Sunday, 8 February 2009

Praise Miso Soup and a discovery

Recently I've become very interested in shojin ryori cooking, an old buddhist Japanese cuisine - which is purely vegan!
As much as I love tangy, spicy dishes, I enjoy the pure taste of Japanese food. Sadly, even though I work in the city with the highest Japanese population in Europe and there are plenty of restaurants, vegan food is hard to get.
(Did you know that many Japanese restaurants infuse the cooking water with dashi for making sushi rice? Bye bye veggie takeout sushi!)

I barely ever make miso soup, although I like it. This week I tried a recipe from a new cookbook, The Enlightened Kitchen . It's not 100% vegan, but I think the only un-vegan part is where she suggests cheese for sushi.

Anyway, it was a simple miso soup with sauteed aubergines and sesame, and it's heaven!

Another "new" food I discovered this week were jerusalem artichokes. I had been marvelling at the pictures of them in several cookbooks for years and was desperate for not being able to buy any. I never really bothered to look up a translation... and then, with my last veggie box, arrived a pound of so-called "Topinambur", which are - jerusalem artichokes!
How can you tell? And why does the German word sound so much more like something from the Americas than the English name?

(actually, I looked it up. They are the tubers of a sunflower and were first named Girasole, Italian/French for "sunflower. The English couldn't pronounce it and corrupted it from "Hierusalem" to "Jerusalem").

Finally, I cooked them and had them just with olive oil, herbs and cheesy baked chicory. I think they might become one of my favourite veggies. All the artichoke flavour without all the fuss that involves cooking and eating them!

4 comments:

Vegetation said...

Mmmm I just recently discovered Miso soup. Sesame and eggplant sounds delicious!

Netty said...

It looks really good. I wanted to cook Miso soup for a while. Now I won't wait any longer. :)

Rachel said...

that's really cool! i love the story about jeruselem artichokes.

I always do miso soup with mushrooms, green onion and soba noodles. oh, and i usually add some veg bouillon for extra flavor. pretty simple, but it does the trick. seasame eggplant sounds like a great innovation, though.

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