Monday, August 22, 2011

Vegan Katsu Dinner

Japanese dinner comes together quickly if your freezer and pantry are well stocked

This dinner was made up of a bunch of little things. I prefer to eat this way, with just a few bites of each dish and lots of variety.

The revelation for me was using spicy boca chick'n patties as my katsu (cutlet). Once I heated the patty up in a skillet, toasting the breading in the process, and sliced it up with katsu sauce (kinda like a bbq sauce, recipe follows), this dish was exactly like regular ol' tonkastu- maybe lighter and less greasy!

I served my katsu with:

  • Zaru cha soba - cold green tea buckwheat noodles. Be sure to rinse/wash well with plenty of cold water after cooking. This was simply tossed with sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds. 
  • Inarizushi - the two pouches made of fried tofu skin, stuffed with sushi rice. (recipe follows)
  • Seasoned Tomato - fresh tomato slices sprinkled with Penzey's buttermilk ranch herb mix- a weird choice, I know
  • Seaweed salad with cucumber and red onion (recipe follows)
  • Edamame with smoked sea salt - nuke frozen soybeans and a Tbsp. of water in a covered dish in the microwave
  • Gari - young sweet pickled ginger, like you'd get with sushi
  • Umeboshi - pickled plum with a strong flavor- I like to nibble a little before taking a bite of inarizushi

Katsu Sauce
Mix together:

  • 1/2 c. Ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dry Mustard Powder
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce

Sushi Rice Dressing
Mix together:

  • 2 Tbsp. Rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. agave nectar 

Pour over 2 cups of cooked white short grain rice (I use Botan Calrose) and toss gently to coat each grain of rice with the dressing and cool it down quickly.

Seaweed Salad with Cucumber and Red Onion

  • 2 Tbsp. sliced wakame or seaweed of your choice, reconstituted in cold water (5-10 minutes)
  • 1/2 inch of cucumber
  • red onion
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. agave nectar
  • salt to taste 

Shave red onion with the thinnest setting of a mandoline/japanese slicer until you have about 1 Tbsp of onion ribbons. Microwave on high for 30 seconds in a dish full of water. Drain and pat dry. This process takes a lot of the harsh bite out of raw onions.
Shave cucumber on the same setting.
Stir together remaining ingredients to make dressing and toss with seaweed, onion and cucumber.

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