Archive for ‘Vegetable’

May 6, 2012

Chickpea Burger

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


I am experimenting on how to make a Vegan burger, using all sorts of different veggies and lentils. I’ve tried kidney beans, soy beans, mung beans, potatoes, pumpkins and lotus roots. There has been success and failure (^-^;), but the one I’m introducing today is a definite success. My daughter Yumi ate 2 of it with her own hands, to the taste is Yumi-waranteed!

 By the looks of it, it really looks like a normal hamburger patties, doesn’t it? It taste similar to burgers too, but no meat, no egg, no nothing!


The key to success is making the patties rather small. You can compare it to my pumpkins and zucchinis behind it and imagine the relative size. This is to make it easier to flip it over on your frying pan when cooking.


I used caraway seeds as an accent herb, and that made it a great success, but you can use any herb of your choice. I might try basil or oregano one day, and see how it turns out!


Ingredients (to make 7 small patties)

-2/3 cup (100g) Organic chic peas, soaked overnight and cooked (you can use canned beans for this to make it easier)

-1/2 medium size Onion

-2 Tablespoon Organic plain flour

-1/2 teaspoon Caraway seeds, or herb of your choice

-1/2 teaspoon Soy sauce



Step 1: Put all ingredients in a food processor and mix on high for 30 sec.


Step 2: Make small patties, smaller than the size of your palm and cook on frying pan with a little bit of olive oil. Cook one side for 8 min, FLIP ONCE, and cook for another 6min.


So easy, yet so tasty. I think it is OK to be served hot or cold, didn’t have the chance to try it cold because we ate it all for dinner! Enjoy 🙂




April 21, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan Gnocchi

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Although, I am Japanese, I love cooking foods from other countries. Chinese and Korean foods are quite common on our table, but the most popular cuisine that I cook (apart from Japanese) is Italian!! I used to have pasta machine at home in Tokyo, and had fun making my own pasta. Our honeymoon was to South Italy, and my husband Hide ate pizza and gelato everyday for 2 weeks and gained 3 kilos. I was 7 month pregnant at that time, and proud to say that I didn’t gain any wait!

This is how much we love Italian food, and I still make my own tomato sauce and never bought ready made pasta sauce.


Here is a simple recipe that is loved by everyone in my family, including my 19 month old baby Yumi, and you must try it.

 Once you made the gnocchi dough, you can eat it in many ways. It will keep in fridge for about 3 days, and some people say you can freeze it, but I usually finish it within 3 days, so am not quite sure how the texture would turn out.


I sometimes add mashed pumpkin or sweet potatoes to the basic recipe, and have it with my “soy cheese” sauce. It is a great alternative to carbonara, low in fat and calories, so you can enjoy your “pasta” without any guilt!



Ingredients (to make about 12-15 gnocchi pieces)

-1 large potato (about 250g)

-50-80g Potato starch

-1 pinch Salt


Step 1 : Peel the potato skin, cut into 8 pieces and steam for about 20min, until soft. (You can boil it with the skin on, then peel it or cook it in the microwave  as well. I just prefer steaming my vegetables, so that they will have maximum taste to it)

Step 2: Mash or mix in food processor until smooth, add salt and potato starch. Form into small ball (about 20cent coin big and finger thick) and cook in boiling water for 3-5min. It will swell up and become about 50cent coin size.

Serve immediately with your favorite sauce. Today, I cooked tomato sauce with kidney bean burgers, looks like meatball!? It was sooooo good, I enjoyed my organic wine very much with it. I hope you enjoy it too!



April 15, 2012

Vegetable Tempura for Parties

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I was changing the design for my blog, which took a lot of time from cooking, but finally it’s done! I hope you find it easier to read!

Today, I would like to introduce are recipe for parties,  a new way to enjoy Tempura.

I cook tempura often at home, but when people come over to eat, there is one small problem.

It’s about the dipping sauce! Tempura can be eaten in different ways, and at most exclusive tempura restaurants in Japan, it is fried right in front of your eyes and usually served with salt. This way, you can enjoy the crispiness and the flavor at the same time. It is difficult to do the same at home, unless you stay in the kitchen and cook as you serve the guest. I sometimes do that but you miss out on the conversation which is a pity.

So what happens is when you serve at home, you serve with a dipping sauce which is made from Dashi broth, soy sauce, mirin and raw sugar, but there are two problems for me when I prepare the sauce. One, I  never know how much to prepare because some people like to have a lot of sauce to dip their tempuras, while others don’t use much at all. And second, I don’t have enough bowls when I want to serve at a party!

To overcome this, I changed my state of mind. Instead of serving it as a sauce, I covered the tempura with it! This is good for parties, when you want to serve them on a small plate or as finger food, just place this sauce next to the tempura with a small spoon, like the way jams are served near breads on a breakfast bar.

The way to make this sauce is quite simple, just prepare the sauce like usual, and add some edible gelatine. The sauce can be used in other dishes, it goes great with eggplants, tofu and other steamed vegetables. I hope this idea help you challenge tempura at home!


-100cc Dashi broth (Soak 7cm square konbu kelp or 2 dried mushroom in water for over night, bring to boil and take out konbu/mushroom before serving)

-1 Tablespoon  Soy sauce

-1 Tablespoon Mirin

-1/2 Tablespoon Organic raw sugar

-1-2 teaspoon Edible gelatine

-2 Tablespoon water

Step 1: Soak gelatine in water and rest 5 min

Step 2: Boil dashi and add gelatine, add soy sauce, mirin and sugar, mix well and cool

Step 3: Mix with fork before serving

April 4, 2012

Greens! With sweet&sour sauce

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting  my blog.

As I mentioned before, we are supposed to eat 350g of vegetables a day. When you weigh this, it’s quite a lot, and eating this as a salad can be quite difficult, unless you really love fresh veggies. Also, if you are on a diet, salad is not the best option for 2 reasons. One, the dressing can be high in calories, so you have to eat it with salt & pepper & lemon juice, which can be boring after some time. The second reason is fresh vegetables tend to “cool” your body, and if you want to lose weight, you should be “warm”ing your body, so rather than eat raw vegetables, it is recommended to eat cooked (steamed or grilled without oil) vegetables.

So, my saga continues to eat yummy cooked vegetables, and here is a new flavor that you can try.

You can use any vegetables with this sauce, I made the sauce in double batch, and used it the day after with red capsicum, mushroom, onion and tofu! It was also yum,yum, my daughter ate all the tofu,,, Hope you can find your best combination!

Ingredients for 2

-1 Onion

-1 Green Capsicum

-1 Bak choy

-1 bunch Garlic chive

-2 Free range Eggs

-Sesame oil for cooking


-200ml Water

-2 Tablespoon Soy sauce

-3 Tablespoon Mirin

-1 Tablespoon Oyster sauce

– Ginger(about 1/2 your thumb size)

-1/2 Tablespoon vinegar

-1 Tablespoon potato starch mixed with 1 Tablespoon water


Step 1: Chop all your vegetable into strips, garlic chives can be cut into 5cm lengths; beat eggs in a bowl

Step 2: Heat sesame oil in a frying pan, cook eggs until they are half cooked, take them out on a plate and cook vegetables in the same pan; in a different saucepan cook the ingredients of sauce EXCEPT ginger, vinegar and potato starch (this is to be added at the end)

Step 3: When the sauce comes to boil and the veggies are cooked, add ginger, vinegar and potato starch to the sauce, make it thick; add eggs to veggies, finally mix the sauce with veggies and serve

All this process is done in less than 10min, so be quick :-)! You can make the sauce separately beforehand and mix it with any veggies that you like. There are so many combinations to choose from, just take what’s left in your fridge!

March 27, 2012

Something Purple?

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

When cooking a meal, I have been taught by my mother to

“Keep your table colorful”

This means that I should have a good balance of Green/Red/Yellow/Brown on my plate. Green and Red are usually vegetables that provides vitamins for your body. Yellow are the traditional Japanese dried foods, like beans and dried daikon radish,  which are rich in minerals and fiber. Brown are meat, fish or tofu that provides proteins.

By keeping the table colorful, you will be able to eat what is necessary for your body and be happy by looking at pretty foods! This is why I try to cook 3-4 dishes every meal, using some “Jobi-Sai(foods that will keep in the fridge for few days,and can be enjoyed in many meals)” and sauces, this is quite easy!

One of the colors we didn’t eat much in Japan was Purple. OK, so we do have purple cabbage and purple onion so they became a salad from time to time, but it wasn’t very common.

The other day, I found something interesting in the market, and it became into this dish!


The vegetable I bought was “Purpler Carrot”!! Steamed with other vegetables, it stained it nice into a nice color, and gave me heaps of ideas to do other things with it. As a starter, enjoy it as is, it is sweet and tasty 🙂

Ingredients for 2

-1/2 Purple Carrot

-4 Mushrooms

-1 Eggplant (the thin type)

To make,

Step 1:Slice all the vegetable into your finger thickness

Step 2:In a heavy pot (thicker the pot, the better) lay your mushrooms first, then the onions, eggplants and finally the purple carrot. The order is kind of important because some vegetables give more water than others. Sprinkle everything with a touch of salt, add 2 Tablespoon water and cover with lid. Cook on low heat for 10min.

This is it! The steam and salt brings out the lovely sweetness from the vegetable, and you can eat it as is, or with a dash of soy sauce or lemon. The important thing is DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH WATER!! As you cook, water will come out of the vegetables and it will cook in its own sauce.

You should stay close to the stove while you cook, especially in the last 3 min, because although my pot is trustworthy enough that it doesn’t burn, if yours is not very thick, tragedy does happen 😦

Too simple? Then try it! I hope you like the new color and taste on your plate!

March 25, 2012

Eggplant in Miso and Sesame paste

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

One of my favorite vegetable is eggplant! I love them so much, and use it in many different styles of cooking from Japanese to Chinese to Italian to Indian, and feel that I can eat it everyday!

But in Japan, we have a saying

“Never give eggplants to the new bride”

not to be mean and stingy, but to show consideration to the young bride. Because eggplants are type of a vegetable that can “cool” your body, and for young girls, it is preferred to keep their body temperature “warm”.

Nevertheless, I eat it often, but try to have it with ginger or other body warming vegetables if possible.

The recipe I am about to introduce today is so good that I have to stop myself from eating the whole bowlful! It has a hint of  ginger and chili powder to keep you “hot”! Goes well as an accent on a dinner plate, since it has a strong flavor to it. I served it with marinated capsicum, broccoli cooked in garlic oil and marinated chicken. All four of these were put on plate under 30min, with rice and miso soup to complete the dinner!


-1 Large Eggplant

-1/4 Carrot

-1/4 Lebanese Cucumber

-1 Tablespoon sesame, roasted and grounded

-1/2 teaspoon Chili powder

-1 teaspoon  Sesame oil

-1 teaspoon Soy sauce

-1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped

-1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped

-1 Tablespoon Miso

-1 Tablespoon Apple vinegar

To make it,

Step 1: Boil or roast the eggplant and remove skin, tear into bite size pieces, chop carrot and cucumber into thin slices and rest on tea towel to remove excess water

Step 2: Mix everything in a bowl to make dressing, add vegetables and mix well

Serve and Enjoy! I think you can add cooked vermicelli to this, and would make a great salad with more volume. Or put it on top of somen/udon noodles and mix it eat it like a Asian style pasta! Yum, the combination is endless!!

March 15, 2012

Pickled Ginger for Sushi

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Seeing that sushi is so popular is Sydney right now, I’ve received some requests to share a recipe for pickled ginger! You know, the one that sometimes comes on the corner of your sushi box. The pale pink or sometimes yellowish one.

Unfortunately some of them sold at the store use artificial coloring to make it pink. In Japan, we have “red” pickled ginger (BENI-SHOGA, BENI means read and SHOGA means ginger) too! There are usually served with YAKISOBA (stir fried noodles) or OKONOMIYAKI (Japanese savory pancakes).


I always remove it before eating (hahaha), but ever since I found this recipe, I make pickled ginger myself!

You can only make this when you have a “young” ginger with very thin skin. It is in season right now and I bought some at the market!

When you see this type of ginger, try making it! It can be preserved in a sterilized jar for quite a long time so I make about 500g and enjoy it through the year.


-500g Young Ginger

-400ml (1 +2/3 cup) Vinegar (I recommend apple vinegar)

-1/4 cup Organic raw sugar

-1 teaspoon salt

How to make

Step 1: Slice the ginger very thinly, sprinkle some salt (not included in ingredient) ; boil water in a large pot and bring to boil, cook the ginger in boiling water for 2-3 min, drain and cool

Step 2: Pour vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to boil, cook until the sugar and salt has dissolved

Step 3: In a sterilized jar, put the ginger and vinegar liquid and let it stand overnight before eating.

The flavor does not change that much, and I like it when it has been marinated for few days. You can eat this as is or chop it and mix it with rice to make instant sushi rice! ENJOY 🙂

Tags: , , ,
March 8, 2012

Salmon Cabbage Roll

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum  🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

How many people buy a whole cabbage, and don’t know how to use it up before it goes bad? I’m certainly one of those people who can’r resist to buy a whole cabbage! As a family of three, and one just being a 18months old baby, I know I should stop buying a whole cabbage and stick to half size or even a quarter size instead, but I give myself and excuse that

“I can only make rolled cabbage with a full cabbage!”

Well, this is not the only reason,but maybe could be used for your excuse as well, so why don’t you try making it?

It is easy if you use my Handy Salmon Flake recipe, or you can start scratch by using salmon can.

Ingredients (make 6 pieces, you can freeze this so make 12 to use up the salmon can if desired)

-1/2can (200g) Pink or Red Salmon Can

-7 Cabbage leaf

-5 Dry shiitake mushuroom, soaked in 1/2 cup water

-15g Vermicelli

-2 Tablespoon starch

-Ginger,Soy sauce, Sake, Organic raw sugar

As mentioned above, salmon cans are usually sold in 415g can, so by making double batch (be sure to increase the other ingredients!) you can use up the can. On the other hand, my pot was perfect to cook 6 rolls, so I think at my house, I would make the Handy Salmon Flakes first, than use half of it to make 6 rolls.

Here’s how to make it!

Step1 :  Steam 6 (out of 7) cabbage leaf until they are soft, this takes about 10-15min so while waiting, place salmon in a frying pan and remove skin and bones, cook with 1/2 Tablespoon Sake+1/2 Tablespoon Soy sauce +2 teaspoon Raw sugar.

Step 2: Slice shiitake mushroom (save the soup), chop 1 cabbage leaf, soak vermicelli in hot water and chop them when they are soft; place all of this and the cooked salmon in a large bowl, season with 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger, 1 Tablespoon Soy sauce and 1 Tablespoon raw sugar, mix well with hand (this part is a bit messy),  add potato starch and mix well

Step 3: Remove stem from the cooked cabbage, place 1/6 of the salmon mixture and roll; place it in a large pot

Step 4:Cover rolled cabbage with soup from shiitake mushroom, add 2 Tablespoon Soy sauce, 2 Tablespoon Sake and 2 Tablespoon Raw sugar and cook on low heat for 8-10min
Serve with soup and eat it hot! I garnished it with some Nori seaweed, but that is extra.
My daughter ate the inside of this very happily. She couldn’t bite through the outside cabbage layer, so next time, I might just make salmon balls and give it to her.
A bit messy menu but that’s the fun of making it, and this could be frozen so is worth giving it a go, especially if you have already made my Handy Salmon Flakes!
NOTE: If you want to make t his into vegetarian dish, change the salmon into Momen (Firm) tofu. Remove excess water from the tofu before cooking, and the rest is the same! I’ll make this one day to show you the difference!
March 7, 2012

Chickepea and Potato Croquette

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artist / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.


Croquette is a very popular food in Japan, I think. It is sold at deli corner in a supermarket and as a teenager, I used to sometimes buy it form a butcher on my way home from school, and eat it like kids here eat chips. Oh, maybe it’s similar to fish and chips, in a way that its fried and considered a handy snack. Although my mum did serve croquette as a dinner…


Anyways, it’s nice and filling and you can use a lot of leftover veggies in it, so it’s good 🙂


Today, I made one using leftover chickpea remains from chickpea tofu.

The result looks like this!

Ingredients (to make 12 size croquettes: an adult would eat 3-4 of them)

-3 potatoes

-2 cup chickpea remains (can be omitted)

-1 small onion, chopped

-1/4 zucchini chopped

-1 clove garlic, chopped

-1 teaspoon cumin seed (if using powder, add directly into the mashed potatoes)

-salt, pepper, soy sauce

-plain flour, bread crumbs


To make

Step 1: Steam or Boil potatoes and mash them in a large bowl; in a frying pan, heat olive oil and stir fry cumin seed for 2 min, add onion and cook 2min, add zucchini and chickpea remains


Step 2: Mix in the cooked vegetables into potatoes (if using cumin powder, add now), add salt and soy sauce to season


Step 3: Form flat rounds and rest in fridge for at least 30min; before serving, cover with flour, dip in water, cover with breadcrumbs and deep fry on 180-190 degrees for 5min or until golden


NOTE: The key to success is resting the croquette in the fridge before frying. Since everything is already precooked, you don’t have to fry it for a long time, just until the crust get crisp.


I dip my croquette in water before the breadcrumbs. Some people use egg, but by using water, I can serve it to my vegan friends, and also,  you will get thinner crust making it more crispy.

You can freeze this after Step2 or even after putting on the crumbs. Frozen croquettes require more technique to fry them, set the temperature a bit lower to 170-180 C, and put them in while frozen! Don’t fry many at a time, only so that it cover 1/3 of the surface of the oil. When it is thawed before frying, it may burst to BE REALLY CAREFUL!


It’s all seasoned so you can eat it as is, or squeeze some lemon to add more flavor. I put melting cheese in half of it, so it was like a treasure hunt at dinner. My 17 month daughter loved it too, asking for more after eating 2!



March 7, 2012

Chickpea Tofu

by KK

Hi this is KK, Sushi Artisit / Healthy Muffin Maker / Mum 🙂

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I stopped eating meat about 6 years ago, about the time when I started cooking organics. Now, I do eat meat when it is served, and I do cook meat for my husband, but I prefer to eat vegetables and beans. In that sense, I am not a strict vegan nor vegetarian, but someone who loves to eat veggies and is on a search for a nice veggie dish.

This is something different, but I find it really nice to eat on a hot summer day.

It is tofu made from chickpeas!!


Unlike the tofus sold at stores, this is silky and soft, so I recommend serving it in a bowl with some sauce. Actually you can eat this with soy sauce or with maple syrup!

Trust me they are both nice in its own way.

Making it is not difficult, just a bit messy, but if you try in and like it, I think you will repeat making it like me!!


Ingredients (makes about 6 regular muffin tin)

-1 cup Chickpea; soaked in 3 cup water overnight

-2 cup Water

-1 pinch salt

To cook

Step 1: Drain the chickpea and mix in food processor on medium to high speed for 45-60sec

Step 2: Add water and salt, mix again for  another 60sec, or until it becomes smooth.

Step 3: Squeeze the mixture over cloth into a sauce pan (THIS IS THE MESSY PART!!), do it in 5-6 batches; cook on medium heat, stirring continuously

Step 4: Pour into container and cool, when cold enough to put in fridge, let it set

You will have about 2 cups of chickpea leftover, DO NOT throw them out!

It is full of fiber, and has good use to it, I will introduce what you can do with it in the next blog.


Messy, yet tasty, this can be made a day ahead of serving, so I recommend not to make it on the day of a special event. Prepare early, and earn those smiles from your loved ones!



Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: