Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

Egg (nori) roll

I was inspired by Japanese ‘big rolls’, which are usually large (1 + 1/2 sheets of nori to wrap around) with an omelet center and other stuffing. This is a smaller, quicker, lazier version with all the fillings cooked together as one. Making nori rolls gets easier with practice and bamboo rolling mats. Also remember to use plastic wrap on the bamboo mat to help keep it clean.

Nori Egg Roll (3 rolls)

  • 2 cups cooked sushi rice (1 cup raw)
  • 3 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (if unseasoned, add 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt)
  • 3 sheets of nori
  • 3 eggs
  • oil for pan
  • 1 1/2 cup raw baby spinach
  • 4 shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tsp mirin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Prep:
  1. Mix rice vinegar into warm (cooked) rice, set aside. Beat the eggs with half the salt in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Cut mushrooms into thin strips and roughly chop up the spinach if the leaves are large.
  3. Heat up a small pan (cast iron or nonstick 6-8in) medium high, add oil (2 tsp), then mushrooms, spinach, mirin and salt; cook until spinach is wilted.
  4. Pour spinach mixture into bowl of beaten eggs and mix to combine.
  5. Heat pan up again medium high, add more oil to coat pan. Pour eggs into pan, spread out the spinach and mushrooms.
  6. When edges set after a minute or so, fold 2 opposite sides towards the center, ending with something rectangular in shape.
  7. Turn heat low and finish cooking till it’s no longer runny in the center. You can try to flip it over or just put a lid on it for a minute or so. Cut egg into 3 equal long strips.
  8. Spread 1/3 of the rice on 3/4 of the nori sheet.
  9. Put a strip of egg on the part of the sheet with no rice.
  10. Roll it up starting from the egg end, using the bamboo mat to roll and press.
  11. Cut roll up into 6 or 8 pieces, and sprinkle on sesame seeds.
I don’t think you need any soy sauce, everything is already seasoned.
-L

July 10, 2008 at 10:18 am 7 comments

Porcini orzo

Some of the orzo got a little burnt, resulting in the variations of color.

Orzo, being a rice shaped pasta, gives you the quick cooking time of pasta and the applications of rice. You can make a fast faux risotto or a substitute rice salad. I prefer not to cook orzo in a large pot of water like you would most pasta. I like to toast the dry orzo in a pan with some oil till golden brown before adding liquid to it. This ensures the pasta won’t become too soggy and adds more flavor to the finished dish.

Porcini Orzo (for 2 or 4 as sides)

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 pint cremini or button mushrooms diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz dried porcini (+ 2/3 cup hot water)
  • 1 cup dry orzo
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp of chopped rosemary or thyme
  • 1/2 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
About 3oz or however much that looks like to you.
  1. Soak porcini in hot water for about 15-20mins, when softened, cut the porcini into semi large pieces, reserve the liquid (you can strain it through a coffee filter to get out all the grit).
  2. In a wide pot or sauté pan on medium high heat, add in oil to coat pan. Then add the diced onions, stir, and cook till translucent with slight browning on edges.
  3. Add bay leaf and orzo to the pan, stirring a lot to make sure the orzo is coated in oil and doesn’t get burned.
  4. When orzo looks toasted, add in diced mushrooms and salt, stir and cook till mushrooms have shrunk.
  5. Add in porcini and its liquid, the peas, along with the 1 1/3 cup of water. Stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low and cover for 9-11mins.
  6. There should be no liquid left after that, but if it’s too dry and the pasta is kind of hard, stir in another 1/4 cup of (hot) water and cook on medium low till it’s absorbed. If there is too much liquid after the initial cooking, just cook it uncovered till it dries up.
  7. Stir in chopped herbs and pepper at the end.

You can also add in some parmesan or leave it as is and it’d be totally vegan.

-Lina

June 29, 2008 at 2:35 am 5 comments

Soba salad for hot days

  Soba salad with smoked mackerel.

The first day of the heat wave, I was mostly hiding out in my room with the air conditioner. I wasn’t willing to cook a big meal or even stand in front of the stove for long. Soba noodles are noodles made with buckwheat flour; it has slightly nutty flavor, and is all around healthy. The cooking time is only three minutes in boiling water. In colder weather I love soba in hot broth. In summer, they can be eaten chilled with cold dipping sauce. I like it hot or cold with tororo (grated yam). And of course as a salad one dish light meal.

Soba Salad (for 2)

  • 6oz dried soba (2/3 of most small packages)
  • 4 cups (roughly) baby salad greens
  • 1/2 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 scallion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 tbsp dried wakame 
  • smoked fish or leftover meats (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ponzu + olive oil or salad dressing or…

soy citrus dressing:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • few drops of fish sauce (optional)
  • few drops of sesame oil
  • 2 tsp olive (or canola) oil
  • 3-4 tbsp water to dilute

Cook noodles in boiling water for 3mins, drain and rinse under cold water till completely cooled. Set aside and let water continue to drain away. Rehydrate wakame in some hot water, let it sit for 2mins or so, then drain. Toss cold noodles, vegetables, fish, and wakame together with dressing, top with sesame seeds.

To make it completely vegan, leave out any fish/meat or fish sauce. You can add firm tofu or just leave it plain. I didn’t have any at the time, but thinly slice cucumbers would also be great. Wakame adds a really nice ‘sea’ flavor but if you can’t get any, you can also add other seaweeds like finely shredded nori at the end.

-Lina

June 9, 2008 at 4:40 am 4 comments

Palappam, Indian rice pancake

palappam2.jpg

According to wikipedia; appam’ is fermented bread usually prepared with finely powdered rice flour. Palappam has a crisp lacy edge from being cooked in curved pans like woks.

The first time I had tried them was at a Sri Lankan restaurant in Staten Island, they called them hoppers (not to be confused with string hoppers which I had done at another Sri Lankan restaurant).

An egg goes on every fourth one (optional?), and I tried to keep the yolk runny. I used the recipe from Salt and Pepper, a simple recipe with really helpful photos, using just rice flour, coconut milk, and yeast. From what is I saw of all the rest of the recipes online, you basically need some raw rice and cooked rice. I took 2 tablespoons of rice flour and cooked it with some water to form a paste, the “kurukku” part (to be mixed with raw rice flour, can of coconut milk, and yeast). It ferments overnight, so plan ahead. In the morning the batter was thick and needed to be thinned out. The first one stuck to the pan, but the rest worked out great. This broke in my newly seasoned wok. Overall, it was much easier than I had expected. Unfortunately I didn’t have a good Sri Lankan fish curry to go with it. You can also eat it with sweet accompaniments instead of savory. They have a slight tangy coconut flavor and fluffy texture.

palappam.jpg

lina-sm.gif-L

March 16, 2008 at 5:10 am 3 comments

Sesame noodles for lunch

noodlees.jpg
Any type of noodles (hot or cold), dressed with soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds and scallions; makes for a quick light lunch, maybe with a poached or fried egg and some miso soup with spinach would be nice.
I have to get back to work now.  =(
lina-sm.gif

February 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm 4 comments

Falafels are awesome

chickpeas.jpg

Until recently, I’ve only had the dried flavorless golf balls that passed as falafels at salad bars. But I’ve seen (and tasted) the light at several falafel locations in the city, and now I crave them often. Here’s a great falafel recipe by Mark Bittman over at the New York Times.

Falafel: Time: 1 hour, plus 24 hours’ soaking

  • 1 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Scant teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • oil for frying
1. Put beans in a large bowl and cover with water by 3 or 4 inches; they will triple in volume. Soak for 24 hours, adding water if needed to keep beans submerged.
2. Drain beans well (reserve soaking water) and transfer to a food processor. Add remaining ingredients except oil; pulse until minced but not puréed, scraping sides of bowl down; add soaking water if necessary to allow machine to do its work, but no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Keep pulsing until mixture comes together. Taste, adding salt, pepper, cayenne or lemon juice to taste.
3. Put oil in a large, deep saucepan to a depth of at least 2 inches; more is better. The narrower the saucepan the less oil you need, but the more oil you use the more patties you can cook at a time. Turn heat to medium-high and heat oil to about 350 degrees (a pinch of batter will sizzle immediately).
4. Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter and shape into balls or small patties. Fry in batches, without crowding, until nicely browned, turning as necessary; total cooking time will be less than 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

fbatter.jpg

This makes a LOT of falafel, and I wanted to eat them all that night (but I stopped myself). They do taste good the next day reheated (either by frying briefly or baking in oven), but the texture did change a little. You really do need the dried beans to get the best effect. Fry up a few and adjust the seasonings for the batter. I didn’t think the one teaspoon of salt was enough and added an additional two. And you really do have to watch the oil temps (though I didn’t use a thermometer), make sure the oil isn’t too hot or you won’t be able to cook them all the way thru before you scorch the outside. The batter is easy to do if you have a large enough food processor (I had to do it in two batches), but the 24hour soaking doesn’t give me the instant falafel gratification (sigh). Maybe I can freeze some rehydrated chickpeas for falafels whenever? And don’t forget the yogurt sauce and pitas.

falafelsss.jpg(some were a little underdone, you need to get the outside browned all over)

lina-sm.gif Lina

February 17, 2008 at 9:55 am 3 comments

Graham flour is tasty

crepe

Trying to infuse some healthier things into my baking, I bought some whole wheat graham flour along with whole wheat pastry flour. Graham flour really smells like graham crackers (go figure). I also happened to catch the crepe episode on Good Eats the day before (this was a while ago), so naturally I had crepes on the brain.

Whole wheat graham crepes

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp oil
  • and extra oil for pan

crepebatter.jpg

Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together well in a separate bowl or large measuring cup (the honey will not want to meld, it’ll take some time). Then whisk wet and dry together till smooth, set batter aside for 20mins. Heat up pan or griddle (medium to medium high), I prefer cast iron but nonstick will work. Put a few drops of oil in the pan and spread it all around. Ladle (about 1/4 to 1/3 cup) batter into the center of the pan, and quickly use the bottom of the ladle to spread out the batter in a circular motion (this will give you a nice thin crepe). After a minute (maybe little more) you can flip them, it should be a golden brown, if it’s too light you can flip it back again after another minute. Pile them up on a plate as you cook. They are both tender and sturdy with a slight honey graham flavor, great for breakfast or whenever.

crepepan.jpg

lina-sm.gif -L

February 13, 2008 at 5:28 pm 3 comments

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