Fermented, nutrients-packed exotic ingredients, delicious seasonings – traditional Japanese and Buddhist cuisine were my inspiration for these five simple, healthy, yummy recipes; vegan and gluten-free.
Japan-Inspired Everyday Menu
All recipes yield 2 servings, which I find a highly scalable measurement.
Ingredients marked bold are explained in the end of the article.
MASHED POTATOES WITH MISO & YAKI SHIITAKE
For yaki shiitake
Shiitake – a handful per person
Scallions – four 4-5 cm chunks per person (use the rest finely chopped for the mashed potatoes)
Tamari soya sauce
And a griddle pan
For the mashed potatoes
A large bowl of mashed potatoes prepared with plant milk (I prefer rice-quinoa for the rich, grain-like taste) and seasoned with nutmeg to taste
Shiro miso (1 tablespoon)
Shiitake and scallion chunks are lightly brushed with oil, then grilled until soft. Make a sauce using 2 parts soya sauce and 1 part genmai su – and since you don’t want to drench the veggies and the shiitake in the mix, just season it, let the “parts” be mocca spoons – and brush the grilled goods with it.
Mashed potatoes are seasoned with the delicate shiro miso to obtain a fine umami taste. One tablespoon is enough for a bowl. Lastly, fold in the rest of the scallions, chopped.
AMAZAKE-SWEETENED PANCAKES WITH UMEBOSHI & MISO TOAST
For four pancakes
1 egg (or egg replacer)
20 g linseed flour
45 g gluten-free flour
130 ml apple spritzer or rice drink
80 g amazake
Cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest
For the mango sauce
1 cup frozen mango cubes
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon kuzu powder
(Sweetener to taste, for example, coconut sugar)
For the miso toast
(Gluten-free) bread for toasting
Makes for a delicious Sunday breakfast!
In a bowl, whisk the egg – or the egg replacer. Add dry ingredients, add liquids and whisk to obtain a viscous, thick batter. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat, when hot, spoon the batter to form four pancakes into the skillet and cook. Depending on the skillet, you’ll have to turn the pancakes several times.
In a blender, blend mango pieces with orange juice to obtain a smoothie-like liquid. Thicken with kuzu and set aside to cool.
Toast the bread and top it with shiro miso and nori flakes – simple but absolutely delicious!
Serve the pancakes with juice, umeboshi and toast.
80 g soba noodles (and personally, I love the 100% buckwheat soba noodles, but Terra Sana also have another variety that even buckwheat refuseniks like: buckwheat and sweet potato)
Vegetable broth with ginger to taste; I use vegan, palm-oil-free broth cubes by Sonnentor
Sliced cucumber/ a chunk of about 4 cm length
Three chilli peppers, chopped
¼ red onion, cut in halves
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
Cook soba noodles in the veggie broth according to the packaging suggestions, usually you add the noodles to boiling water or broth and let them simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Drain, quickly add the oil and stir very thoroughly to prevent the noodles from becoming one solid clump. (I’m serious! It’s their life’s mission!) Then, blend in the veggies and top with sesame seeds.
GENMAICHA & CACAO CHIA PUDDING
Matcha, 1 matcha spoon
Matcha xylitol blend, 2 tablespoons or more to taste
Cacao, 2 teaspoons
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Chia seeds, dark and white, 1 tablespoon each
Genmai for decoration
Dried raspberries for decoration
(Optional: gold powder for decoration)
In one bowl, mix cacao, coconut sugar, dark chia seeds and approx. 60 ml of rice drink or coconut milk drink. In another, blend matcha, xylitol, and white chia seeds with 60 ml rice drink, coconut milk drink, or quinoa rice drink. Let the two mixtures set until thick and pudding-like – you can also use less chia or more liquid, depending on your preferences. Once the “puddings” have set, spoon into dessert bowls. Sprinkle genmai, the roasted brown rice between the chocolate and the matcha puddings. Decorate with dried raspberries dipped into gold powder.
CITRUS MATCHA SMOOTHIE
250 ml pomegranate juice
½ pink grapefruit
A handful of frozen greens (kale, spinach…)
A pinch of matcha tea
A Vitamix or a similar blender
Blend. Serve in tall glasses decorated with ultra-thin pink grapefruit slices. Another beverage that goes very well with the recipes is Voelkel’s unsweetened Rosemary Grapefruit Water, an organic white tea, fruit and herb infusion that I just recently discovered in our local organic supermarket.
Japan-inspired Menu: What is…?
Amazake: fermented rice paste used as a sweetener. It’s rich in B vitamins, folic acid, dietary fiber, oligosaccharide, cysteine, arginine and glutamine. Terra Sana offer several varieties in their Japan Cuisine range.
Genmai: literally brown rice, but means roasted, popped brown rice usually added to green tea (genmaicha). Has a rich, nutty flavour. Genmai usually are available from tea specialty shops such as my favourite tea supplier Tee Kontor Kiel.
Genmai su: vinegar made from brown rice.
Kuzu/ kudzu powder: starch powder from kudzu plant root that’s used as a thickener for sauces or cakes.
Nori: edible seaweed, rich in iodine. Don’t over-indulge in nori, however – recent studies link Vitamin B12 deficiency to nori intake.
Shiro miso: literally white miso, it’s the mildest, almost sweet miso variety that’s ideal for dips, sauces and soups.
Soba: buckwheat noodles used in soups and salads. Terra Sana generally offer the largest variety of soup noodles free from grains: with sweet potato, with wakame, with black rice and so on.
Tamari: a salt reduced soya sauce, I’m using an organic and wheat-free product.
Umeboshi: ume is a Japanese apricot variety, and umeboshi are pickled ume. Umeboshi have an extremely salty, tangy taste and a contrasting sweet, rich, almost cherry-like aroma. I’m using Terra Sana umezuke (this is the Japanese name for non-dried umeboshi).
Because we couldn’t find umeboshi, mild amazake and kudzu powder in Berlin, Terra Sana were so friendly to send us press samples for the BEAUTYCALYPSE recipe ideas and experiments. We first discovered the Japan Cuisine line at this year’s Biofach and loved all the delicious, gluten-free and grain-free options.