Thursday, January 21, 2010

Some Long Lost Far East Recipes

Probably 15 years ago, I bought this series of small cook books for peanuts at a dollar store. International Cuisine: A tasty trip around the world was the name of the series and each book featured recipes from a different part of the world.

The books were actually pretty decent, especially for the price. Each different culture would have a really informative write-up followed by several recipes. I started going through these again recently after not seeing them for many years. The book based on recipes from Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia actually has some good vegan recipes. I’m going to share those with you today, assuming that something I bought in a dollar store 15 years ago won’t bring on copyright lawyers.

Korean Pickled Cucumber


· 3 large cucumbers
· 1 ½ TBSP salt
· 1 green onion
· ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
· TSP of hot pepper sauce


· Wash the cucumbers but do not peel them. Cut them into 4cm long pieces. Cut each piece in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle 1 TBSP of salt over the cut surface of the cucumbers. Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
· Cut the green onion into 4cm lengths and slice each piece finely. Wash the salt off the cucumber and put them in an earthware bowl. Add the green onion, garlic, hot pepper sauce and the remaining salt and 150ml of water. Mix well and leave to mature. This will take about 2 days in a warm room or about a week in a cold room. Once mature, store in the refrigerator.

Yellow Rice in Coconut Milk


· 350g long-grain rice
· 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
· 1 TSP Turmeric
· 2 ½ cups thick coconut milk
· 1 TSP salt
· 1 bay leaf


· Soak the rice in cold water for 1 hour, the rinse and drain.
· Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the rice and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
· Stir in the turmeric and sauté the rice for a further 1 minute.
· Add the coconut milk, salt and bay leaf and boil over medium heat until the rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat, cover the pan tightly, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Or, if you are worried about the rice sticking, put it into a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
· When the rice is cooked, discard the bay leaf, pile the rice into a serving dish and serve hot.

Seoul Spinach Soup (beef strips eliminated)


· 2 green onions, chopped
· 1 clove garlic, chopped
· 5 TBSP soy sauce
· 1 TSP salt
· 1 TSP black pepper
· 1 TBSP sesame seed
· 1 LB spinach, washed, trimmed and shredded


· Put green onion, garlic, soy sauce, salt and pepper into a large saucepan and mix well. Cook over medium high heat for a few minutes until the onion is cooked but not burned.
· Add 9 cups of water and simmer gently for a few minutes. Add the sesame seeds and continue cooking for 35 minutes.
· Just before serving, add the shredded spinach. Simmer until tender, 2-5 minutes.

Hopefully, you find these to be tasty...

On a side note...

My NHL hockey views have changed and the Montreal Canadiens are on my ‘burn-in-hell’ list. Fellow vegan, Georges Laraque has been released from the team. The team did it with absolutely no class and were basically insulting to him at the press conference. To make matters much, much worse, despite being born in Canada, Georges’ family is from Haiti. There are still several members of his family in Haiti unaccounted for. Visit Georges’ blog for more information on the great charity work he does and what you can do to help Haiti.

Good vibes go out to those who are still missing, not just relatives of Georges – may they be still found alive and go on to rebuild that beautiful country.

Montreal Canadiens – sorry you get no good vibes. Burn in hell and here’s hoping that you don’t win another game this season.

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