Posts Tagged soy milk

Soy milk nabe

Warming fall food.

Ingredients for soup

  • 1.5 cups of unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 cups of water
  • Chicken powdered bouillon
  • Salt (a pinch)

Bring all to a simmer (NOT boiling!).

Then add:

  • Chopped napa
  • Sliced leeks
  • Baby carrots
  • Cubes of firm tofu
  • Chunks of tilapia (defrosted, first, in our case)
  • Mushrooms would also be a possibility if you have some on hand

Serve piping hot with a sprinkling of shichimi or pepper for an added kick. Don’t forget the rice on the side!

If you have a nabe pot in which this can be made: I’m jealous!

Some notes about nabe from a previous post (and see also this one):

Nabe (short for nabemono) is central to Japanese culture and cuisine. It is essentially a hot pot dish, cooked on the dining table, in which all different types of meat, seafood, and veggies are boiled in a special broth. Everyone is served out of the communal pot on the table, so it brings a warmth and closeness when shared among family and friends. Chankonabe is special, extra-hearty nabe that is a staple in sumo wrestlers’ training diets…which is what we had in Ginza [two years ago]: a million different types of mushrooms (yay!), along with some kind of meat, napa, onions, eggs, tofu, noodles, and some other stuff that I can’t remember. At the lovely home of a friend, we had nabe chock full of succulent oysters (sooo fabulously juicy and briny), white fish, mushrooms, carrots, napa, and and other veggies. Click to see other people’s nabe pics on Google images and a nice one on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/upon/2314309029/

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Soy milk custard with raspberry sauce

Perfect summer dessert

Perfect summer dessert

A rare and beautiful dessert. The recipe is from our shojin ryori cookbook The Enlightened Kitchen.

Custard ingredients:

  • 4 teaspoons powdered kanten
  • 800 ml soymilk
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup

Sauce ingredients:

  • 100 g raspberries (or strawberries, in the original)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

The key to the dish is kanten, which is generally known in English as agar-agar. Since I feel rather silly saying agar-agar, I usually just use the Japanese term (plus, Yusuke then knows what I’m talking about). Kanten is a gelatinous substance derived from seaweed. It has similar properties to gelatin when used for cooking, so it often used in desserts like this in Japan and other east Asian countries. It’s a suitable gelatin substitute for vegetarians and vegans, and it’s extra-healthy, being rich in fiber. I’m interested in vegetarian and vegan foods for reasons of taste and health rather than ethics, but I still feel better about something made from seaweed rather than ungulates’ bones and intestines.

Kanten is sold in packages as dried powder, flakes, or thin strips, which are then dissolved just like gelatin for cooking. We had a bit of a hard time finding it here in Montreal. The Japanese grocery store had some, but it was past the expiry date. We eventually bought it from a super-granola-y health food shop, but even the owner there asked us what it was and how it was used. We’ll have to watch out for other potential sources.

To make the jelly/custard (it’s really neither), the soymilk and kanten are heated in a sauce pan until the powder is dissolved, then maple syrup is added and everything is brought to a boil. It’s immediately removed from the heat, cooled, and then poured into small cups or molds. Refrigerate until set.

For the sauce, the fruit is cooked, stirred, and mashed over low heat for 5-6 minutes. After it’s cool, it is combined with the lemon juice and maple syrup and liquefied in a blender or food processor.

Yusuke served the jelly and sauce in our adorable little custard bowls (bought just for this purpose), but the one pictured above was put in a larger bowl for photography purposes.

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