Hello, blog! For entirely coincidental reasons, this is the third day in a row that we’ve eaten Japanese food… clearly, even leaving aside some of our favourites like yakitori and takoyaki, it’s a very vegan-friendly cuisine!
We’re a bit obsessed with all things Japanese at the moment, as we’re planning a big trip out there next year, and so for a bit of a treat we took ourselves off to the big Japan Centre on Panton Street, to drool over all the things we can’t currently eat, and to stock up on those that we can. Top of the shopping list: white miso, as I’ve got some ideas brewing for cocoa/miso brownies and/or cake, dried yuzu peel for our next batch of gin infusing, and vegan ramen mix.
Rather than getting the tube all the way to Covent Garden – as we have decided that we’re going to try to up our movement this month too – we hopped off at Liverpool Street and walked the rest of the way, picking up a delicious pot of lightly salted edamame beans from a Wasabi on the way. Honestly, I would gladly live on these – podding them as you walk along is so satisfying, and the subtle saltiness with the sweetness of the beans is fab.
At the Japanese Centre we were blown away by the selection of goodies spread before us – everything you could want, you could find on those shelves (except for dried yuzu peel, the hunt for that continues!). We quickly found a lovely big tub of white miso, and some ‘Samurai’-brand vegan ramen mix… success! And what better way to celebrate than with sushi?
We love sushi. Normally, this involves big, buttery-soft pieces of tuna, but obviously today that was off the menu – not a problem, though, as we found a fab vegan selection that contained all kinds of tasty things to eat, from little rolls of beancurd stuffed with seaweed, to avocado nigiri. It was all delicious – the label calling it ‘monk’s sushi’ really didn’t do it justice, there was nothing austere about this meal. Washed down with a yuzu-flavoured soda, it was a real treat.
There were further tests of our willpower to come, though… while we were getting ready to leave, the Japan Centre staff were setting up a sake tasting, and giving out free gyoza. We love both of these things, so it was a bit of a wrench to hurry away without sampling either! But our spirits did not remain low for long… we found gooey, decadent consolation in the most beautiful vegan doughnut in the world.
We’d clocked ‘Doughnut Time’ earlier during our epic walk, when I’d flown across the road to press my nose, Little Matchgirl-like, against the window to gaze at the beautiful things filling its display. Imagine our joy, then, when we realised half of the offerings were labelled as vegan friendly! It was so hard choosing between them, but in the end I picked ‘Ice Ice Bae Bae’, which had vanilla ‘cream’ in the middle, and was topped with bits of cookie dough and brownie. It was AMAZING! Soft and sweet, and so big that I had to save half for later – really, if you hadn’t told me I would never have guessed it was vegan.
Much walking later, we made our way home. You might be surprised to hear that our thoughts turned to food once more… what to have for dinner? Our decision was made for us by the fact that we had some veg that needed using up. Cue a chickpea and lentil curry, packed with aubergine, green peppers, and spinach. We mixed this up with some green curry powder that my parents had brought us back from Indonesia – and with some long grained rice, it was so good! Lovely and warming and savoury – just what we needed after a long day of stomping the streets.
To go with this, we’d treated ourselves to a bottle of alcohol-free wine. I was so looking forward to a nice crisp, cold glass… unfortunately, it was horrible! Way too sweet, it tasted nothing like wine. So disappointing! I tried mixing it with grapefruit juice, but added too much and just made it worse… but after a lot of experimenting we found that adding fizzy water made it taste ok. Hey, spritzers are summery, right?
The evening has ended on an exciting note, though: Si has made some seitan using gluten flour, which we’ve steamed and is resting in the fridge overnight…we’re going to have a beautiful vegan roast tomorrow! I’ll let you know what it’s like later…
Today I ate/drank:
- Tea with soy milk
- Edamame beans
- Coke zero
- vegan sushi
- Yuzu soda
- No gyoza…
- No sake…
- Beautiful doughnut
- Lentil and chickpea curry with spinach, aubergine, and green pepper
- Rubbish fake wine, mixed with grapefruit juice and fizzy water
- Corn tortilla laden with Oaxacan cheese, flor de calabaza, smashed black beans and green chilli (we were watching a Mexican food slot on ‘Saturday Kitchen’)
- All the Mexican food – seasoned pork, chicken mole… mmmmmm….
- Pork gyoza