Mercedes is one of my favourite food bloggers – she also studied (and taught) macrobiotics at the Kushi Institute in Amsterdam, now she´s running her own cooking school in Almere in the Netherlands. I yet have to taste her fabulous dishes, but my mouth waters each time I read her inventive recipes which are usually influenced by her Caribbean roots 😀
Check out her dancing soba recipe!
I modified it slightly: Instead of soba noodles I used black rice noodles (made by the Terrasana company), for vegetables I used leek, garlic, carrot, green peas and young savoy cabbage, and I tweaked the ratios of the seasonings a bit (2 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp mirin and 2 1/2 tbsp tamari).
As a topping I made pan-fried cubes of dried tofu, which you first have to soak, then strain the liquid out (most of it, but not every drop, otherwise it soaks up a bit too much of the oil) and then fry it in a shallow layer of sesame oil until browned and slightly crispy.
Gorgeous looking and tasting soup….
As you all know, I use my cast iron wok pretty damn often because it´s quick, easy and satisfying. Plus I really like the intense labour of constant fast stirring with two large wooden spoons, in an enormous frying pan over a high fire, there´s something very primitive about it – like being in touch with the essence of cooking on fire 😀
This time I wokked: wild chicory leaves, chinese cabbage, onion, carrot, daikon, red radish, broccoli, fennel, zucchini, champignons and yellow kohlrabi – starting with the onion and mushrooms, then the tougher veggies and at the end the soft and leafy ones. What makes it special? My lemony sauce – a tablespoon of shoyu, a tablespoon of mirin, half a tablespoon of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of powdered ginger, one teaspoon of rice malt and one teaspoon of grated lemon peel 😀 I also mixed in small tempeh cubes (first marinated in shoyu/lemon/mirin and then baked until crispy in the oven).
We ate the meal with a long grain rice/wild rice mixture with gomasio.
I´m posting this recipe more for showing the presentation of such a dish, because otherwise it´s pretty basic and you can really play around with all different kinds of veggies -pretty much any can be wok-ed, even though I tend to favour leafy greens and not so many hearty root veggies when it comes to wok cooking…but even root veggies make a nice contrast!
I mixed chopped up: celery root and celery stalk, carrots, chinese cabbage, white cabbage, curly green cabbage, green beans and daikon radish. As a sauce/dressing I used shoyu, mirin and lemon (in a 1:1: 0,5 ratio). Plus some sesame seeds. I served this as a big pyramid on top of a bed of soft quinoa 😀 Reeeeally quick meal!
For lunch I cooked millet with mung beans and green/grey hokkaido pumpkin chunks – all in my new lovely pressure cooker! So easy, just put it all in, add water (3 parts of water to one part of grain in this case), bring to pressure on high flame, then put on a lower flame (possibly together with using a flame deflector) and cook for half an hour, done! Just wait 5-10 minutes for the pressure to come down on its own. And you actually have grain, vegetable and bean 3 in 1! 😀
But anyway, I made some quick extra greens – shortly blanched kale and cabbage. You just bring a pot of water to boil (enough water to have the veggies covered later on) and when it starts boiling, transfer the vegetables inside and let them cook for just about a minute or two (they should get a deep green yet bright colour and become softer yet firm and crispy – a bit of a challenge, yes! 😀 trial and error!).
For dinner I had the leftover grain from lunch (with new and not burnt!! self-made gomasio) plus I made a quick miso soup with carrot and tofu cubes. In a wok I sauteed (with no oil) paksoi, carrot and leek, seasoned with tamari and mirin. And I had to try out my newly purchased tempura pan and made a glutenfree deep-fried tempura: sweet potato slices dipped in a batter of brown rice flour+kuzu starch+water (you have to experiment with the consistency, that´s the hard part!) and deep-fried until golden. It was a great success, I really liked it!
I really like wok dishes. And my boyfriend´s friend lent us a magnificent huge cast iron wok for our stay in Amsterdam, so I wok pretty often!
I like that you can wok almost any combination of vegetables – here I used (as far as I remember) rings of onion, chunks of carrots, snap peas, celery stalks, Chinese cabbage and thin slices of red cabbage. I fry quickly on high heat using sesame oil and towards the end I add a bit of tamari, some water (otherwise the tamari might get stuck on the pan and burn a bit) and little pieces of fresh ginger. My partner wasn´t fond of the ginger – you definitely have to be careful with it! :-p
The wok veggies were served with red Thai cargo rice (first time I had it, and it´s tasty AND wholegrain!) with some roasted sesame seeds on top.