Vegan Japanese Curry From Scratch

Japanese curry is a staple dish in this house, and making it from scratch is as easy as making it from the box.  Just kidding, nothing is as easy as from the box cooking, but for a deeper taste, filled with good for you ingredients instead of msg, sugar and all the saturated fat , this is the recipe for you.

Adding caramelized onions to this recipe is, yes, time consuming, but it adds a deep and robust flavour that just dances on your tongue, its worth beating the onions into a paste, the only time cooking angry will come in handy.  This is a warming recipe that will warm you up from the inside and leave you wanting more.  The thick curry gravy,  filled with vegetables and a touch of sweetness will soon become a favourite in your house, just like it is in this house.  Well we like food, so we have a lot of favourites here.

This is a gluten free, vegan recipe that will have you wanting more.

JAPANESE CURRY – serves 4-6  

Vegan Japanese curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and thinly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small butternut, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 apple, grated
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey or sweetener of choice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

In a large frying pan heat the oil over medium low heat.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant.  Add the onions and stir fry.  Cover and let steam for 10 minutes until limp.

Remove lid and increase the heat to medium high.  Stir fry until a reach brown curry and start smashing it down to form a kind of paste.  If it starts sticking add water.  (20 -30 minutes.

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When fully caramelized add the curry powder and sauté until fragrant.

Add the stock, carrots, sweet potato, butternut, kale and apple.  Give it a good stir.  Add the tamari, cocoa powder, tomato paste and bay leaf.  Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the honey and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a small sauce pan add the cornstarch and coconut oil, and heat over medium high heat.  Cook until golden brown.

Anime Recipes

When the vegetables are tender taste and adjust seasoning, if you want it sweeter add more honey.   Sir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened.  Serve with rice or udon.

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Spinach Onigiri

If you follow me on instagram, you might have noticed my insane Japanese food kick I’m on. If you haven’t noticed it, you should go get your eyes checked out.  I mean its just sunsets and Japanese food up on there lately!

Onigiri is  popular Japanese bento box stable, and its easy to see why.  Its the cutest triangle food you ever did see, its easy to eat and you can stuff it with anything you feel like! I would recommend you fill it with this delicious and easy spinach! but that’s just me being biased.

Onigiri or rice balls is basically the meal of choice in every anime.  Maid sama, blue exorcist, guilty crown, code geass, pokemon; well in pokemon they called them jelly doughnuts.  Please, what jelly doughnuts looks like that! I never fell for that tomfoolery!

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^^ Strange Jelly doughnut anyone?

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^^ I don’t know how I feel about this onigiri filling?

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^^ Yum

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^^ Sometimes you end up with round onigiri.

Onigiri

^^ whaaat? you want a bite?

Now, doesn’t that make you want to tuck into your own little rice ball! Or maybe name it and keep it as a pet? Yes, it is cute, but rather eat it.  You don’t want to be that person.

SPINACH ONIGIRI4 onigiri

Vegan onigiri

Ingredients

  • 2 cups freshly steamed short grain sushi rice.  Not seasoned with sushi vinegar!
  • 1 cup spinach, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • drizzle sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional
  • 4 strips nori sheets
  • a bowl of water
  • salt

Directions

In a large pan over medium high heat add spinach and tamari.  Stir fry until wilted.  Remove from heat and drizzle with sesame oil.  Stir in sesame seeds.

Wet your hands in the bowl of water and sprinkle with salt.

 

Scoop a handful of rice in your hand.  Make a slight indentation in the rice.

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Divide the spinach into 4 equal part.  Scoop 1 part of the spinach mixture into the indent.

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Cover with rice.

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And start forming. Take your time will forming the little triangle, using more rice as needed.  Wet your hands if it starts sticking.

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Place a strip of nori onto your little triangle.

and repeat the process.

Serve immediately or place in your bento box for a lovely quick lunch time meal!

Anime Recipes – Vegan Mapo Tofu

Its no surprise that I’m a big fan of anime.   I mean the nerd just oozes out of me, so it wouldn’t have been hard to guess. The good messages behind anime, the style of drawing, the powers and of course the fact that the creators get over it when you just get really into it and you are forced to read the manga, because you need to know what happened.  What’s not to love about it?

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Food and anime go hand in hand.  They are always eating something, more like shovelling stuff in their mouths, while starting a budding friendship.  This recipe is inspired by Angel Beats, and Kanade’s (angel) comfort food, super hot mapo tofu.  Out of all the comfort food in all the world, mapo tofu is my favourite as well.  When I moved out of my parents house my dad would stop over with some fresh vegan mapo tofu.  The heat and the flavour explosion really spoke to me.  Top that with tofu, my favourite thing ever and you have a winner of a meal.  Food is the way to a persons heart and tofu is definitely the way to my heart!

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This is my version of mapo tofu, its not the most authentic, but it sure is delicious.  Mushrooms for a meatier taste and spinach, because every meal should have green in it!

VEGAN MAPO TOFUserves 4-6

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces regular tofu, cubed
  • 1/2 salt
  • hot water to just cover tofu
  • 1 cup chopped button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup garlic chives
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili bean sauce ( doubanjiang)
  • 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp fermented black beans( dou – chi)
  • 1 tsp peppercorn powder
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

Directions

In a large bowl, add the water, salt and tofu.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, add the vegetable oil, mushroom, ginger, garlic and spinach.  Stir fry for 3 minutes.   Lower heat.

Add the chilli bean sauce, fermented black beans and cayenne powder.  Stir fry for 1 minute.

Add the vegetable stock, drained tofu pieces, sake, soy sauce and garlic chives.  Stir fry gently for 1 – 2 minutes.  Trying not to break the tofu.

Mix the cornstarch and water into a paste.  Add into the pan with the sesame oil and swirl until thickened. Sprinkle with pepper and spring onions.  Serve over rice.

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mapo tofu vegan