Gluten-Free, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Soups, Vegan

Miso Ginger Broth with Soba.

This is vegan miso broth soul food.  Packed with goodness…and full of the flavours of Japan.   Give your immune system a boost … with this ninja-karate-kicking bowl of wonder 🙂

A traditional miso broth is unlikely to be vegan, so I’ve made a base stock with fresh vegetables, ginger and seaweed to enrich the depth of flavour.

The ginger in this recipe really sings, and I’ve used a dark hearty miso to match it.


There are some more unusual ingredients included here today – particularly Kombu and Wakame seaweed and also Mirin; Japanese sweet rice cooking wine. Seaweed is just such a good addition to a varied vegan diet, full of minerals and trace elements. Some types are more readily available than others, but a decent whole-food store should have them.  Or else on-line…. chase them down, you won’t regret it 🙂

Any signs of a cough or a cold this winter, and I’ll be making this…. well any excuse actually, it’s just so good.

Hope you enjoy! 🙂



serves 3-4

Cook’s note: 100% buckwheat noodles, certified gluten-free tamari and brown rice miso will make this dish gluten-free 

Ingredients: Continue reading “Miso Ginger Broth with Soba.”

Breakfast, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Pizza, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes, Vegan on a Shoestring, Vegan Quick Suppers

Okonomiyaki. Japanese Pizza.

I had been wondering what to do with the cabbage in my veggie basket.  I was thinking of stuffed cabbage leaves… because prior to that I’d been considering the grape vine that is now leaping into life over my garden shed and thinking that it would be nice to try stuffed vine leaves from scratch when the leaves get bigger….and that was but a short jump to cabbage leaves 😉  ….idle lateral thinking really…

Then I found a few recipes for stuffed cabbage leaves and they all looked a bit mid-winterish… and not what I fancied…so I carried on searching.  Until I came across Okonomiyaki.  I gather that Okonomi means ‘as you like it’ and Yaki means cooked.

You can put all sorts of things into it but one of the favoured ingredients is cabbage.

Now I think cabbage is a pretty under-rated vegetable.  For many of us, that probably dates back to the days when a pile of wet, limp, soggy, yellowy-green leaves appeared on our plate accompanied by the instruction to ‘eat your greens’.  Over-cooked boiled cabbage is rarely attractive…..

But there are lots of great recipes that put cabbages in a very different light. From curries to ribbons of lightly-steamed spring greens drizzled with vegan-butter and a pinch of salt, and from crunchy coleslaw to crispy kale, there’s a myriad of ways to make cabbage shine.  And here’s another one.  Because cabbage is a beautiful thing.

Okonomiyaki, also known as Japanese Pizza or Japanese Pancake is really more of a frittata.  Traditionally, it includes eggs, so I’ve taken a bit of liberty to veganise it: using chickpea flour, chia seeds and black salt.

There is also a special Okonomiyaki Flour that includes milled yam.  I’ve used chickpea flour and mashed sweet potato……

But I’m pleased with the results.  I shall be returning to Okonomiyaki again and again….



for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Okonomiyaki. Japanese Pizza.”

Japanese Inspired Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Asparagus and Aubergine Tempura with a Dipping Sauce.

Tempura needs the right conditions to excel…. a light chilled batter, sizzling hot oil and flavoursome vegetables.  Along with a dipping sauce that zings.

I hope that this recipe fulfils all of that….

I used a gluten-free white plain flour blend.  A 50/50 mix of rice flour and plain white all-purpose should work …

Keeping the oil at the right temperature is important.  It needs to be very hot, but surprisingly, it can also be too hot.  Ideally, when testing, add a drop of tempura batter to the hot oil, and if it sinks, and then rises immediately afterwards, it’s good to go.

Asparagus and Aubergine are great vegetables for this recipe because they have powerful flavours and cook quickly….. but of course, other vegetables can be used….

… but as we’re on the subject of Asparagus which has a short and intense season here in the UK… here’s another recipe from the blog ….

mushroom and spinach cannelloni in an asparagus sauce ( click image for link)  





for 4

Ingredients: Continue reading “Asparagus and Aubergine Tempura with a Dipping Sauce.”

All About Beans, Desserts, Japanese Inspired Dishes, Vegan, Vegan Treats

Yokan. A traditional japanese dessert.

Yokan is made from beans.  Often red bean paste, using adzuki beans.

Yokan takes me back to afternoons spent with a friend of mine who used to import Yokan from Japan, and take it with his Matcha tea.  He had a tea whisk and gave me one.  I still have it.

yokan – adzuki bean jelly

As with so much Japanese cuisine, Yokan is delicate, fragrant and subtle.

Proof, if proof were needed, that beans aren’t just about stews and burgers!



*The beans need soaking overnight.

Ingredients: Continue reading “Yokan. A traditional japanese dessert.”

Japanese Inspired Dishes, Macrobiotic Recipes, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Brown Rice and Bancha

 …there’s a bit of an art to cooking brown rice…. but there are ways of doing it that avoid the pitfalls….

…brown rice is a great food for a cleanse mono-diet (1-5 days)… gentle and nourishing…

…and personally, I think that the beginning of spring is a good time of year to try a cleanse such as this…

….whether it be for one day, three days or five….

…below is a recipe for a macrobiotic meal using brown rice, that tastes lovely, is kind and restorative to the bodymind, and would additionally be an excellent way to finish a brown rice diet cleanse…  and also includes a method for cooking brown rice in bancha twig tea…

Steamed tofu and vegetables with tahini miso sauce, gomasio and brown rice.

Macrobiotic food at its simplest.

steamed tofu, arame and vegetables with brown rice


I always think that the cold beginnings of new year in most parts of the northern hemisphere is not a good time to embark on diets and weight loss and things like that …


…but when spring comes, and you maybe feel like shedding the wintery blues, then a brown rice diet can be a really nice thing to do…

Just a few simple rules:   Continue reading “Brown Rice and Bancha”

Japanese Inspired Dishes, Macrobiotic Recipes, Quick Suppers For Two, Vegan, Vegan Main Dishes

Sautéed Marinaded Tofu with Arame + Nori Seaweed in Miso Sauce on Steamed Rice. Japanese flavours. Vegan.

A simple and thoroughly revitalising dish.  Japanese flavours.

Think trace elements, enzymes and minerals….think goodness…

You can feel it doing you good the minute you eat it…

sautéed tofu in miso sauce with toasted nori

Quick and easy to put together… (marinade tofu in advance – all day is fine)

Here’s how….


Quick supper for 2

Continue reading “Sautéed Marinaded Tofu with Arame + Nori Seaweed in Miso Sauce on Steamed Rice. Japanese flavours. Vegan.”