American-style (stacked) pancakes British (crepe like) pancakes
135g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
1 tsp ground flax
1/2 tsp salt
130 ml almond milk
2 tbsp vegan margarine
Coconut oil for frying / or a light oil of your choice
Sift together the flour, baking powders and salt. Place the almond milk, flax and sugar in a large bowl and using an electric beater or hand whisk, whisk until frothy.
In a small pan or cup, melt the margarine and whisk it into the almond milk mix. Now fold the sifted flour in, turning just until it’s all blended in. Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes.
For these pancakes the batter will be thicker than with the crepe style mix.
Heat your cast iron, nonstick skillet or fry pan, add a quarter teaspoon of coconut oil and as soon as it melts pour a small ladle of the batter directly on top of the coconut oil.
The coconut oil will add flavour and a delicious crispy shell to the pancake.
Let the pancake cook until it looks dry on top, small holes may also appear.
Shrove Tuesday might seem like a bit of an oxymoron for vegans as the idea is to get rid of all the fatty foods like eggs, flour and milk before the beginning of Lent. Just because the vegan lifestyle can sometimes generally lend itself to a Lenten diet doesn’t mean we don’t know how to indulge. Feel free to pour on heaps of Vermont maple syrup and or chocolate sauce to your hearts content.
Traditional British pancake
100g plain flour
1 tbsp ground flax
300ml almond milk
Oil for frying
Simply add all the ingredients to a bowl, then for a sweet pancake add two tablespoons of golden caster sugar, or for a savoury pancake add half a teaspoon of salt. Using an electric beater or hand whisk, whisk until the batter is smooth.
For successful pancakes, a cast iron or nonstick skillet should be used. Taking a clean and dry pan, first heat then use a paper towel to quickly wipe the oil evenly over the surface.
Most supermarkets now sell light cooking oils in spray bottles; one quick spray is also a handy way to oil the hot pan.
Lift the pan off the heat and pour a small ladle of batter onto one side, tilt the pan to allow the batter to flow over the surface and to the edges.
Put the pan back on the heat straight away and cook until the top looks dry and the edges are starting to lift away.
By the time the pancake is cooked through from one side it will be easy to turn it over using a palette knife, but as it’s pancake day you really should at least have a go at the flip.
Try to sharply flip the far end of the pan as you hold it in front of you.
Gyoza, potstickers or dumplings are super easy to make at home. They are perfect as a stand alone snack or as the starter to an asian inspired meal. The gyoza skins can be found in your local asian supermarket in the freezer section. Here is an authentically seasoned gyoza recipe, although you could get creative with the fillings.
Heat a large wok or skillet with the sesame and sunflower oils, add the seeds followed by all the chopped veg and the garlic and ginger. Stir fry everything together, adding an occasional splash of water until the leeks are soft and the mushrooms just beginning to brown. Season with the tamari and black pepper and set the pan aside to cool.
Place a good teaspoon of the mixture in the centre of the gyoza skin. Wet one side of the skin with water close to the edge and then bring the two side together, pressing firmly around the edges. As you make the gyoza remember to keep them covered with cling film or a slightly damp cloth, as the pastry will dry out too quickly.
The bamboo steamer baskets are the best for steaming, the dumplings will take around 10 minutes to cook. It’s optional, but the gyoza can then be deep fried or pan fried on each side until crispy.
250g pack of arborio rice
1 medium onion
3 or 4 cloves or more crushed garlic
couple of glasses of white wine
approximately 500ml of veg stock
100ml olive oil
1 good bunch of basil
teaspoon of seasalt
juice of half a lemon
a good hand full of crushed sunflower seeds
1 block of norimu silken tofu
Start by fine dicing the onion, take a good sized pan and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil, add the onion and gently sauté until soft and beginning to colour. Add a full glass of white wine and let it boil and reduce slightly, now add the rice, let the rice sauté with the onion and wine on a medium to high heat, when the wine has evaporated and the rice is beginning to fry start to add some stock, just 100ml and a little more wine, turn the heat to a low to medium heat, cover and let the rice absorb the stock, keep a close eye on it, give the rice a stir then add another 100ml of the stock. Cover and let the rice absorb each 100ml of stock before adding the next. When finished the rice should be plump and with no liquid left. Spread the rice out on a tray to cool.
Wash and dry the basil, put it in your blender pot with a good 100ml of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, the stick blender will reduce this to oil in a minute. If the oil seems really thick add a little more olive oil, we need enough to turn it through the rice and to flavour the mayonnaise.
Place the cooled rice in a large bowl or pan and using a clean hand fold the rest of the basil oil through the rice, add some crushed sunflower seeds, fresh ground sea salt and black pepper.
Optional additions at this point could be grated vegusto cheese, almond parmesan, fine chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes or other fresh chopped herbs.
Take golf ball sized scoops of rice, squash the rice together in your hand and using both palms roll in to a ball, it takes a little practice, use your fingers to help keep the rice together. I’ve seen arancini served nearly the size of tennis balls, it’s up to you.
Place the panko crumbs in a large bowl or plastic box, drizzle over olive oil while stiring in with a fork, just enough to turn the crumbs oily looking, stir through a little salt.
Put the cornflour in a round bottomed bowl and add water making a non see through milky liquid. Place three or four arancini balls at a time in the cornflour water, gently swirl the bowl around coating the arancini, use your left hand to take the arancini from the water and drop them on to the panko, use your right hand to shake the crumbs over the balls, and your right hand to take them out and place them on a tray ready for the oven, got it? a non messy way to panée food.
To finish, bake the arancini on a high heat, 200c for 7-8 minutes till just golden. Alternatively, arancini can also be deep fried and are often served this way.
For the mayonnaise dip
In another measuring jug or blender pot place the drained silken tofu, lemon juice and 1/3 of the basil oil. Blitz this using the stick blender, adding salt and pepper to taste.
I’m sure this is the nicest non deep fried vegan arancini recipe you’ll find anywhere on the net.
By Sahar Razi
For two people – total cooking time – over an hour.
1 red or green pepper
2-3 large onions if you are making a larger portion – add more onion
400g tin of tomatoes
50g tomato paste
250g Greek style soy yogurt
Lebanese bread (thin and round pockets) (I cut these up into quarter triangles)
3 cloves of garlic
1 fresh chilli
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
Sauce (cooking time 25 minutes)
1. Chop the onions and then fry them with olive oil on low heat until golden and soft. Add a tin of plum tomatoes and then mash them up. Add a quarter of a tube of tomato paste and half a cup of water. Add salt, pepper and chilli.
2. Then simmer on the lowest heat for at least 20 minutes. Taste for flavour, add more salt and pepper where necessary.
Aubergine (cooking time 20 minutes)
3. Chop the washed aubergines and pepper into rounds about 2-3cm thick. Discard ends.
4. Prepare a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil.
5. Heat about one tablespoon of sunflower oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Then add a sprinkling of salt (this stops the oil splattering everywhere).
6. Add one layer of aubergine. Lower the temperature. The oil will immediately absorb the aubergine. This is ok, but keep frying the aubergine until it is golden on one side. Then flip the aubergine and fry on the other side. Again add a sprinkling of salt to the aubergine. You will notice that the skin of the aubergines changes colour and also shrinks. I usually flip one more time until both sides are golden.
7. Repeat this frying process until you have fried all the aubergine. Now fry the pepper in the same way.
Casserole dish (baking time 30 minutes)
8. Use a rectangle casserole dish. Spoon some sauce on the bottom of the dish until you have covered the surface. Add a layer of aubergine. Add a layer of sauce. Repeat until you have used all the aubergine.
9. Then decoratively put the pepper on the top. Cover with foil and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes. Take it out at 15 minutes and check. The sauce should be simmering. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.
10. Mix the yogurt with the crushed garlic. Then add a sprinkle of salt. Put 3/4 of the yogurt on a platter and smooth it out all over the platter.
11. Then add all of the aubergine and sauce in sections over the platter. Put the pepper on the top again in a decorative manner. Put the remaining yogurt/garlic mix on dollops over the platter.
12. Sprinkle dried mint all over the platter.
“Do you have any kimchi that doesn’t have MSG (Monosodium glutamate), anchovy or shrimp?” I asked.
“No” Centre Point staff answered.
“You use to stock it, why don’t you sell it anymore?” I asked.
“Make your own” Centre Point staff answered.
Well, I just might do that. I thought.
It took me another year and a day to finally make some kimchi.
I love Korean food and of course, kimchi. I would grab one of those manufactured kimchi packets kept in the refrigerated section of the Chinese supermarket. The kind of kimchi no self-respecting Korean would ever eat. As I worked in the Covent Garden area it was convenient to do a spot of shopping on my break. I’m an ingredient reader, if nothing else. So, I’d pick up the packet to make sure there was no shrimp or anchovy listed among the ingredients. MSG was of some concern, but if the kimchi didn’t contain fish ingredients I was good to go. All of a sudden, I noticed that none of the kimchi kept in the refrigerated section was vegetarian. The reason for this I have yet to find out, but it meant that my convenience packet kimchi days were over. It’s not like kimchi is difficult to make or the ingredients are hard to source, at least not in London. What put me off making my own kimchi was the garlic. Don’t get me wrong; I love garlic. Roasted garlic, spaghetti alla puttanesca, garlic mashed potatoes, but these are all forms of cooked garlic. I admit I had a fear of raw garlic. I was afraid the smell of garlic was going to take over my fridge, spread through out the kitchen and then engulf the entire house. My fears were not completely unfounded. I once brought some kimchi to work and ate it at my desk. Surprisingly, none of my colleagues said anything, but it didn’t stop the perceived vapour of shame from emanating from my pores.
I vowed to never do that again.
My love of kimchi is much stronger than my concern for raw garlic. It’s safe to say that I must have gotten over my raw garlic phobia. What took me so long, I really don’t know.
So on Friday, I visited Centre Point to pick up a few ingredients for my kimchi making session on Saturday. The two main ingredients I needed to find were Napa cabbage to make (baechu kimchi) and Korean chili powder (kochukaru). Substituting either of these ingredients just won’t do, you have to buy the kochukaru and preferably the coarse one. As far as peppers go Kochukara is not particularly hot, but it helps to give kimchi that crisp, pungent and refreshing kick that will make your mouth happy.
Garlic, ginger, sugar, red pepper powder (coarse), spring onions
First, I wasted some time visiting a few shops in China town, such as See Woo, thinking they might carry a few Korean food items. Then I tried to remember where the Korean food store I had visited in Soho was. Rain was predicted for 4pm and as usual I was cycling around town and didn’t want to get rained on. Back to Centre Point. I was looking for at least a 500g or 1kg bag of the Korean chili powder, but they only had the 227g size and I wasn’t sure it would be enough to make more than one napa cabbage load of kimchi.
Get on down to K-Town
If I am to start my monthly kimchi making practice, I guess I will have to make a trip down to New Malden, Surrey to purchase bulk supplies. It’s been at least ten years since I took a trip to New Malden or New-Mal-dong, home of the largest Korean community in London and possibly Europe. If you check out the address listed on the back of many of the Korean food products you’ll notice the wholesalers are located there. Korea Foods Co. Ltd seems to pop up a lot.
When I lived in NYC I visited Koreatown often. If I was in the vicinity it was always a good excuse to treat myself to some mandoo. When a good friend moved to L.A. she took me on a tour of L.A.’s Koreatown located in the Mid-Wilshire district. As you can imagine there is a lot of hustle and bustle in Koreatown. Within this sprawling concrete jungle she managed to find restaurants with vast outdoor seating and lush landscaped areas hidden away from street view.
Until I can make a trip to Seoul, K-Town will have to do.
Garlic, ginger, sugar, red pepper powder, pear
Kimchi is good for the Seoul
It’s tasty and it’s also touted as one of the world’s healthiest foods.
According to Health magazine it’s “loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but it’s biggest benefit may be in its (healthy bacteria) called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.”
On Tuesday when the kimchi will be ready (fermented), I can’t wait to make Kimchi Fried Rice (Kimchi Bokkeumbap), Tofu Mushroom Hot Pot (Dubu-busut Jeongol), Soft Tofu Stew (Soondubu jjigae), Kimchi pancake (Kimchijeon or Kimchi jeon).
1 head of large Napa cabbage
1 cup of Korean chili powder (kochukaru)
40g crushed garlic
5g chopped ginger
2 bunches of spring onions
1 pureed pear
1. Split the cabbage into quarters keeping the root intact.
2. Sprinkle course salt evenly between all the cabbage leaves. After about 10 minutes, immerse the cabbage in a container of salted water (1 part salt: 2 parts water). Let the cabbage soak for about six hours. Turning it occasionally about ten times during the process.
3. Rinse the salted cabbage at least twice and let it drain for about 2 to 3 hours. It’s important not to over-salt the cabbage. Leaves should remain slightly crisp.
4. Combine and stir the Korean chili powder, sugar, ginger, garlic, and pear. Then add the strips of spring onion. Mix well.
5. Coat each cabbage quarter with a generous amount of filling, making sure it gets between each leaf.
6. Let it ferment for two to three days in a cool area or in the refrigerator.
Adapted from a recipe included in the Korean Tourism Organization booklet Korean Cuisine: Refresh Your Senses.
Also check out this kimchi recipe from the Vegan 8 Korean website which includes vegan mushroom oyster sauce and kelp.
I want to hear how your kimchi making session turns out. Leave your comments below.
Risotto usually calls for eggs, cheese, more cheese, butter and sometimes cream. I’m not sure why the classic recipe calls for eggs in the first place because if you cook the rice correctly you don’t need the egg to bind it together. What’s great about this recipe is you get to taste the flavor instead of coating your palate with fat.
Sweat fine diced onion in olive oil till soft and translucent but not browned in a large shallow pan. Add gloves of peeled and crushed garlic. Grind and add black pepper. Add the rice and sauté for 5 minutes or until the outer rice kernel changes colour while constantly stirring. As the rice starts to cook add an optional glass of white wine. Start to add the stock half a cup at a time. Keep the heat low and let each addition of stock absorb into the rice before adding the next half cup. The rice should be just cooked or “al dente” and sticky enough to form into balls.
Making the risotto will take at least 25 minutes. Lay the rice out on a tray and cool in the refrigerator.
Once cooled make golf size balls and roll into the cornflour liquid then dredge in bread crumbs or panko to fry.
Turn on the fryer and let it heat until the temperature gauge indicates 170 – 190 C. Fry the arancini 4 or 5 at a time depending on the size of the fryer. Cook to a golden brown.
It is a fabulous crumb cake. You can pretty much use any fruit, but strawberries are particular nice this time of year. So far, I have made this recipe using raspberries, red cherries and blueberries and they have all been delicious. You really cannot go wrong with this recipe.
For the cake:
160g self-raising flour
50g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
180 ml soy milk
120 ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
100g strawberry jam
For the topping:
125g all purpose flour
70g brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
60 ml sunflower oil
Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 23cm square cake tin. Measure the soy milk and add the apple cider vinegar then set aside to curdle.
In a large mixing bowl, resift the flour with the baking powder, salt and 50g of sugar. In a separate bowl, combine the curdled soy milk, sugar, sunflower oil and pure vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Spread mixture in tin. Drop dollops of jam on the mixture and use a knife to swirl it in.
In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, sunflower oil, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix with a fork until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top of cake mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.
200g Jasmine rice
400g Black-eye peas (tin), rinsed and drained
400ml/14½fl oz water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. sunflower oil vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
Wash the rice at least twice to rinse off the starch.
In a medium size pot add the rice, peas, sunflower oil, bay leaf, salt, pepper and cold water.
Cover and bring to the boil. After a few minutes reduce the heat to simmering and cook for about 20 minutes. All the liquid should be absorbed and the rice tender and fluffy. If the liquid has evaporated, but the rice is not tender, add a little more water and continue cooking.
Prosperity Lentil Soup
Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Mint
350g Red split lentils
400g Tomatoes (can)
1.5 Liters of water
1 Large onion
1 Medium bulb of garlic
3 tablespoons Dried mint
2 tablespoons Tomato paste
1-½ Marigold stock cubes
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Fine dice the onion. Place the onion and olive oil place in a deep saucepan on a medium flame sauté for 5 minutes until translucent stirring occasionally.
Peel and crush all the cloves from the bulb of garlic and add the garlic to the onions and allow to sauté for a further 2-3 minutes.
Next, add the red lentils, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, water, stock cubs and mint. Add a few twists of fresh black pepper to season.
Bring the soup to a gentle simmer cover and let cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours finally season with some sea salt.
Garnish with sumac and lemon juice.
This soup will keep in the refrigerator for a few days and even tastes better the day after.