It’s not often I make an entire vegetarian plate, I hope vegetarian readers will just steal parts of my other dishes for their own creations. I have to admit though, I enjoy the challenge of trying to create a fine dining meal that is entirely vegetarian. One thing that I love in all my dishes is a texture contrast. I believe this is probably why we eat a lot of meat and fish as they offer a completely different texture on the palate to a carrot or potato. For those that can’t do without meat follow this link for a similar dish, Japanese Style Fillet Steak.
I decided to go down the Sushi style of menu as I known the Japanese offer lots of exciting textures and fresh, clean finishes without having to resort to butter and cream to make things taste good. One of my firsts today was making my own gyozas. I couldn’t tell you why I prefer them to all the other Dim Sum dumplings you can get, but these are my favourite. My biggest problem though was that I have looked hard, but failed to find any gyoza or even wonton wrappers. I found a recipe for Homemade Gyoza Wrappers and so gave this a try. I cheated a little for aesthetic purposes and added a pinch of turmeric to give the pastry a nice colour. They were excellent, much easier than making pasta, my only tip is to roll them so that they are as thin as possible.
Sushi rice is really worth the effort, I could eat bowls of it by itself. Just follow the steps below and it won’t turn into mush. The most important being the washing of the rice. It can be made a day in advance and reheated in the microwave.
The entire ensemble of the dish is: Sushi Rice with Shichimi Togarashi-Tomago(Omelette)-Fried Tofu-Aubergine Harusame-Vegetable Gyozas[purerecipe]
- 300g Sushi Rice
- 60ml Rice Vinegar
- 30g Sugar
- 12g Salt
- 1 Tsp Shichimi Togarashi(Cayenne Pepper)
- 6 Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tsp. Sesame Oil
- 125g Plain Flour
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Turmeric
- 100ml Boiling Water
- 300g, finely diced Variety Of Vegetables
- 2 Tbsp, chopped Coriander
- 2 Tsp Ginger
- 2 Tsp Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Cornflour
- 1 Packet, drained and dried. Firm Tofu
- 3 Tbsp, to coat. Seasoned Flour
- 3 Large, sliced 5mm Aubergines
- 75ml Rice Vinegar
- 75ml Soy Sauce
- 20g Ginger
- 20g Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 6, finely sliced. Spring Onions
- For the sushi rice. Measure the volume of rice, it should roughly be 300ml. This is important as perfect sushi rice needs 1.2 x volume of water to be cooked in. In this instance you will need 360ml.
- Wash it 5 times in cold water until the water no longer turns cloudy. This step is absolutely vital, otherwise you will end up with rice pudding! Put the rice in a pan that you have a lid for. Add the water, replace lid and bring to the boil over a medium heat, 5-7 minutes. Turn heat to lowest setting and cook for another 5-7 minutes. Now turn the heat off, leave for another 5minutes. After this time, mix your vinegar, sugar and salt together and add to the warm rice. Stir with a wooden spoon and replace the lid with a tea towel under it for 10minutes. To serve, stir through the spice mix.
- To make the gyozas, either follow the link above or put salt and turmeric in a bowl with the flour. Add enough boiling water for it to come together. Need on a floured surface for 5 mins until springy. Let this rest for an hour, after that form it into a thick log about 3 inch wide by 2 inch diameter. Cut rounds 5mm thick. With a rolling pin, roll as flat as you can then use a 3.5in/9cm ring to cut out perfect circles.
- To fill, mix the remainder of the ingredients together. Add a teaspoon of the mix to each gyoza wrapper, wet the outside of half the wrapper with water and fold up into a half moon. Repeat until you run out of wrappers.
- To cook, these need to browned 3 minutes per side in a frying pan. This can be done ahead of time too. To finish, steam them for 5 minutes.
- For the tomago omelette, make a colourless omelette by cooking over a low heat. Once cooked through, add this to a sushi rolling mat and shape to an oblong. It will stay warm for about 30mins. Cut up into rectangular cubes.
- For the aubergine, mix vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sugar and spring onions together in a large bowl. Griddle the aubergine for 3 minutes a side then place straight into the marinade while warm.
- Finally, coat the tofu in flour and fry over a high heat for 2 minutes a side to brown and give it some texture.