Friday, June 12, 2009

Asian Inspired Meals

Our meals recently have been asian inspired:

This was Monday, the Queen's Birthday holiday. We had sushi balls with pickled ginger and avocado, Woolworths Rainbow salad, baked tofu, shop bought spring rolls, and miso eggplant and pumpkin.

The sushi balls were simply sushi rice, made according to the packet instructions, with sushi vinegar, and shaped into balls. The tofu was baked with equal amounts of soy sauce and brown sugar.

Miso-baked Eggplant and Pumpkin

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

One large eggplant
Small butternut pumpkin
2 tablespoon white miso paste
dash soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar

  1. preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade
  2. Slice eggplant into 1 cm slices.
  3. Slice pumpkin into 1/2 cm slices, with skin on. Cut each slice in halves or quarters.
  4. Mix other ingredients in a small bowl. Add enough water to make a thin paste.
  5. Spray a baking tray with cooking oil of your choice. (I used rice bran oil.)
  6. Baste vegies with 1/2 the miso mix.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Baste with the rest of the miso mix and bake for another 20 minutes or until done.

Last night we revisited the asian theme, with yum cha for dinner:

This was done as a super quick dinner, as I got home late. Most of it came out of packets from the White Lotus Vegetarian Supermarket at Inala. There are cabbage buns, turnip cakes, "chicken" drumsticks, satay sticks on cucumber and tomato, asian-inspired vegetable soup, rice vermicelli with bok choy and soy sauce. The soup was one I made up on the spur of the moment to pad out the meal. It was very good.

Asian-inspired Vegetable Soup

Serves 4-6, depending on your preferred serving size.

1/2 cup sliced dried shitake mushroom
corn kernels from 1/2 cob
2 cm knob of fresh ginger, diced
1 tomato, chopped
1 bok choy plant, chopped, keep leaves separate
4-5 cups water (enough to fill a medium saucepan)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 Massel "Chicken style" vegan stock cubes
pepper to taste

  1. Place all ingredients except pepper and bock choy leaves in a pot.
  2. Bring to boil, then reduce heat.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
  4. Taste. Add pepper to taste. Add additional soy sauce if you wish.
  5. Add leaves from bok choy.
  6. Simmer for a minute or two to soften bok choy leaves.
  7. Serve!
For both these meals, we put the food in the centre of the table and let the children help themselves. We find that they take more food and try more things if they can select. The favourites for the under 10's were the rice balls, noodles, spring rolls and cabbage buns, though they tried most things other than the turnip cakes, which they have tried and disliked in the past.

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