Shimeji mushrooms are a popular mushroom in Japan with wonderful umami flavour. They grow at the bottom of Japanese oaks and red pines. When raw they have a somewhat bitter taste, but the bitterness disappears completely upon cooking. The cooked mushrooms have a pleasant, firm, slightly crunchy texture and a slightly nutty flavour. They love soups, stews and noodle dishes, and can be sauteed and slow roasted.
We love our dipping sauces, ones that an be used as dressings and sauces as well. This one, another recipe from a pack of miso, is wonderful. It takes soft tofu and blends it with miso, garlic and saké. Yum!
I call this sauce a drizzle sauce, because it can be drizzled into and over anything. When I first started making this as a dressing and a dipping sauce, it was quite unusual. That was way back in 2003. These days, Asian style dressings, broths and dipping sauces are reasonably common. This is a great recipe to play with – it makes about half a cup. Store it in the fridge and use for salads, noodles, dipping sauce, drizzle in or on soups, add a little to your bowl of miso, drip over a pile of deep fried tofu, a little over avocado on toast.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.
We don’t often make bowls of noodles, but really, I don’t know why. This broth (or dipping sauce) is delicious. Topped with fresh greens, mushrooms, spring onions, the noodles are far too good to ignore. Although we used Japanese noodles for today’s dish, we used Chinese Spinach as our greens, along with cute little pieces of yuba (dried beancurd) tied in knots. I know that you will enjoy this dish.
Use this broth or dipping sauce for any noodle dish or tofu dish, or for anything else that you would like to use a broth or dipping sauce with. Kept fairly thick, it makes a great dressing too, for Asian style salads.
Japanese Noodles are served cold in summer and hot otherwise, in a broth or with a dipping sauce. The broth or dipping sauce can be made up to a week before use. We make our own vegetarian dashi (stock) for the sauce with handful of dried mushrooms, some dried seaweed and light miso paste.
This recipe is from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006. It is a recipe we still use often, when we feel in a noodle mood.
Our garden features several well-bearing chilli bushes, and we do a number of things with them. Firstly, we freeze some, whole, for use during winter. We use them in our cooking of course, especially Indian dishes. Some red ones are dried for use as dried chillies in Indian food during the year. Chilli jams, sauces and pastes are made. And we pretty much use them in everything else.
Today’s recipe is a very simple, Asian condiment, which soaks fresh chillies in soy sauce, to be drizzled over, well, pretty much everything. I love a good stirfry and rice, and with abundant amounts of this condiment to drizzle and to dip. Imagine dipping some deep fried tofu in this sauce! Also good over noodle dishes and vegetables. Try it with samosas, or Chinese Scallion Pancakes.
This is a simple and easy recipe for Sweet Chilli Sauce, a sauce that can be used in so many ways – with noodles or over vegetables, in a stir fry, as a dip, or as a condiment. Use it in sandwiches, add some to pasta sauces, and spread over grilled tofu or haloumi. You will find a million ways to use it.
The recipe’s heat content depends on the chillies that are used. For mild chillies, add more. For firey chillies, stay with 3 or reduce to 2. My latest batch of sauce, made with 3 ripe chillies of the purple cayenne variety, is quite sweet with a delightful mild-medium heat perfect for a dipping sauce. If you like real HEAT, add more chillies. You can also boost up the amount of garlic should you prefer a garlic twist to your chilli sauce.
Similar recipes include Balinese Sambal Tomat, Preserved Sweet Chillies, Chilli Soy Sauce, Sweet Chilli Jam, Green Chilli and Coriander Paste, Chilli Jam, Chilli Paste, Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.
This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can find other recipes from that blog in the Retro Recipes series.
Miso is an underused ingredient. These days mostly relegated to Japanese cuisine, it was a darling of the macro-biotic movement of last century. You still find the odd recipe that uses it and the occasional blogger who is confident enough to use it often (have a look through Lucy Nourish Me’s recipes).
It was nice to find it mentioned in Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries – such an English approach to food he has, that the incorporation of miso was a surprise. A minor mention indeed, but a mention nevertheless.
This is a fairly standard miso dressing, but Nigel credits Nigella with its creation. No matter the origin, it is a cracker. Use it with Roast Pumpkin, green beans that have been quickly sauteed, steamed or boiled, or Japanese noodles (as Nigel does). It can be used as a dipping sauce.
Similar recipes include Roast Pumpkin with Chilli Yoghurt Sauce, Miso and Tahini Sauce, Spread and Dressing, Chilli Soy Sauce, and Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu. Try Chargrilled Pumpkin Salad with Labneh and Walnut Salsa and Butternut with Buckwheat Polenta and Tempura Lemons too.
A versatile Yemini-Israeli paste made from green coriander (cilantro), green chillies and earthy spices
What to do with the left over coriander (cilantro) leaves and stems at the end of the week – a perpetual problem in a family that uses a lot of green coriander. One solution we have is to make Coriander Paste. Another is to make Zhoug, a Yemeni-Israeli sauce or dip full of spices – sometimes spelled skhug, zhug, , schug or s’hug. It is a fiery, garlicky, herby green bowl of goodness. Traditionally a perfect accompaniment to pita with falafel, it also serves as a sauce, spread and dip. It can be stirred into soups and stews to spark them up. Spread a little on a sandwich or warm pita bread, drizzle it on pasta, or serve it with grilled halloumi or vegetables for an extra herby and spicy kick of flavour.
Zhoug can be fiery hot, depending on your chilli level, and Yemenites believe that eating zhoug daily strengthens the immune system, keeps away illness and strengthens the heart. Preparations for Zhoug vary widely, but a few things remain constant – green herbs, garlic, spices and chilli.
Once you have experienced the fragrant spiciness of Zhoug, you will be making this weekly with your left over coriander, or, indeed, buying extra coriander each week, just to make this pesto-like sauce. Actually, Zhoug is a green cousin to Shatta, which is a similar dish, except Shatta uses mild red chillies. Zhoug has also been called Israeli Chilli Paste, a green harissa, a Middle Eastern Gremolata and a hot chermoula.
This is incredibly delicious. Even if you are not a tofu eater, this dish will convert you. Who could not love deep fried tofu with peanuts? The sauce is divine.
We have been making this since around 2002, so quite a while. It is a Thai style dish, simple in its construction and flavours, but that very simplicity gives it a punchy flavour. It is a perfect light lunch with a salad, or a mid afternoon snack when dinner is still a long way off.
The act of deep frying the tofu changes the nature of it, from something bland and lacking much texture, to a beautiful textural addition to other dishes or on it own.
Similar recipes include Thai Silken Tofu with Bean Sprouts and Broth.
You might also like our Tofu recipes here. Our Deep Fried Tofu recipes are here. Or you might like to browse SE Asian recipes . Check out our easy Late Spring recipes here too. Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series – beautiful vegetarian recipes from our first blog 1995 – 2005.
Another Ottolenghi Classic.
One of our xmas lunch dishes came straight from Yotham Ottolenghi. Let’s be clear – most years we cook at least one dish from Yotham’s repertoire. Last year it was Potato Tartin. This year it was sweet potato wedges. They are surprisingly good.
The creme fraiche dressing was a bit heavy, I thought. Next time I might replace the creme fraiche with some thick yoghurt. Otherwise, the recipe was cooked mostly as detailed in Yotham’s book Plenty.
Have you also tried Potato and Sweet Potato Vindaloo or Madras Curry with Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Spinach? Also try Chilli Soy Sauce.