I adore Japanese food, but at my local Japanese restaurants almost everything contains fish, so unless I make the trek to Cha-Ya I'm out of luck. I make tempura semi-regularly, but for some reason I didn't think I could succeed at making sushi. I decided to try to put together a Japanese vegan feast yesterday to expand my skills, and overall I think it was a success. I used my new Japanese vegan cookbook, Japanese Cooking: Contemporary & Traditional, as inspiration, and found sushi-making tutorials online. My first roll was pretty sloppy, but once I got the hang of keeping the roll tight and not letting the fillings creep out the top of the roll, it turned out pretty good.
Here's a rundown on my menu:
Miso soup with tofu and green onions—I've made miso soup before with a water base, but for this I made a konbu stock, which deepened the flavor.
Kimpira—which consists of burdock root and carrot in a sauce of konbu dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sesame oil. I loved the smoky flavor of this, but the burdock root was very fibrous; I'm not sure if I bought bad burdock, or if that's just how burdock is.
Yam tempura and onigiri. The tempura batter was perfectly light and crisp, the result of using very cold water and not overmixing it. The onigiri were stuffed with umeboshi plums, which are basically sea salt bombs. Not my favorite, but easy to eat around.
Last but not least, sushi with pickled carrots and avocado. I'll be making a whole lot more of these babies.