Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Winter Melon with Miso Soup

Having over 650 recipes, I really cannot remember what I had created and have long stop printing out a hardcopy (or tag the photo index to them). It was only I had whip up this soup and starting to type out the recipe that I discovered that I have something rather similar - winter-melon-miso-soup! Anyway, this is yummy too. Next round, maybe I should try to marry matcha with miso.

Sometimes, I am thinking, maybe this is more than enough, even if I re-cook one dish per day, it needs more than 1 year to complete them. However, this does not mean, there are no more veg*n dishes to be created, in fact, there are still a lots more even we doesn’t need to veg*nise those meat dishes. Even by glancing through non-vegetarian cookbooks, those beautiful photo of the dishes, the presentation, the colour can easily inspired one to come up with a new veg*n dish.

Living in a Food Paradise country, there is a saying if you love Asia Food and can only go to one place, make it Singapore. Over the years, by intermingling of ingredients and spices from nearby cultures and also internationally, lead to Singapore’s distinctive fusion cooking that might not be easily found in Asia at this level. And the surviving of diversified Veg*n culinary in Singapore where a nation past time is eating, is a BIG achievement. That tell something – Veg*n food here is excellent.

Today, the veg*n food here is moving up another level, it is not just limited to hawker’s food or street food , it is now going into a new trend - wholesome organic food, fine food, tonic food and in future, we might find more and more good up-scale Veg*n Cuisine restaurants as the world is moving towards a more healthier lifestyle and going meatless more often.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 4)

° 150g winter melon, thinly sliced
° 75g king oyster mushroom, thinly sliced
° 25g carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
° 1 tablespoon wolfberries, soaked
° 1 slice ginger
° 750ml water
° 1 tablespoon miso paste or to taste
° freshly chopped spring onion or coriander leaves, for garnish
° 2 slices fresh red chilli (optional), finely chopped for garnish

1. Place the winter melon, mushroom, carrot, ginger and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until the ingredients are soften.
2. Add in the wolfberries and season to taste with miso paste.
3. Ladle into individual serving bowls, garnish with spring onion or coriander leaves and chilli.
4. Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Vegetarian Cabbage Kimchi

Homemade kimchi
kimchi paste

A bowl of Bean Vermicelli cooked with homemade kimchi

Wanted to try out making kimchi last year, only tested it out recently. My second try and I omit fish sauce and added vinegar. And I used the normal chilli powder which is easily purchase from the supermarket rather than the Korean Chilli powder which is much preferred. If you consume garlic, add garlic to this and adjust the marinade ingredients per each individual preference. Feel like simplifying this further to make "mock" kimchi ...

Preparation: 20 mins, plus standing times 24 hrs

Ingredients (makes 300g)
° 300g Chinese cabbage
° 1 litre water
° 50g salt

For marinade
° 25g chilli powder
° 25g carrot shreds
° 25g radish shreds
° 25g ginger
° 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
° 1½ tablespoons salt
° 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Mix the marinade ingredients well in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Make a deep cut across the base of the head of Chinese cabbage and split it in two, if it is a whole. Place the cabbage in a big bowl, cover with 1 litre of water and adding 50g salt to it. Leave it to stand for 4 hours. Remove and rinse the cabbage and squeeze dry.
3. Place the cabbage on a large plate and coat and spread the marinade on each layer of leaves. Ensuring that the marinade mixture get evenly between the leaves and no leaf is left uncovered.
4. Roll the cabbage up and use the outer leaf of the cabbage to wrap tightly around the other leaves to help the seasoning permeate throughout the whole.
5. Place the cabbage in an airtight container and leave it at room temperature for few hours and place it in the refrigerator for 1 day.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Simplified Dry Tom Yum Vermicelli

This might be a good, pretty simple to whip up and yet impressive item for party or fun fair, as all the ingredients can be prepared in advance and just mixed them prior to serving and it will not go wrong at all even without any stir-frying.

This can also be an item that can be given to your helpful guests who want to help out in your party or easy task for little boys and girls to do. Remember to taste and add more lime juice or tom yum paste if necessary. Use shallot oil instead of olive oil, have some fresh shallot slices, if desired. Pea shoots is too common to add as addition green veggies for this dish, try something else … julienned green mango or something that does not required too much work …

How about putting in a beautiful bento box with some fruit/veggie salad or a cup of lovely smoothies/juices/soya blends plus crispy cracker and take it to work for lunch?

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 8 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-8)
° 150g rice vermicelli, cooked according to packet’s instruction
° 1 firm tofu, cubed and pan-fried
° 1 stalk lemongrass, peel off outer layers leaving tender whitish centre, cut out 5cm, thinly sliced
° 5-6 kaffir lime leaves, finely cut/snip just before using
° 25g carrot, shredded
° some fresh coriander leaves, for garnish
° 1 fresh red chilli or 3 chilli padi, sliced
° some toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Tom Yum Sauce
° 1 tablespoon olive oil
° 2 tablespoons vegetarian tom yum paste or to taste
° 2 tablespoons light soy sauce or to taste
° 2 tablespoons (4 limes) freshly squeezed kalamansi lime juice
° 4 tablespoons (60ml) water
° ¾ tablespoon sugar or to taste

1. Place the Tom Yum sauce ingredients in a bowl and mixed well.
2. In a big bowl, throw in the vermicelli, corianders, chilli, tofu, carrot, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves.
3. Pour the Tom Yum sauce over, toss and mix well. Sprinkle some water if it is too dry. Taste and add more Tom Yum Paste (more fiery and spicy) or lime juice, if necessary. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My Miso Japanese Ramen (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Miso Ramen with okra, shiitake mushroom and carrot toppings Miso Ramen with nori shreds, shanghai green, mock meat and carrot toppings

Have I gone crazy about Ramen? No, not me! Just to finish up all the Ramen that was sitting in the freezer, so I decide to have a different variant – Miso. Miso Broth for Japanese Ramen is common. Veg*n version is not difficult to recreate. Of course, if you have good broth, it definitely gives this dish a boost. As for the shiitake mushroom and okra, you can blanch them in the broth prior to adding miso and rice wine to broth.

Oh yeah, keep the kelps to make a Seasoned Kelps side dish or added to this Miso Ramen if desired. Shredded kelps might looks more appealing compare to kelps in knots.

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 Japanese Ramen, cooked
° 2 okra, sliced lengthwise and blanched
° 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, blanched
° 10 slices carrot, for garnish
° some freshly spring onion, shredded or chopped

° small handful kelps in knot
° 3 slices ginger
° 750ml water
° 1 tablespoon miso or to taste
° 1 tablespoon rice wine (optional)

1. Place the kelps, ginger and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove all the ingredients. Season to taste with miso and rice wine.
2. Meanwhile, place the ramen in each individual bowl, top okra, mushroom, spring onion and carrot.
3. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve immediately.

Dried Japanese Ramen (Vegetarian/Vegan)

This is real simple! What you need to do is to cook the Japanese Ramen based on the instruction given on the packaging. Using Vegetarian BBQ Sauce沙茶酱) to transform it to a bowl of palatable Dried Japanese Ramen. Add a bit of olive oil to the Ramen so that it does not stick together. Or add some vegetable stock to make it tastier. As for the topping, any ingredients you prefer. I like to use King Oyster Mushroom, as it is easily available and the price is reasonable, it gives some textures to this dish. Opt for Bailing Mushroom (which has the abalone texture) specially braised if prefer to give a more posh feel. Pair this with a decent small bowl of soup to make it perfect!

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 Japanese Ramen, cooked
° 50g king oyster mushroom, sliced and blanced/cooked
° 10 slices carrot, for garnish
° some freshly spring onion, shredded or chopped
° Vegetarian BBQ sauce (沙茶酱) to taste


1. Place the ramen in each individual bowl, top with the king oyster mushroom, spring onion, carrot and Vegetarian BBQ sauce. Serving bowls and serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Scrumptious Japanese Ramen (Vegetarian/Vegan)

HA! I finally whipped up a bowl of delicious Japanese Ramen at home using whether ingredients that I can find in the refrigerator late last evening!

It is difficult to find Japanese Ramen here in Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian eateries. In best Ramen eateries (non-vegetarian), the soup broth is a Big NO-NO for veg*n as it calls for pork bone or fish even if they offer Veggie Ramen or Mushroom Ramen! As for the Vegetarian eateries, there are serving China Ramen style and not the Japanese Ramen.

Use your own version vegetable stock or mushroom stock, if desired. I added a distinctive seasoning (e.g Vegetarian BBQ Sauce沙茶酱) to transform the quick vegetable broth into a restaurant-quality Ramen. As for the topping, be inventive and flexible, lady-finger, alfalfa with avocado, lettuce shreds, snow peas, veggies tempura, mint, nori, kelps, wolfberries, it can be any fine ingredients as long as it goes well with Ramen in taste and the whole presentation.

As for the broth, you can add cabbage or kelps or soy beans, and cook longer to extract the sweetness from these ingredients. For an impatient person like me, I chopped up the vegetable into small pieces and shorten it to half an hour. You can use miso, tom yum or whatever for the broth … feel like making another Ramen for lunch ...

Preparation: 10 mins, Cooking time: 40 mins

Ingredients (serves 2)
° 2 Japanese Ramen, cooked
° 50g king oyster mushroom, sliced
° 10 slices carrot, for garnish
° some freshly spring onion, shredded or chopped
° 4-6 pieces agedashi tofu or deep-fried tofu

° 2 stalks celery, sliced
° 1 (100g) carrot, sliced
° 6 seedless red dates
° 3 slices ginger
° 1 litre water
° salt to taste
° 1 tablespoon Vegetarian BBQ sauce (沙茶酱)or to taste

1. Place the celery, carrot, red dates, king oyster mushroom, ginger and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove the king oyster mushroom and set aside. Discard the rest of the vegetable. Season to taste with salt and Vegetarian BBQ sauce.
2. Meanwhile, place the ramen in each individual bowl, top with the king oyster mushroom, agedashi tofu, spring onion and carrot.
3. Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls and serve immediately.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Corn and Broccoli Mixed Rice

This simple recipe is created for fussy little kid or kid who does not eat much veggies, by presenting food in smaller portion and interestingly. The yellow and green veggie might not look that attractive, but feel free to experiment with other types of colourful veggies and create your very own unique mixed rice for your little prince and princess. Get them to name it or create their own rice with favorites tasty ingredients, to make the process more fun.

Is this small amount of veggie enough? Of course not, go with a glass of thirst-quenching frothy veggie/fruity beverage to make it a wholesome, health enhancing meal. Isn’t it perfect! Oh, there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that fruit should be eaten two hours after a meal for the purpose of maximizing nutritional benefits as published in mindyourbody 10 Oct 2007 by a Nutritionist.. So, no more worries.

Preparation: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 1)
° 1 bowl hot steam rice
° 25g fresh corn kennel, blanched
° 50g broccoli florets, blanched and separated
° 1-2 slices carrot (optional), blanched
° some deep-fried ginger shreds (optional), for garnish.
° some toasted black/white sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Put the rice, corn and broccoli in a bowl and mix well. Garnish with ginger shred, carrot and sesame seeds.

Rooty Veggie Yusheng

Time Flies! It is long past Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) and I just had “Yusheng” ! Isn’t “Yuseng” mix ONLY available during Chinese New Year period? At the moment, Yes!

And I just really can’t understand why it can’t be served all year round just like Rice Dumpling for Dragon Boat Festival (Duan Wu Festival in Mandarin). Salad lover will like this I guess and it is definitely good to share such lovely stuff with other Vegetarians/Vegans around the World.

I don’t know, maybe, having it as a daily affair, it loses its “special occasion kind of feeling”. Just like we lost the great enthusiasm toward Chinese New Year when we don’t have to wait till Chinese New Year to feast and don nice clothing …

Back to this Yusheng - How did I have this “Yusheng” Mix? In fact, I bought it in February early this year, as one of the surprise special gifts to someone who came over to Singapore from Italy in March. We were supposed to meet, but we were at the same meeting place and at the same time, but missed the chance of meeting each other.

Therefore, this pack of Yusheng Mix (expiry: end of 2009) was still with me until few days back when I finally decided to do another different type of Yusheng (not the Traditional Yusheng or Fruit Yusheng) but using ONLY root vegetables (Beet Root, Yam Bean and Lotus Root). It was appetizing …

Beet Root strained the other ingredients, what can be done here is to cut the root beet into shreds and leave it in the refrigerator to “dehydrate” it a little, so that it is not so "watery".

As for the Lotus root, slice them thinly (the hole pattern looks so beautiful) and put them in water with a few drops of vinegar added, if desired. You can also deep-fry it to make Lotus Root Chips that can be eaten on it own or use it for garnishing or add to a bowl of piping hot Ramen cooked with scrumptious Herbal/Vegetable stock …

Let your creative juices flow, look around the kitchen, mix and match the ingredients, and having unique and delectable dishes is so simple, easy and full of surprises …

The Universe of Vegetarian Cuisine is so vast and yet undiscovered …

The Art of Being a Creative Vegetarian No-Cook: Peanut and Lotus Root Congee

The Art of Being a Creative Vegetarian No-Cook! Let me share a little secret here, how to enjoy a piping hot Peanut and Lotus Root Congee, if you can’t find any Vegetarian Eatery offering this dish!

Very Simple. The trick is to get (take away) Peanut and Lotus Root Soup from a Vegetarian Stall. Next, in your own kitchen, take out ½ rice cup of washed and frozen rice grain. Throw the soup and rice grain into a claypot,bring to a boil and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
When the congee is ready, just garnish with some fresh coriander which is optional. Add pepper if desired.

What’s next ?- Eat directly from the claypot of course (save the task of washing another bowl, be nice to Mother Earth) ...

Do you need to be an expert in cooking? No, Everybody, even young kids can do this simple task! It is similar to cooking instant congee!

So, next time, if you find a stall that sell palatable Peanut and Lotus Root Soup, get some home and frozen it till you need to whip up a quick meal or when a cold or sore throat attack.

I got mine from Eight Immortals @ Causeway Point (Woodlands) – Horizon Food Mall, Level 5 @ S$3 for a big bowl.
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