vegan dish was a palatable challenge for me I’ll admit. In a world where butter dominates the foundations of my recipes like culinary cement; I was skeptical. No butter? You heard correctly…no butter? However, with a goodie bag of Japanese inspired ingredients from Clearspring, whose vast array of cultural delicacies regularly glare at me temptingly from their own region of the supermarket, I thought I’d experiment and I can safely say that butter wasn’t missed here!? With the divergence in diets and intolerances infiltrating our British habits in what is perhaps a foodie fad or otherwise, I thought I’d better jump on the diary and meat free band wagon and see if soya and tofu could satisfy my taste buds. With fish and vegetables dominating my diet already I was keen to see what the removal of dairy would have to offer. I enjoyed this meal twice this week which is surely enough said. One evening using nutty pearl barely and the other using some of Clearspring’s gluten free brown noodles. Both delicious and fresh.
Gluten, diary, meat and nut free I think this one deserves the intolerance crown.
- 1 box mushrooms (250g). Mixed such as shitake, oyster or chestnut
- 1 small handful dried mixed wild mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 15minutes then chopped roughly
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 80g pearl barely/80-100g brown rice noodles
- 200g kale
- 100g peas
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp Clearspring seaweed flakes OR Welshman’s caviar
- 1 tbsp Soy sauce
- Handful of coriander leaves, chopped
- 100g cubed tofu (optional)
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)
- Start by either soaking your noodles in hot water for 30 minutes covered or simmering your pearl barely for 25-30 minutes in hot water under tender. Drain well and drizzle with the sesame oil and keep warm.
- Heat a frying pan over a medium heat. Gently soften the sliced spring onions for about 5-8 minutes until just beginning to brown and season. Once softened, place in a bowl and set aside keeping warm if you can. These will be combined with the cooked kale later.
- Heat the same frying pan again until hot. Add the sunflower oil. Chop the mushrooms roughly into hearty chunks and gently fry for about 10-15 minutes with plenty of salt and pepper to cook and crisp up the mushrooms. They will release a little moisture so keep frying to evaporate this off and brown and crisp them up slightly.
- Meanwhile, cook your kale in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Add the peas and bring back to the boil. Once boiling remove from the heat and drain well allowing all the moisture to drain.
- Tip back in the pan, add 1 tbsp soy sauce and the seaweed flakes. Add the reserved spring onions and mix. Place the lid back on a keep warm while you finish the mushrooms.
- When the mushrooms are ready, crisp and delicious add the garlic and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Then turn up the heat and add the chopped rehydrated dried mushrooms, the noodles or pearl barely and fry for 1-2 minutes to reheat and combine the flavours.
- Optional here, add some cubed tofu and heat through and scatter with the coriander.
- Serve the mushrooms on top of the kale and garnish with black sesame seeds if you like