Thursday, 3 September 2009

Menu: Asian Fusion from Vegan Planet

I know I have been very slack with my blog of late. I am trying to rectify the situation. I have been making so many recipes and have so many photos backing up to share with you! Today is another menu... you know how I love my menu plans! This one comes once again from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson, and it is the Asian Fusion menu. I made this dinner on the night my parents came back from their Singapore holiday. It was all pretty awesome, if I may say so myself.

The starter was the lovely Ginger-Scented Vegetable Pot Stickers. These tasty little dumplings were amazing. Though I don't know if 'scented' is the right word for the ginger flavour, with nine tablespoons of ginger mixed in they packed a fair gingery punch. A delicious gingery punch. The recipe called for 24 wonton wrappers, but I found that I made a few more, about 30. I don't know if maybe the wonton wrappers available in Australia are a bit smaller than the ones in America. Also, unless you have a humongous frying pan/skillet, expect to cook these in more than two batches. I kept mine warm under some foil while cooking subsequent batches, and that kept them nice and toasty. Also, my brother reheated some leftovers the next day and apparently they reheat quite well in the microwave according to him. I just served these with some delicious shoyu soy sauce.

The next course was the Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup. Now, hot and sour soup is my favourite type of soup in the world, and nothing makes me sadder than one that fails to deliver on the hot and sour promise. This, I am happy to say, was delicious! It has fried strips of tofu in it that just really added an extra flavour and texture to it as opposed to the silken tofu cubes. And it was just generally NOM. Make it. In fact, make it and invite me over so I can eat it too!

Our next tasty delight was Three-Way Sesame-Coated Tofu Strips with Spicy Broccoli. Three ways because the tofu is first dunked in tahini (and tamari), coated in sesame seeds and then sauteed in sesame oil. It was great, really crunchy and full of flavour. And amusingly well timed as I had just been discussing with my mother before they went away all the wonderful non-dairy calcium sources in the world, and here is a fabulous and calcium rich dish! You could serve this with rice, but given that we were filling up on dumplings and soup and had dessert to follow, we just gobbled it up with chopsticks in our tiny bowls. It also reheats well, and makes an interesting change to breakfast. I also had it cold the next day for lunch, which was also good.

And finally, dessert: Asian Pear Tart with Toasted Almond Crust and Orange-Ginger Glaze. OK, firstly I had some confusion over what makes an Asian pear. Because it am silly and didn't stop to think about the description. Only once I had started making it did I realise that an Asian pear with what we in Australia refer to as the delicious, crispy, juicy, sweet Nashi. So I was making it with some random sort of other pear (I can't remember its, it was a bit red and quite crisp). I also found that my almond and date crust burnt a little bit, but the pears hadn't had enough cooking time yet. The base is awesome though, just toasted almonds ground up in the processor with some pitted dates. Simple, delicious and healthy. Despite my mishaps and misunderstandings, it tasted pretty darn nice. I will make it again, next time with actual nashi pears, and report back.

So there was our dinner. It was a really nice dinner, and also a really cute one. My mother works as an academic in Japanese, so we have quite a few cute Asian place settings around. I wish I had a photo! We ate with black bamboo place mats, chopsticks and we ate everything (bar the tart) out of the little bowls pictured in the soup recipe. I thought it was all pretty darn cute, anyway.

Spring is here and hopefully I will be able to get blogging on a more regular basis again! As I said, so much to share. And so many more recipes to make! The news that Robin Robertson's new book 1000 Vegan Recipes is due for release soon fills me with joy and dread - another thousand recipes to make? In addition to all my current cookbooks, blogs that I follow, and cookbooks I have yet to buy? Oh well, it is a tough life but someone has to do it!

I'm going to add some random new sections to each of my post. Including a cute cat photo of the post, because the word kitten is in the title of my blog and I think we all need some more cute cats our lives! The others are just random sections about that I am listening to, watching or reading. Why? Umm... because I can? And I am hoping to discover some more sci fi and genre fans out there to geek out with. ;)

Cute Cat Photo

This is Ruby and Clarence - are they not just the cutest little snuggle buddies? Clarence and Ruby were cats who were surrendered to us at the clinic and that we took on to rehome. As adult cats at the clinic, they also helped out many other sick kitties but donating some of their blood to save lives. What heroic kitties. I am happy to report that both Ruby and Clarence have now got loving homes.

Can't get out of my head: (Do You Wanna) Date My Avatar by The Guild. If you have not seen it, go there now and join in the obsession!

Bludging out with: The Guild, Dexter Season 3, True Blood Season 1, Battlestar Galactica (the complete series in my special edition shiny black tin - hurrah).

Improving my mind with: The Rose Grower by Michelle De Kretser.

Happy spring to my southern hemisphere friends!


  1. Looks like a delicious dinner! I have been wanting to make the pot stickers from Vegan Planet for a while now, they look yummo!

    And what cute kitties <3

  2. yum those potstickers sound great, i love ginger.

    all of the food looks great though.

    cutie kitties too!