Posts tagged under: Kimchi

Vegan Peasant Round up for 2013

Posted on January 5th, 2014 · By admin

Welcome to our Vegan Peasant Round up for 2013. 2013 maybe the best vegan year yet so 2014 can only get better with talk of the first vegan supermarket chain Veganz coming to London, mainstream media addressing unsustainable meat consumption and the veggie curious eating more plant-based meals. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014. Enjoy!

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice

Korean Food

Korean food maybe a trend for some that’s set to take the capital by storm, but for those in the know it is here to stay. While there are no dedicated Korean vegan restaurants in London yet, temple cuisine is an established part of Korean cuisine due to the introduction of Buddhism. A number of dishes are naturally vegan or can be veganised like bibimbop, pajeon and kongjang. And if you’re feeling adventurous you can even make your own kimchi.



Last month the California Department of Public Health shut down the sriracha factory for a period of 30 days. At first the residents of Irwindale, where one of the factories is based, complained about the smell and now regulators say they must comply with some dubious safety regulations, as sriracha is a raw product. Note that this product has been on the market for more than 30 years. Now fans of the red rooster chili sauce are facing an impending #srirachapocalypse. Someone, anyone tell me – have you ever known a hot sauce to go off?


Ms. Cupcake

Ms. Cupcake’s first book Ms. Cupcake: The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town came out in May 2013. The art direction, photograph and bombproof recipes made it the highlight of any cookbook collection. If you didn’t grab yourself a copy then I implore you to do so now. In case you were wondering it’s not all cupcakes. Bakes, cookies and wonderfully inventive slices are all represented too.


Is 2013 the year vegan went mainstream

Or the year of the celebrity vegan? Not that I follow celebrities mind you, but they are pretty hard to ignore when they are posing naked for a PETA campaign. Nevertheless, it was hard not to notice Beyonce and Jay Z’s 22 day vegan diet. Especially when Beyonce walked into a vegan restaurant wearing some other animal’s skin. While witnessing such a scene maybe incongruous and somewhat off putting you have to remember that not everyone has embraced the vegan lifestyle, some people are transitioning and some people are on a cleanse. In all fairness they never said they were going vegan that was the media’s doing. Jay Z’s statement mentioned the words plant-based and spirituality.

Note: Al Gore also went vegan this year to very little fanfare.


Get more fermented foods into your life

I’m sure you already know all about probiotics, the live microorganisms that are similar to the good bacteria that reside in your gut. When your body is overflowing with good bacteria it keeps the bad bacteria at bay and makes it harder for the illness causing bacteria to take root. It’s a good job so many of these friendly bacteria-laced foods are so yummy: kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, yogurt, miso, tempeh and my person fave kimchi.


We should all be feminists

“I’ve never thought it made sense to leave such a crucial thing, the ability to nourish one’s self, in the hands of others.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston

This 30-minute talk by one of my favorite authors is awesome so you should listen to it. The entire speech is quotable. Of course, I had to find the food quote in order to include it in this round up.


Horsemeat Scandal

In the winter of 2013 all hell broke lose when it was discovered that phenylbutazone laced horsemeat was being sold as beef to the unsuspecting UK supermarket consumer. As I couldn’t feign collective outrage with the rest of the cow eaters and mystery flesh eating public I just hoped the ‘crisis’ convinced a few people to go vegan.


Guardian link bait

I usually don’t go in for new year’s resolutions, but I’ve decided that in 2014 I’m going to spend less time surfing news sites. How can this article titled: Relax, it’s no longer weird to be a vegan be anything other than click bait? This article may have been conceived just for the pleasure of trolls, but we know the guardian can do better because last month they ran: Peak meat: is animal consumption falling out of style in the US?


I hope you have enjoyed this 2013 round up. It was a ton of fun to put together. Please consider forwarding it to a friend who might enjoy it. If it was forwarded to you, you can sign up right here.

And of course, if you want to talk to us about any of your catering needs just ask us.

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Posted on November 21st, 2013 · By admin


Nisha & Kayras’ Wedding

Diana and Adrian prepared and served delicious canapés for our wedding party in August. They were very open to creating a bespoke menu for us since the guest list included a number of varying food preferences. We talked about quite a few options over the weeks leading up to the event, but when I heard they make their own homemade kimchi, there was no going back.

One of my favourite aspects of Vegan Peasant Catering is that they do not attempt to mimic the ‘usual suspects’ in their menu. VPC does not retrofit dishes to make them vegan, Diana and Adrian can apply an incredibly creative hand to coming up with unique and tasty concoctions that just happen to be animal product-free and often gluten-free as well.

Although, I come from a mostly vegetarian culture, even vegan food is a stretch for some members of my family. However, they were all extremely impressed with the quality, flavours and presentation of the canapés. My mom even asked me to get the recipes so she could try them out next time she hosts a party! There is no doubt in my mind. I would recommend Vegan Peasant Catering to friends, family and colleagues for their special events.

Nisha Kapadia Bhesania, Wedding Hertfordshire,  4th August 2013

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My Kimchi Story

Posted on May 21st, 2013 · By admin

My Kimchi (Kimchee) Story

“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.

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage

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

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

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.”

Kimchi Recipe

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).

Whole Cabbage Kimchi



1 head of large Napa cabbage
1 cup of Korean chili powder (kochukaru)
40g crushed garlic
10g sugar
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.


Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice

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Top 10 things you will love in 2013

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 · By admin

Top 10 things you will love in 2013

The 10 best food things for 2013 and it does not include a sous-vide. It is ok if you want to retitle this piece as predictions for 2013. I am new to forecasting, but that doesn’t mean I’m a novice. Get back to me at the end of the year and we’ll see how I did.

cast iron wok

cast iron wok

1. Cast-iron cookware

Le Creuset is ok, but I talking about the cookware you have to season, wash correctly and that gets passed down.

tomato knife

tomato knife

2. Tomato Knife

I bet you didn’t know you needed one of these, but as they say you need the right tool for the right job. Not only will this knife keep you from butchering those tomatoes, but it will keep your other knives sharper, longer.



3. Pulled Jackfruit

What can I say you haven’t lived until you’ve had a pulled jackfruit sandwich, bbq style.



4. Kimchi

The last time, I was at Centre Point buying glass noodles, I decided while I’m here, I may as well pick up some kimchi. Everyone of those foil sealed packs had either fish sauce or msg or both as an ingredient. I asked the guy behind the counter why they were no longer stocking vegan and msg-free foil packaged kimchi. He said go make your own – I just might do that.

5. Sofrito

So Free Toh – it sounds great, so naturally it makes everything taste great. It’s the base for Caribbean, Latin American, and Spanish cooking and where so many good things start.

6. Picked everything – Just kidding!

Nothing against Branston Pickled Onions, but I’m talking about the ones that are best eaten the week they are made.

sriracha sauce

sriracha sauce

7. Sriracha – Riding the Red Rooster

Sriracha pancakes, sriracha hummus, sriracha ice cream ?!? just maybe the secret sauce you’ve been looking for. This garlic chili sauce is of Thai origin, but is found in most Asian grocery stores.

cinnamon rolls

cinnamon rolls

8. Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon is good for you; cinnamon rolls not so good, but do you need an excuse to eat cinnamon rolls – me thinks not.

crock pot

crock pot

9. Crockpot vs. Pressure Cooker

Again, this is a case of using the right tools for the right job, but some folks swear by one or the other so I’m going to leave this one up to you.

sabatier knife

sabatier knife

10. Sharp knives

There are some beautiful high spec Japanese cooks knives, but you will never go wrong with a good Sabatier or Swiss make Victorinox. You can never have enough knives, but make sure they are kept nice and sharp. Remember, a dull knife is a dangerous knife.

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