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Vegan Stew with Sake Lees 粕汁 [野菜穀物レシピ 冬]

日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報サイト "Hachidory" を ご覧ください。

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The colder the weather becomes, the clearer the sky becomes.

That is the characteristic of winter in Kanto area of Japan.

Though the cold air sometimes makes me sigh,

the bright blue sky also does so when I look it up.

That is the best part of  winter here.

The other day, I spent a few hours for driving to see Mt. Fuji.

Mt. Fuji looks most beautiful in winter.

It was freezing cold there, and I had the coldest sensation I've ever had.  

But Mt. Fuji was just breathtaking.


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View from Lake Yamanakako

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Top of Mt. Fuji

That was the most beautiful Mt. Fuji that I had ever seen.

"Magnificent", "Godlike".   Those were the words that came up to me.

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Mt. Fuji and Lake Yamanakako

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Lake Yamanakako was frozen, and ice patterns were so beautiful !

I do recommend you to visit Fuji 5 Lakes to view this stunning view of Mt. Fuji if you visit Japan in winter.

Yes, it is still very cold in the morning here.

So I am going to introduce you another poka poka dish for you today.

(poka poka is an onomatopoeia to express the feeling or sense that make us warm and comfortable.)

There is an important ingredient for it.

That is "Sakekasu". 

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"Sakekasu " is the by product of sake/ Japanese rice wine, and this word is usually translated to "rice wine lees".

During sake making process, there is a stage that wine is extracted from the fermented rice by pressing.  

"Sakekasu" is the ramainder left in the bag.

Unlike soy pulp which is the by-product of soy mik, "sakekasu" has creamy texture, and it has an alcoholic smell as you may be imagining.

It is a mighty ingredent for my cooking.

It can

turn the soy milk into yoghurt,

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raise the bread dough working as a yeast,

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It can aso produce cheesey texture and taste.

Thererfore I can make

vegan yoghurt

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tofu cheese

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vegan cheese cake

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vegan parmesan cheese

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with "Sakekasu".

I am going to show you how to make a traditional and most popular sakekasu dish in Japan today.

As it is such a unique ingredient, I have not found any replacement for sakekasu.

So this recipe can be replicated if you can get the "sakekasu".



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Vegan Ramen  ビーガンラーメン [野菜穀物レシピ 冬]

日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報サイト ”Hachidory" を ご覧ください。

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Which do you prefer winter or summer ?

This is a question we often ask each other among friends and family since I was small.

When the summer came, I used to think I prefer winter, and the winter came, I used to think I prefer summer.

Now my answer is always the same.

I definately prefer hot season.

When it is cold, I do not want to get out of futon, Japanese bed in the morning, and am reluctant to move around even within a house.  

I often ended up staying in a kitchen whole day. 

"Lazy" may be is the best word to describe myself in the winter, though I actually do not like to be lazy. 

Because of this hardship - might sound exaggerated for those who prefer winter- , my meal time with piping hot soup and bath time in 42℃ hot water are super happiest moments for me. ( You may be wondering why I am so precise, but temperature of Japanese bath is usually controled by 1℃ unit, and it is not hot enough if it is 41℃, and it is too hot if it is 43℃ for me.) 

I cook most of my food with clay pots during winter.

The food cooked with clay pots is not only hot and can maintain its high temperature, but also very gentle in its taste and texture.   

I am showing off some of my clay pots today.

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They look the same, right ?

Yes, they are same, but different in sizes.

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These claypots are most freqently used in my cooking, and are often used for cooking rice, making soup and simmer the red beans.

I sometimes encounter very attractive clay pots and am tempted to get them, but I have to give up because I don't have any more space to keep them.

If I had much space and money, I'm sure I would be a clay pot collecter !

Well, I move to introduce the recipe of January 2018.

I am going to show you how to make vegan Ramen today!


"Ramen" is not a traditional Japanese food though I know it is very popular as Japanese food even in overseas nowdays.  

The noodles usually made from wheat, water, pH balance additives to make the noodle texture firm, and quite often with eggs, coloring and oil.

Therefore you'd better check the ingredient list when you purchase ramen noodles.

"Udon" noodles which is usually made from wheat, water and salt only is healthier alternative, and suitable for this recipe too. 

Look for fresh thinner udon for a replacement of ramen.

As introducing instant food using the ready made ingredient is not something that I can boast, I am also going to show you how to make "Shiraganegi" (literally means white hair leek).  

It is a bit time consuming work, so if you think it is too much, you can skip it, and top up with plenty of blanched bean sprouts instead.

But "Shiraganegi" is very usuful for other dishes too, and can make the food very presentable, so try it if you want to improve your cooking skill.

Let's get started !


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Vegan Potato Salad ビーガンポテトサラダ [野菜穀物レシピ オールシーズン]

日本語のレシピは ビーガン情報サイト” Hachidory " から ご覧下さい

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Tomorrow is " Tohji " .

My heart is lighten up when I think of it as it has been sooo cold in the morning and evening here in Moroyama, Saitama, Japan.   

I just can't wait for the spring to come already.

Though I know the coldness will be harsher in January, I feel a sense of relief as I know that from the day after tomorrow, the sun starts rising earlier and setting later day by day.

Does your culture have special custom or event on the day of winter solictice ?

In Japan, we enjoy our bath with lots of Yuzu, yellow color winter citron.

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It is said that the strong fragrance of Yuzu keep evil spirits away, and also that we will not catch cold in coming coldest season.

There is also custom to eat pumpkin on this day.

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Pumpkin and Red Beans, food prescription to improve kidney function.

So I am thinking to make and eat the pumpkin dumplings, and enjoy the aroma of Yuzu during my bath time.   

( If you have thought that you also want to try it, be caoutious.  For some who have delicate skin, it could cause the rashes.  May be try with a few pieces first.)

My town produces many kinds of fruit, nuts and grains all the year round as the land is fertile, I guess.

But Yuzu is special. 

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The town boasts that Yuzu started from this town in Japan. 

When I take a walk, those sweet looking yellow fruit are waiting for me wherever I go.  

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You can see how I enjoy Yuzu in this season from the entry of two years ago.

I've talked lots about Yuzu, but the recipe I am going to introduce today is not related to it.  

It is something suitable for coming Christmas !

Chiristmas in Japan is celebrated in a family with small kids or between the unmarried couples. 

It is not a traditional celebration nor a holiday as most Japanese are non Christians. 

It is just a day of having fun.

If I ask the kids what is the Chtistmas, they often answer

 " The day for getting presents and eating a whole cake decorated with cream and strawberries."

For me, it is the season that I can enjoy cooking vegan Christmas dishes, and have a party with kids.

I am sharing one of such recipes with you today....


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Simmered Taro / Shiroiro Koimo 白色小芋 [野菜穀物レシピ 秋]

日本語のレシピは ビーガンサイト ”Hachidory" で ご覧ください。

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The leaves turned yellow and red has started falling.

Yes, the autumn is short, shorter than any other seasons.

May be because of that, I always feel like clinging to this season.

Seeing the falling leaves is something that does not make you feel warm.

It brings a sense of loneliness, but with a kind of solomness.

It is not so bad to see the falling leaves after all.

On the contrary to this sense of depletion, our appetite jump up in fall season.

Fortunately, it is the season of harvest too, and the nature blesses us plenty of staples.

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The newly harvested rice is moist and sweet.

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The ginko nuts fallen from the trees can be picked up from the ground as much as I want, and they are plump and chewy.

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The sweet potatoes are sweet and starchy.

The carrots are getting juicier and sweeter.

It is the principle of the nature that our appetite increse when the nature produeces much staples.

So don't go for diet from the autumn to the winter !

Because our bodies unlikely want to slim down during these seasons, and resist to all the attempts made by you as they try to accumulate the fats by any means.

Anyway, believe it or not, it is such a waste not to enjoy those tasty and powerful seasonal grains and vegetables.

Today, I am sharing one of the seasonal Japanese vegetable recipe with you.

"Satoimo" is the Japanese name, and it is often translated to "taro" in English.

But unlike the taro which is the main staple in the tropical regions, satoimo is usually harvested in cold season here in Saitama.

It is very slimy, and many Japanese people enjoy this unique texture.

They are often simmered with dashi soup stock and soy sauce. 

I like to steam them and eat with various sauce that I made.

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It can be a nice ingredient for Miso soup too.

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These are the patties with mashed satoimo, hijiki sea vegetable and grated lotus root.

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Satoimo cannot be omitted for "Konyasai no Umani "/ simmered root vegetables.

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I deep-fry them once a season for my son.

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Which one do you want to  learn ?

I chose the one that experimented recently and turned out very tasty.

There you go !


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Vegan Yoguhrt ビーガンヨーグルト [野菜穀物レシピ オールシーズン]

日本語のレシピは ベジタリアン・ビーガン情報サイト ”Hachidory" から ご覧ください。

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At last the blue sky is back here after having long wet wet days in October.

Actually the October is  the second most comfortable month here in Saitama, Japan.  Not hot, not cold and not rainy.

But it seems that somebody high up in the sky wanted to change it this year, probably thinking it is good for us to have cold rainy days .

Not too bad....

We can always find something that can keep ourselves occupied or to enjoy ourselves, no matter if it rains or not.

How fortunate we are to have freedom to move around, to feel the fresh air, to decide what to do, to have dream for the future. 

The autumn is also the season of harvests.

Rice, chestnuts, ginkonuts, wallnuts, sweet potatoes, persimmons, etc....

I often feel like plucking the nuts and fruits when I see them growing on the trees.

I think that impulsive emotion is an instinct as a living creature.

The most prominet tree in this season is the persimmon as its orange color of the fruit stands out in the scenery of autumn.

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The most common type of persimmon in this region.

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The persimmon leaves are so beautiful and I always bring them back home when I found the leaves on the grounds.

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This picture was taken in June.  The persimmon was still green color.

Many people have persimmon tress in their gardens, so I can enjoy lots of them during this season.  ( but I have to be careful not to eat too much as the persimmon is Yin and cooling . )

These are the dishes that I prviously shared the recipes in this blog.

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Salad with persimmon, mizuna and wallnuts

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Salad with persimmon and Japanese white turnip

Below is the another persimmon dish called "Shiraae" in Japanese, and literally it means "mixed with white".
The persimmon is mixed with the paste made of tofu and white sesame seeds.
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The recipe that I am going to introduce you today is not persimmon recipe, but soy milk yoghurt.

It goes very well with persimmon and other autumn harvested fruit such as grapes and pears.

There are more than a few ways of making vegan yoghurt.

I usually use soy milk, and make different taste of yoghurt by adding different kind of ingredients to develp into yoghurt which is rich in lactic acid.

Lactic aid increases good bacteria, so to be called probiotic bacteria in our intestine.  

It is especially beneficial to those who tend to have bowel movement problems.

Today I am going to show you one of the three methods, which requires only soy milk and brown rice for ingredients, and very easy to make.


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