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Showing posts from March, 2022

Vegan Clay Pot Rice (Bao Zai Fan)

THE rice bowl to end all rice bowls! Fluffy, perfectly cooked rice with "meaty", savory toppings, and refreshing vegetables all in one pot, every single grain of rice has fully absorbed the flavors from the umami sauce and all the flavorful toppings, and just when you think this couldn't possibly get any better, you'll reach the golden, crispy, rice "cracker" bottom for a grand finale surprise. The Hong Kong style clay pot rice, or Bao Zai Fan 煲仔饭, is one of my absolute childhood favorites. It's a complete meal prepared, cooked, and served all in one earthware pot! The cooking process is almost poetic really, all the different ingredients uniting into one in the warm hug of the pot, bringing their individual flavors together into one euphoric experience. Patience is key in this recipe, medium-low heat and low heat only, and you'll be rewarded with the most aromatic and beautifully cooked rice in your life plus the golden, crunchy surprise at the bot

Vegan Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake with Veggies)

My absolute favorite Japanese street food, EVER!  Okonomiyaki is like a big savory pancake that is thick, a bit chewy, fluffy and soft on the inside and golden crispy on the outside, topped off with a generous amount of umami and sweet sauce and mayo. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake made of vegetables, sometimes meat and seafood, in a wheat flour batter. It's as adaptable as an omelet, if not more, as the word  okonomi  literally means "how you like" or "what you like".You can pretty much stuff it with whatever ingredients you prefer but for this vegan version, I used a variety of vegetables. This is also a great fridge clearing recipe to use up all the scraps of veggies you have on your hand. For the batter, the traditional okonomiyaki recipe calls for grated nagaimo to add fluffiness to the texture. Nagaimo, or mountain yam, is a type of root vegetable that's long and hairy, it's creamy and slimy when grated. However, it's not easy to find

Vegan Sushi Sandwich Onigirazu

Remember the viral tortilla hack from last year? I used that wrapping technique but with nori sheet and made this super easy and flavorful sushi sandwich, or Onigirazu. It's an entire balanced meal in a handy wrap - carb, veggies, protein, and healthy fat, making it a perfect lunch or a power snack. I'll admit, for most of the food trends I'd get intrigued, try them once and would never even think about them again. But not for this one! This is the only food trend that lasted in my cooking rotation and I make it for myself all the time. It is just such a convenient way to make a quick wrap and stuff it with all kinds of different fillings. Now this is a nori sheet version instead of tortilla. It's very beginner-friendly especially if you are not super comfortable rolling sushi or wrapping onigirazu yet! All you need to do is add your preferred filling and FOLD. The fillings combo is highly adaptable of course, you can choose whatever your heart desires but for this one

Vegan Chinese Cucumber Salad

The most fabulous way to cut and present cucumber, ever! This cucumber salad is made of ONE SINGLE cucumber, sliced into a spring shape and dressed in a sweet, sour, and umami sauce, and finally topped with some sizzling chili oil. This cucumber salad is a traditional Chinese recipe, it is called Suo Yi cucumber, or 蓑衣黄瓜, which literally means raincoat cucumber. And that's because the traditional Chinese raincoat was made of overlapping straw, think a Hawaiian grass skirt but for the whole body. The way the cucumber is sliced and stretched out resembles the overlapping straws, hence the name. And this special way of slicing is not just for presentation's sake! Because of all the incredibly thin slices and gaps that this method creates, the cucumber picks up and soaks up sauce much better, every single "scale" is filled with flavors and each slice is so tender and flexible, yet still crunchy to the bite. In the photos below you can see how I cut and stretch the cucumbe

Roasted Pepper Roll Ups with Scallion Tofu Cream Cheese

Juicy, tender, sweet, and slightly charred roasted bell peppers filled with vegan scallion cream cheese that's made of tofu, and a few simple ingredients! Use colorful bell peppers to add more colors and these can be a fabulous appetizer for a party or a fun little side dish just for you. This dish really deserves a lot more love and popularity than they usually receive! Take roasted sweet peppers - something that basically everyone loves - and combine them with creamy, refreshing, and savory scallion tofu cream cheese, bam, a heavenly combo both texture-wise and flavor-wise! There are many ways to char the peppers so we can easily peel off the skins. If you have a traditional open fire stovetop, you could simply use a pair of BBQ tongs to hold the pepper above the fire till the skins are moderately blackened. But if you are like me and have an electric glass stovetop, worry not, we can use the broiler setting on the oven. And per usual, I will be posting a video how-to on my Insta