I just love how the colours combine in this dish, so elegant! And the seitan tempura is rich enough to satisfy even those who think macrobiotics is a very bland tasteless diet.
For the tempura I covered the seitan chunks in a batter made of wholewheat flour mixed 50:50 with organic white flour, water, a pinch of salt, a pinch of aluminum-free baking powder (adds extra crunch) and the secret ingredient – cumin powder. Add as much as you think is suitable for your condition and tastebuds 😀 The more you add, the more tasty the seitan will be, of course, but don´t go overboard. The batter should not be runny so that it doesn´t slide off. Deep-fry each piece in hot oil and place on napkinks to soak excess oil.
For the glazed beets cook sliced beet (or bite-sized chunks) slowly in a small pot on a low flame with water to barely cover and a good pinch of salt. Towards the end season with mirin (rice cooking wine), ume plum vinegar and rice vinegar, the beets should be a bit more tart than sweet. Mix a spoon of kuzu starch in a bit of cold water and add at the very end, while stirring to prevent lumps, be sure to let the kuzu boil for a while and thicken.
I served the meal with a pressure cooked rice/barley mixture with gomasio and quickly water-sauteed greens (curly cabbage and white cabbage with some salt and dried oregano to lightly flavour).
Long description but simple meal!
All I did was that I cooked up a batch of brown teff (the world´s smallest grain originating in Ethiopia), in a 1:3 grain to water ratio, with a pinch of salt. Then I mixed enough rice flour into the hot grain so that the porridge-like consistency got transformed into a tougher dough and I let it cool.
Meanwhile I prepared kinpira by slicing carrot, parsley root and soaked dried burdock into matchsticks, I sauteed them for a few minutes on a bit of oil with a pinch of salt, in a heavy-bottom pot. When they softened, I added about 1 cm of water into the pot, covered with a lid and let the veggies cook for half an hour on a low flame, using a flame tamer. Towards the end I added a splash of tamari and about 5 cm of finely grated horseradish which I actually mixed in when the flame was already off and just let it steam through.
I also cut up some carrot tops, curly cabbage and white cabbage and sauteed them on a tiny bit of oil with minced garlic and a pinch of salt, just shortly so that they stay crisp.
When the dough cooled off, I formed round dumplings (you might need to wet your hands slightly to prevent sticking), lined them up on a greased baking pan and baked them on 200°C until their surface got crispy. They were a bit bland as I didn´t add any flavour to the dough, so we ended up spreading some coarse mustard on top 😀
On Saturday we go to the local fish market in the centre and buy ourselves a fresh fish fillet for dinner – can´t get much more fresh than that, unless you live just at the seaside and not in the mainland as we do. We are sampling different kinds of fish, sometimes freshwater, sometimes sea fish. This time we went for Croatian seabass. It was pleasant, though a tad too oily for my current strict regimen 😀
I decided this time to turn the fish into a soup! First I steamed the fish very shortly, just so that I could take off the skin and bones, and set it aside. I brought water to a boil and added chopped parsley root, leek, daikon and sweet potato, all in small pieces. Towards the end I mixed in diluted shiro miso (you don´t want to use a strong yang miso with the fish, but be aware that shiro miso is very mild, so you might need more of it) and the pieces of fish and let simmer for a while, and then garnished the soup with chopped chives.
On a pan I sauteed wild chicory leaves, broccoli, kohlrabi, zucchini rounds and shredded pointed cabbage, just with water, mirin and ginger juice. We also had some raw spring greens – rucola, kohlrabi and corn salad (a type of lettuce). Served with long grain rice/wild rice mixture.