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Chinese tofu pancakes

Traditionally served with crispy duck, this pancakes make a great vegan dish as well. Thick hoisin sauce and fresh cucumber and spring onions go great with fried tofu. Perfect snack for a small gathering.

Recipe: Chinese tofu pancakes

Ingredients
  • 200 g firm tofu
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, cut into matchsticks
  • a few branches fresh coriander
  • 1/4 red chilli pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 10 thin pancakes
Method
  • Slice tofu and combine with 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce.
  • Fry tofu slices on heated sesame oil, about one minute each side.
  • Steam the pancakes and keep them warm in a bamboo steamer or covered with foil.
  • Arrange fried tofu, cucumber and spring onion stick, coriander leaves, chilli and hoisin sauce on the table and allow everyone to help themselves.
  • Spread some sauce on each pancake and top with tofu, cucumber and spring onions. Sprinkle with coriander and chilli and roll up.

Recipe: Homemade hoisin sauce

Ingredients
  • 7-8 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • one tsp finely chopped chilli
  • one garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Method
  • Combine all the ingredients in a small pot.
  • Simmer over low heat, stirring, until well combined.
  • Set aside to cool.

Vegan ramen

Is there anything better than a bowl of steaming soup on a cold evening? The only thing I can think of is a long sauna session. But I have always thought that eating Asian soups is a bit similar to visiting sauna, so ramen remains my first choice for rainy days. Also, I have bowls and pots at home, but I don't have a sauna.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish, containing Chinese-style wheat noodles, broth and various toppings. It's been extremely popular with foodies all over the world for the last few years. You can easily enjoy a great ramen in New York, London or Warsaw.

There are numerous version of the dish, starting with nearly every region in Japan taking pride in its own variation. My recipe is simple and vegan - with fried tofu, shiitake mushrooom and green chillies.

Recipe: Vegan ramen

Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 l oriental broth (recipe below)
  • 200 g ramen noodles
  • 200 g firm tofu, pressed
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • tbsp runny honey
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • one carrot
  • 100 g fresh shiitake mushrooms (or dried and soaked)
  • one green chilli pepper
  • a few branches of fresh mint
Method
  • Cut the tofu into thick slices.
  • Whisk soy sauce with honey and chilli flakes.
  • Cover each tofu slice in the marinade and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pan-fry tofu slices, about 1 minute per side.
  • Peel and julienne the carrot.
  • Slice green chilli.
  • Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
  • Cut larger mushrooms into smaller pieces.
  • Pan-fry for a few minutes.
  • Divide noodles between two bowls.
  • Top with hot broth.
  • Add fried tofu and shiitakes, carrot, chilli and mint.

Recipe: Oriental broth

Ingredients
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled
  • 2-3 parsnips, peeled
  • 1/2 celery root, peeled
  • one leek, sliced
  • 2 l water
  • 5-6 slices of peeled ginger
  • one green chilli pepper
  • a few branches of fresh coriander
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp miso paste
Method
  • Place all the vegetables, ginger, chilli and coriander in a large pot
  • Top with cold water and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  • Strain the broth through a colander.
  • Season with soy sauce, fish sauce and miso paste.