Around The World in 80 Ways
None of these recipes are strictly traditional – they are each based on classic Japanese and macrobiotic classics, but have a bit of a twist.
They all contain sea vegetables. If you’re not familiar with any of these, be reassured - they’ve been eaten in the UK and Japan for thousands of years! They contain generous quantities of iodine, calcium, Vitamin A and some B vitamins – depending on the variety. And being plant-based, these goodies are more easily absorbed by the body.
Miso is another ingredient that may be new to you. Think of it as the Japanese version of yeast extract or stock cubes! It’s made from soya beans that are fermented into a paste and comes in several strengths, from mellow white miso to deeper, almost ‘meaty’ dark varieties. It gives a fantastic base to soups and stews. You’ll find it in good health food or oriental shops.
And if you just want a quick nutritional fix, just soak, then blend in to soups or stews.
Sushi Nori Rolls
Makes 6-8 pieces
1 sheet nori (check packet to see if ready-toasted or not)
½ cup dried brown rice
2 – 2 ½ cups cold water
1 tsp vegan bouillon powder
1½ tsp tahini
1 tbsp shoyu soya sauce
1 medium carrot, grated on medium grater
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Options – NB don’t try to fit in too much or too many or the sushi won’t roll up!
Thinly sliced strips of cucumber
Thin strips of avocado
Sauerkraut (pickled cabbage)
Toasted sesame seeds
Spring onion greens, chopped
Wasabi - a kind of mustard condiment. Very hot! You buy it dried and mix with water according to instructions. Try a very tiny dab (about a matchstick tip’s worth) until you’re sure how hot you like it.
- Cook brown rice in 2 cups water and bouillon powder for 25 minutes, or until it’s well-cooked and slightly sticky. Add a little more water if necessary, but don’t drown it – you want all the liquid to be absorbed by time rice is cooked.
- Meanwhile, grate carrot and put aside.
- Grate ginger and do same.
- Prepare other ingredients and one or two from options if using.
- If you aren’t using a sushi mat, wet a clean tea-towel and wring out well so it’s just damp.
- Let the rice cool – it should be fairly sticky and just slightly warm, as this makes it easier to roll.
- If the nori isn’t ready-toasted, do this now – simply toast it carefully over a gas flame or cooker ring on high until it turns green.
- Place the nori sheet carefully on sushi mat/damp tea-towel.
- Spread the rice thinly on the nori sheet, leaving a 1cm/ ½ inch gap at the top and bottom.
- With a chopstick or handle of a wooden spoon, make an indentation in the middle of the rice.
- Spread the tahini in the gap and then add the carrot.
- Add another option, such as cucumber or watercress at this stage.
- Using the tea-towel, roll the nori up into a mini Swiss roll, making sure you keep pulling the leading edge of the mat/towel back so it doesn’t get rolled into the sushi.
- Continue rolling tightly until the uncovered top edge of the nori is reached.
- Wet this edge with a little cold water and complete rolling – this will seal the sushi.
- Slice the roll in half with a sharp knife, making sure you cut through all the nori.
- Then slice each half into three or four pieces.
- Serve with a little shoyu soya sauce diluted with water and wasabi (very hot mustard-type paste) if desired.
- Serve on the nicest plate you have, preferably plain white.
Rice, Carrot & Arame Salad
30 minutes (less if you have pre-cooked rice)
¾ cup brown rice
1 tsp vegan bouillon powder
2 ½ cups water plus a little more
1 large carrot, grated finely
1 handful arame, soaked in water for 10 minutes or so, then drained (the liquid can be put aside for soup stock)
¼ cup sesame oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
2 tsp shoyu soya sauce
- Put the brown rice, bouillon powder and 2 cups water on to heat.
- Bring to boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes, adding a little more water if rice starts to stick.
- Meanwhile, soak arame.
- Grate carrot and put aside.
- Make the dressing.
- When rice is cooked, cool it.
- Add arame and carrot and mix in well with rice.
- Add some of the dressing, coating ingredients well.
Add ½ cup cooked pulses, such as whole lentils or aduki beans.
Dashi (Basic stock)
1.5 L home-made vegetable stock or water
5-6 small dried shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp mirin (rice wine) or medium sherry
1 strip kombu
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely diced or sliced on largest section of grater
1 small head broccoli or similar green vegetable, sliced into small pieces (if using broccoli, use all the vegetable, not just the florets. Peel the stem first then chop it into small pieces)
1 small onion, finely chopped OR a small bunch spring onions, sliced into 2cm/1inch pieces
¼ cup shoyu soya sauce
1 tsp grated fresh root ginger
1-1 ½ tsp mugi miso (medium strong) per serving. If you can’t buy mugi miso, use a darker one such as genmai but use a little less. If using a very light miso, you may need to add a bit more, but do so gradually.
Cooked brown rice or cooked soba (buckwheat) noodles
Tofu chunks – e.g. Cauldron deep-fried or a firm, flavoured tofu
1 cup cooked pulses, e.g. chick peas; whole lentils any colour; aduki beans
Nori flakes for a condiment
- Put the 4 dashi ingredients (stock/water; mushrooms; mirin; kombu) into a large pot.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare vegetables and other ingredients as above. Put aside.
- After stock has cooked 15 minutes, blend the mushrooms and kombu with some of the stock until mixture is as smooth as possible. Return to soup pan.
- Add rest of i ingredients – vegetables, ginger and shoyu (not miso or options) – and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender and no more.
- Remove from heat.
- Put 1 helping of miso into each soup bowl. Mix with a little cold water until it’s smooth.
- Add 2-3 ladles of soup.
- Add some of the options if desired and stir well in to the hot soup.
- Sprinkle with nori flakes if desired and eat.