5. Using a handheld blender, puree the soup until it has a smooth consistency. Ready to serve!

Pancakes (No Refined Sugar, No Oil)

Chilly mornings call for pancakes. This is a pancakes for one recipe which you can multiply for number of people you’re sharing the love with. Full of oats that have the superpower of cleaning out your arteries. Delicious at the same time!

Ingredients

1 ripe banana
100ml plant milk
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Topping ingredients

1/3 cup frozen berries
1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Method

  1. Blend all pancake ingredients in a blender until smooth
  2. Drop batter on medium heat pan to gently cook. Once pancake bubbles on top, flip over to cook and brown the other side. There is no need to use oil of you are cooking on a non-stick ceremic pan.
  3. Whilst pancake is cooking, microwave or cook over the stove all pancake toppings for a minute. Watch the fruit of cooking in a microwave that the fruit doesn’t bubble over.
  4. Serve pancake stacked with fruit compote as a topping with a doll so of nut butter.

Vegan in Kyoto

Kyoto was one of the cities I visited in my trip to Japan. It was a super quick train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto on the Shinkasen. I picked up a few onigri from the convenience store to snack on the trip and left a Tokyo that was pelting down with rain.

By the time I got to Kyoto, I was craving my vegetables and fresh fruit. A quick stop at the local supermarket got me this dinner feast. I have found it helpful to learn to read a few words for ingredients I don’t eat, such as meat, fish, egg, milk, bonito and dashi.

I woke up feeling energized (go plant power!) and decided to take a 30 minute local train ride to Arashiyama. I arrived early in the morning and the beauty of Arashimaya was breathtaking. I took a walk in the bamboo forest which was gorgeous and peaceful at that time of day. I enjoyed walking through the Tenryu-jin Shrine which has a beautiful garden and where my lunch spot was located. Shigetsu is a Zen Buddhist restaurant acknowledged by the Michelin Guide for serving exceptionally good food. You can select set meals from a menu if you make a reservation but only one meal is available if you show up without a reservation

The photo above really doesn’t do it the justice. The flavors are delicate and food is enjoyed in a zen environment whilst sitting on tatami. It costs ¥3,000 for a 5 course meal plus. ¥500 for the entry into the garden.

Walking around Arashimaya, I found these unique mochi which comes from the area. They come served with matcha or ground roasted soybeans. The mochi was tender and delicate, unlike any other mochi I have ever had, and possibly the best mochi I have ever had.

Since I was told that Kyoto has excellent matcha, I couldn’t resist going to Ain Soph which recently opened a branch in Kyoto. They offer a white chocolate matcha pancake which was delicious but super rich. I should have shared it…maybe next time!

For my last dinner in Kyoto, I headed to Togaden which is a tofu restaurant upstairs and downstairs is a tofu shop. They offer a wide variety of tofu and have a vegan menu.

Kyoto is a smaller city than Tokyo and easy to navigate. There are quite a few vegan places to eat and with a little research they are easy to find.

If you are travelling to Tokyo, check out the Vegan in Tokyo post.